Somewhere around 5:00- 5:30 in the morning, gently shaken by a light beeping of the alarm on my phone, I wake up. I pull the phone out, from under her crib, parked right next to my bed and turn it off in a hurry avoiding, waking the baby up. Complete silence all around and only the sound of their rhythmic breath and soft snore filling up the house. First rays of sunshine trying to penetrate through the crisp white curtains on our bedroom window. Early mornings are golden in the house. There was a time when I’d resent waking up at such wee hours and it would only happen if there was a plane to catch or something of similar urgency. Now I look forward to it.
I look forward to the only “me” time I get through out the day and try not to miss it. With eyes half open and a sweet ache in the back reminding of its presence, I sneak out from under the covers, tip toe my way out the door, straight into the kitchen. Eyes are fully open only after the first sip of my ginger chai. Leaning against the kitchen counter, sipping my sweet tea and reading whatever interests me that morning is a daily ritual. There’s always an attempt to keep the subject positive but presidential race has been trending lately.
But then somedays you bump into something heartfelt by someone, like this post by Tara and you are taken on your own personal trip down the memory lane. You read about Tara’s grand daddy and her ancestral home in India and it reminds you of the childhood memories and your own interactions with your grandparents. I never got to see either of my grandfathers for both of them were gone, way before even my parents got married. But from all the stories I’ve heard from my grandmums and several people whose lives they had touched, I do know they were two men I’d like to have known more and I’d like my kids would have known. But I am still happy and content with all the stories of them nestled in my heart. All those stories that I can now pass on to my kids, who like me can marvel in awe listening to them and may or may not choose them as their personal heroes too.
At the same time there’s always an effort to pass down a little of myself to them. And when they show similar love to some of the things I am passionate about, its makes my world a little brighter. Like the love for cooking. Maybe its because they’ve seen their mum spend so much time in the kitchen or some other reason, but both the girls love being in the kitchen themselves. While the little monkey would insist on climbing up the kitchen counter and watch me cook, the older one is already cooking with me. This recipe is a very simple one, nothing out of the ordinary, only my butterfly developed it with me. The idea is pretty much all hers and I am so darn proud of it. We make it very often as a weeknight dinner and I just couldn’t be prouder sharing it with you here.
Ingredients: Serves 3-4
6 oz spaghetti
1 tablespoon +2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
8oz button mushrooms (cleaned and cut into slices)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 chicken sausage (optional)
1 medium sized lemon (zested and juice extracted)
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil (julienned)
Grated parmesan, to taste
Heat salted water in a pot. Cook spaghetti as per instructions on the box.
In a wide, thick bottom pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic. Cook until garlic begins to turn golden.
Add broccoli. Sauté for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat, tossing occasionally. Add mushrooms. Saute until, mushrooms are golden on the outside. Add salt just enough for the veggies. Toss. Take out of the pan. Set aside.
In the same pan, take sausage out of the shell, break with a wooden spoon and cook on the pan, 3-5 minutes. Take it out of the pan. Set aside. Turn off the heat.
In the same hot pan, add 2 tablespoon butter. It will begin to melt. Stir in juice of the lemon and also the zest and basil. Pour in 2 tablespoon of pasta water. Mix together.
Drop cooked pasta in the pan. Add cracked pepper, to taste. Mix everything well together. Add, vegetables, sausage and some parmesan. Mix it all together. Serve hot.