I had my dad staying with me last week for a few days. It was his first visit to Brooklyn in a year, so he hadn't seen my new apartment yet. I was glad to be able to give him his own room and bathroom, almost like a little suite - and so different from my previous shared studio. While he was here it just happened to be Christine and Kristine's birthday! So I felt a bit of pressure to celebrate with them and still entertain dad. Happily, dad didn't seem to care what we did and helped me to bake two birthday treats for the ladies. For K-girl, we made cupcakes - she seemed to be kind of bummed out and had been planning to make them for herself. When I found out that she had scrapped her plans I used my trusty phone to google up a recipe for cupcakes and icing and then bought a muffin pan and some cute heart-shaped measuring spoons to give her with the finished product. Here's the only pic I got of the set up with my celly:
While I made cupcakes, dad made dinner. I had done the prep work of chopping up all the veggies and cooking the brown rice. I handed over the wok and he made a spice mixture using Indian curry, ground coriander, turmeric, whole cardamom pods and cumin. For veggies we had bok choy, onion, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms and okra. I also minced some garlic and ginger. Dad cooked it all up adding the ingredients according to cooking time. The result was a big, delicious, yellow-tinted heap of veggies over brown rice. I had never had whole cardamom like this - the pods were soft and some had come open and spilled their intensely flavored seeds into the mix. When you got one that was still whole, you could sort of open it with your tongue and tease all the seeds out to chew on - what a burst of flavor!
The next day we made a chocolate cream pie for Christine's party. I used the Cook's Illustrated recipe and I highly recommend it. I made it in the morning so it could chill in the fridge during the day. At the party, I whipped the cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla and topped it off with candles. I had to slice it into tiny little wedges to have enough for everyone, but it was a bit hit.
I really enjoyed all the time cooking with my dad. It felt so natural, like a flashback to when we lived together. Even though it's new york, I'd rather just hang out and make dinner - with no pressure to get to a museum or see a sight. I'm glad my dad felt the same.