Pumpkin Thai Curry, Drawings in the Bathroom and Creativity….

Hi everyone and please click on the title of this post to read more. So, do you think it is strange that my eight year old often goes to the bathroom, and sometimes emerges a half an hour later with a book of drawings and/or all of her homework done? It is not so strange for me because I can relate: I grew up with seven siblings in a very small apartment and would write songs and play guitar in the bathroom. It was the only place in my home where I had privacy and a respite from the noise and chaos of all those people around (it also had great acoustics). In that private space, I was able to feel comfortable and get in touch with my creative side.

Actually, I recently realized that one of the reasons I have difficulty composing music these days is because I am rarely alone. For many of us, we can feel inhibited and /or distracted when others are around which hinders our creativity in the kitchen and elsewhere. Maybe the noise or need to multitask when there are competing responsibilities keeps us down. How about this Dr. Phil thought; maybe we make a point of never being alone so that we don’t have to be forced to face our challenges? I have a suggestion: How about making a concerted effort to be alone, have someone watch the kids or do whatever we need taken care of, so that we can feel our fears, feel comfortable or just feel something that will help move us in the direction of facing our kitchen challenges or other challenges for that matter?

I know that I had to be alone to make the following pumpkin curry recipe so I had my two year old watch Caillou on PBS Sprout. I needed to get into an entertaining zone since I was preparing a lunch for a birthday friend and the clock was ticking (even though you know I prepared a lot in advance). Having her occupied and safe in the adjoining room allowed me to fully focus and create, dare I say, a fantastic meal. You can see what it looks like in the video below, and you can also learn a recycling bib tip. See if you can find the woman lurking behind me who just won’t leave my house! I wish you all the same success….

Pumpkin Thai Curry:

3 cans Coconut Milk (not light coconut milk-it has no flavor or texture, sorry. If you are worried about fat and calories, just don’t eat it everyday.)
3 TBS Green Thai Curry Paste (can get at Whole Foods or any Asian Food store)
1 can pureed pumpkin (at most supermarkets)
4 TBS fish sauce (Whole Foods or any Asian food store)
1/3 cup brown sugar
lime juice-start with the juice of one lime and squeeze more in to taste (don’t forget to zest it first and freeze the zest!)
1 cup chicken or veg. broth
2 lbs of raw shrimp OR thinly sliced raw chicken breast OR firm tofu in 1″ chunks
2 cups of fresh basil (if you don’t have it , don’t worry)
1 large potato, already steamed and cut into 1/2″ chunks
2 cups red and/or green peppers
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms

The truth is , you can substitute any of these vegetables or proteins for ones you like.Optional garnishes are chopped cilantro, chopped cashews or peanuts and toasted coconut. You can serve these in little bowls with accompanying spoons on the table-so fancy!

In a large pot, like a pasta pot over medium heat, throw in the green curry paste. Stir it around for a minute and then add in coconut milk, pureed pumpkin, fish sauce,sugar, broth and lime juice. Boil and stir until it starts to reduce a little (gets thicker). When it is your desired thickness, maybe 15 minutes or so, add the protein. My stove is very powerful so you may need to boil yours for longer than 15 minutes to get it to your desired thickness. When the protein is cooked for about 5 minutes, add the vegetables. Basically, you just don’t want the vegetables to get soggy.

Serve over rice with accompanying garnishes. Enjoy!



4 Responses

  1. I did make it last night and it was really good. I used two limes and I probably should have used all three. I actually put tofu and chicken in it and it was great. My daughter loved it as well! My son would not try it, but I can not get him to try anything. I have a lot of leftovers. I am excited to have it for lunch.

  2. Is there a prize for identifying the woman who keeps showing up at your house? I don’t know her, but she seems like a very nice woman. Xo

  3. I made this curry tonight with tiny (ok, HUGE) changes, to make it vegetarian (and use what I had in the pantry), and it was still fantastic. I used light coco. milk (sorry), veggie broth, tempeh for the protein, and red curry paste (hot!). My husband, a Thai food lover, thought it was amazing. THANK YOU, Alma. (Admittedly, it was nowhere near as rich and delightful as your version – more of an everyday dish as opposed to your super-special creation. You rock.

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