With the Chapter Done I Can Live Like a Normal Human Being Again

Last night, in order to use up some left over canned tomatoes (Madhur Jaffrey, bless her, actually has recipes that call for only a few canned plum tomatoes...) and to start making a dent in our large supply of dried things in the cupboard, I made an Ethiopian-inspired stew. Yellow split peas, some tomatoes, and potatoes. The secret ingredient was a teaspoon and a half of the Ethiopian spice mixture berbere. Berbere is spicy, sweet, and savoury. We had acquired ours through a friend of Ptichka's who is originally from Ethiopia. The baggy is small and I could see us going on an Ethiopian-food spree and using it up in no time, so I asked if Ptichka's friend had made it or bought it. "Oh, she bought it. In Ethiopia. She buys it whenever she goes home and then smuggles it back into the country." I guess that we'll be hoarding it for a while.


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