Being in your mid-twenties is such an awkward time. A horrified friend summed it up nicely: “I’m holding someone’s baby in like the last 30 photos on my Facebook!” Yep. Everyone is pregnant or wearing a small person. I can’t suppress an exasperated sigh anymore every time someone asks, “So when are you guys going to start having kids?”
Obviously, baby showers are my new jam. I’m kind of nervous about going to these things, as if pregnancy is contagious. Fortunately, I like to make finger sandwiches and sew miniature quilts, so it’s not all bad as long as there are no cheesy party games.
Speaking of baby shower games, do you know the one with the clothespins? Everyone gets five when she arrives, and loses one if she says one of the forbidden words, like “diaper,” or “swaddle.” If we ever have a baby, I’m going to play this game but make the list something like “precious,” “blessing,” or “miracle” so we can talk like humans instead of Christian greeting cards. Pastels and chevron stripes will be banned and there will be a bottle of vodka by the punch bowl, in case you need a tipple to endure another conversation about nap schedules.
Despite my crabbiness on the subject, I went to a baby shower today and it was actually fun. I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know a warm, generous group of women over the last year. Having them all in one room is a treat.
And did I mention that there were tiny sandwiches? I guess that’s the point of this post, because that’s what I wanted to share with you today.
I’ve been purging my spice cabinet of late, using up all the flavored salt and random rubs I’ve received over the years as well as some single-use acquisitions that have been gathering dust. The perhaps overambitious goal is to get down to a core selection of a dozen spices we actually use and free up a shelf in the cupboard.
Curry powder may seem like a staple, but I haven’t used it in ages. Like saffron and whole cloves, it’s something that seems essential but in practice just isn’t. Bye, bye curry powder?
After throwing together this recipe based on my favorite vegan “tuna” salad, maybe the curry powder can stick around. It tastes exactly like the real thing and makes a great appetizer with celery and toast points, or a satisfying vegan sandwich on your favorite gluten-free bread. Vegan chicken salad is a handy recipe to have up your sleeve if you’re also in frequent “showering” mode.
- 1 can chickpeas, drained (2 cups)
- 2 sticks celery
- half an apple, cored
- 1/6 of a medium onion (red is nice for added color), peeled
- 1/3 cup vegan mayo
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon each of cayenne and black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped raw almonds
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- Pulse chickpeas in food processor until chopped but not mashed, and remove to a mixing bowl. Roughly chop the apple, celery, and onion, and pulse until finely chopped before adding to the chickpeas. (If you don't have a food processor, mash the chickpeas with a fork and chop everything finely.) Stir in remaining ingredients and taste to adjust seasoning.