For brunch, today, I had a type of flat bread known as "godamba roti" with a spicy onion mixture known as "seeni sambol" (onions sliced thinly and sauted with chili powder, spices, salt, and sugar):
|Godamba Roti and Seeni Sambol|
When I was growing up in Sri Lanka, a man used to come by the houses on our street, always in the evening, once a week or so, pushing a cart and calling out to announce his presence. He was the godamba roti man, making the flat breads on the spot. His cart contained a drawer where the round balls of dough were kept, soaking in oil, and there was a stove built into the cart, which heated up the metal top where the flat bread would be cooked. A kerosene oil lamp would be hung on the cart to illuminate his work space. We used to gather around the cart and watch as he'd take a ball of dough and stretch it with his hands and spin it, like a pizza maker spins the pizza dough, to make it spread out, paper thin. Then, it would be spread out on the hot cooking surface until it "baked" and flipped over to cook the other side. If an egg godamba is requested, he would break open an egg and spread it over the top before cooking the dough. Once he made the requested number of flat breads, he'd go on his way to the next house where the people were waiting his services. And we would take the flat breads and go inside the house to eat them for dinner with curries that had already been prepared.
When I was growing up, we rarely made godamba roti at home. It was almost always bought from the godamba roti man or, occasionally, from small restaurants that made and sold them. These days, however, I've been told that one almost never sees a godamba roti man going door to door with his cart, and most people buy the godamba roti from restaurants.
However, they are easy to make at home. My cousin's mother-in-law showed me how. One makes a dough with flour, salt, a tablespoon or so of oil and warm water; the dough is kneaded for a bit and then, formed into small balls, about 2 inches in diameter. The balls of dough are then put into a bowl with enough oil to cover them and kept for at least one hour (longer is better). Afterwards, they are stretched out as thinly as possible. Traditionally, they are stretched to a rectangle shape. And then, cooked on a griddle or a frying pan.
I have made godamba roti from scratch; however, the one I had for brunch today was not one that I made. I cheated and bought a box of frozen godamba roti from the Sri Lankan store and reheated one!
I spent a relaxed afternoon, reading blogs, replying to comments on my blog, reading my library book, etc. In between, I washed the dishes and tidied the kitchen and the dining table. My neighbor called for our weekly chat and later in the afternoon, my sister called to check on me. Still later, one of my aunts called and we had a long conversation.
In the evening, I decided to do some gardening. There is an empty planting bed near the corner of the garage, just behind the last lemon tree and to the left of the curry leaf tree shown in this photo from yesterday:
|Empty Planting Bed to the Left of the Curry Leaf Tree|
Here is a close up of the empty planting bed:
|Empty Planting Bed|
Once upon a time, I had some lavender growing there. When it died, I planted a sugarcane bush. That, too, died due to the drought. It has been empty since then. Today, I decided to dig it up to make a new planting bed for some vegetables. It is not a very big area - perhaps 3' x 4', but I should be able to fit in a couple of tomato plants, some green beans, and maybe a few chili plants. I made a good start on it this evening, but didn't quite finish edging it with the pavers. Tomorrow, I want to go to the garden center to buy a bag or two of soil amendments to add to this bed, as the soil is very sandy and poor. I also need to figure out a way to keep the stray cats away and discourage them from using this area as a litter box! Last summer, I planted some tomato seedlings, and the cats dug up all my plants!
Later in the evening, I watered the front garden for the first time this year! We've had so much rain in January and February, I didn't need to water the garden, at all. But it's been more than a week since our last rain shower and there is no rain in the forecast for next week. Plus, with temperatures continuing to be in the 70s and 80s, the plants need some water! The front garden gets the full brunt of the afternoon and evening sun, so it needs more frequent watering than the back garden. I prefer to hand water the front garden; I water the back with the sprinklers.
Today, I am grateful for:
- Phone calls from family and neighbor
- Starting to have longer daylight hours
- Being able to dig in the garden, again! (I was told not to garden when I was undergoing chemo due to risk of infections)
- A warm, sunny day
- Water to water the garden!
Monday's To Do List:
- Grocery shop!
- Menu plan lunches for the week (to take to the office)
- Garden center for soil amendments and maybe chicken wire/mesh
- Finish the planting bed
- Water the back garden
- Clean out the fridge
- Empty waste baskets
- Take trash cans to curb
- Daily tasks (put away dishes/wash dishes/clean litter box, etc.)
How was your Sunday?