Chana Matar Paneer ~ Possessd by the Holiday Spirit
The Holiday Spirit is an impish, little brat.
On this night, it was lurking around the Christmas Tree Lot, where a particularly witty Sister Madly wandered about with the Professor. Naturally, Sister Madly provided appropriate commentary that added a festive note to the evening, her snark being so on point that she was looking forward to watching the Professor attempt to tie a large tree to the top of a rusty hatchback.
But the Professor had no intention of tying the tree to the top of the car, oh no; a tree of such Yuletide majesty deserved to ride in luxury inside the car.
Sister Madly, too, deserves to ride inside the car, Professor…
Still, the realization that the Tree wouldn’t fit in the back of the hatchback took longer for the Professor to acknowledge than it would for those with fewer letters behind their name. As predicted, Sister Madly’s wit was so on point during this exhibition that it was cheekily suggested that she be tied to the top of the car instead.*
* One might assume that this was the Professor’s attempt at humor, but Sister Madly assures you otherwise.
It was then that Sister Madly was first tempted by the Holiday Spirit, which nearly resulted in her volunteering to take public transportation back to HQ for the sake of the Evergreen. However, the possibility of encountering something far worse than a sentient Pine Tree on a city bus gave her the strength to resist the Holiday Spirit and retain the dignity of her sassy ol’ self.*
* Which is most fortunate- a holly-jolly Sister Madly is an absolute nightmare.
But the witty little Moppet did not escape this magic of this Hallmark Moment. As the Professor acknowledged that that only way that the Tree would fit would be to utilize the passenger’s seat, the Holiday Spirit took possession of Sister Madly and volunteered through her to switch places. As a result, the Tree rode shotgun with the Professor while Sister Madly was packed rather unceremoniously into the back of the hatchback
And that was when the Holiday Spirit made itself at home: not only did it demand to listen to campy Christmas music- something which absolutely delighted the Professor- it suggested they take “back way” of unimproved roads and potholes. Even as Sister Madly watched herself become covered in pine sap, excess needles* and some sort of rash, she could not stop the Holiday Spirit from assuring the PhD that all was just peachy-keen* and to turn up the music- Mele Kalikimaka was simply not going to sing itself!
* The Shake-The-Needles-From-The-Tree contraption at the Lot was no match for Hatchback-Over-Potholes.
But while the Holiday Spirit maintained full-possession of Sister Madly over the river and through several rounds of Feliz Navidad, it was, alas, no match for Do They Know It’s Christmas. This diabolical little ditty not only succeeded in exorcising the Holiday Spirit from our dearest Moppet, it sent said Spirit out into the street, where it was promptly run over by a dairy truck.
As with all Magical Holiday Tales, there is a moral to this story: there is a certain beauty in using artificial trees, which allows the thrifty to reuse said tree again and again without the need of packing thy beloved Moppet into the trunk of your car. Take for instance Sister Madly’s tree, which once belonged to her grandmother- not only has it withstood the years, but remains amazingly lifelike, as you can clearly see:
Well, maybe not a moral so much as a reason to post a picture of the Madly Christmas Tree…
Sister Madly, too, is an impish, little brat.
CHANA MATAR PANEER
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 TBSP garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP ginger, minced
- 1 chili, seeded and diced
- 15oz tin chickpeas; drained
- 15oz tin tomatoes, crushed/diced
- paneer, cubed
- 2 TBSP garam masala
- 1 TBSP coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- salt/pepper, to taste
- heavy cream, to taste (opt)
- ghee/oil, for sautéing
Sauté onion until translucent; 8-10 min
Add garlic, ginger, and chili; sauté 3-5 min
Add spices; sauté 30 secs
Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and stock; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes
Add peas; simmer 5-8 minutes
Add paneer; simmer 3-5 minutes
Mix in cream (if using) simmer 2-3 minutes
THEME SONG: Mele Kalikimaka, Bing Crosby