My cousin Scott and his family came to visit from the Silicon Valley last night. His wife Jennifer tutors SAT math to high schoolers six days a week. From my conversation with her, I learned how extremely driven and competitive these South Bay parents are and it made me feel like an irresponsible and clueless mother. I actually let my kids follow their favorite TV series. Angela and I read the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and she jokingly called me a squirrel mother because all I do is tell her to eat and hibernate. But she has accomplished so much in her sixteen years of life that whether I’m a tiger or squirrel doesn’t matter. Or perhaps my cluelessness even made her more self sufficient.
I use Einstein’s letter to his 11-year-old son as an example (or as an excuse). He wrote: “I am very pleased that you find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion for your age the best pursuits, better even than school. Because those are things which fit a young person such as you very well. Mainly play the things on the piano which please you, even if the teacher does not assign those. That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal. . . .”
All I want is for them to find something in life that they truly love to do, because otherwise, life would be too much of a grind. I do see that when they are pursuing something they truly care about, they are “doing something with such enjoyment that they don’t notice that the time passes.” And according to the ultimate expert in learning, this is the best way to learn.
Scott and Jennifer brought me a few bags of fresh produce from the farmers’ market. I roasted the purple and yellow cauliflower and they turned out very aromatic and delicious. Roasting is a relatively simple and quick way to prepare vegetables. The total prep time for the roast cauliflower was no more than 15 minutes.
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients:
6 cups uncooked cauliflower florets cut small
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
kosher salt and fresh pepper
a dash of ground cumin, paprika, oregano and Coriander
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, sage, spices, salt and pepper well so all the florets are coated and seasoned. Place in a large shallow roasting pan and place in the center of the oven.
Roast for about 25 minutes, turning florets occasionally so they are evenly cooked. Remove from oven and serve immediately.