Four months into our three year Hyderabad tour and dust is settling. Last week we finally had the house painted and I’ve hung most of our artwork. (Home tour forthcoming!) I do my best to plot out each of my days with a rough schedule to stay rooted on a healthy and productive track. I fill in my day planner (Moleskine forever!) with weekly recurrences like teaching conversational English to a Japanese friend on Wednesdays and yoga classes both Friday and Saturday mornings. I still meet with the writer’s group I established while in Phnom Penh, via Skype now that two of the three of us have moved away. Checking in every couple of weeks feels good and keeps us all hammering away at our projects. But let’s be honest, that leaves a whole lot of empty space on those big white pages of my appointment book. I have to admit that since arriving here I have had a hard time getting back into the groove, finding a schedule I can stick to. It is disheartening to realize how easily my time slips away if I don’t actively try to contain it in some way.
Hyderabad is shaping up to be one of those places where you turn into a homesteader whether you like it or not. Snakes and I happen to enjoy those aspects of life and are embracing the wide open weekends, filling them in with an ambitious rooftop gardening project, composting, cheese making, bread baking, kraut and kimchi fermenting, yogurt making and of course, dinner parties. I just finished the invitations for our annual Valentines celebration, which has been dormant for the last two years. This will be our sixth Valentines party in the last nine years. I can’t wait to share more details!
A couple weekends ago, I awoke my juicer from the far reaches of kitchen cupboard hibernation. I’d been craving a zesty morning tonic with which to start my day. I didn’t want to take the time to prepare coffee since its too easy to get distracted while I wait, checking the news, packing Colette’s lunch or sorting dishes from the previous night. I wanted something that I could grab from the fridge with minimal sleepy-headed effort and take with me to my yoga/writing space. I like to get up there before too much has run through my head.
This turmeric tonic fit the bill perfectly. I found the blueprint for the recipe on David Leibovitz’s site and have tweaked it to swap limes for lemons and carrot juice for seltzer. This way you can forego the addition of any extra sweetener since carrots are naturally so sweet. The ones that are in season now, these technicolor Indian red carrots, are especially sweet. My driver told me the Indians use them primarily in baked goods.
I like to prep a few days worth of the juice and tonic and store it in jars in the refrigerator. I keep them separate since the other two members of my family enjoy a morning glass of carrot juice but are not (yet) convinced of the superior health benefits and flavor boost offered by a shock of turmeric, ginger and lime. If you try it out, keep in mind it’s recommended to add a few grinds of fresh black pepper to aid in the absorption of all that good stuff. Although juicing can be time consuming and messy, things go twice as fast with me prepping and my trusty side-kick feeding our ingredients through the chute.
I’ve been enjoying this for around two weeks now and can report that it is a wonderfully energizing start to each day. I actually find myself looking forward to it first thing upon waking. And maybe just a placebo effect, but I swear I feel less creaky and cranky in the mornings!
What are your morning rituals? I’d love to hear.