I don’t usually take or post pictures of my food. In fact, maybe I never have. But I made a really good batch of red lentil stew tonight so I’m breaking the rule. It’s not the first time I’ve been tempted to post a picture of red lentils. I eat a lot of them. They are really hard to mess up unless you burn them. You can’t really overcook them (unless, you know, you burn them) and they cook really quickly, unlike regular lentils (wikipedia tells me red lentils *are* regular lentils, only de-husked). The shops around me, many of which are Pakistani-owned, sell a lot of them so I always have some on hand.
This stew had lentils, water, tomato puree, lemon juice, and a little bit of garlic powder. I didn’t add salt because the tomato puree had salt already. I simmered it over the lowest flame I could get on the burner for close to two hours and it turned out perfectly. I added some spinach at the end which quickly steamed.
I’m back in New York after 3 weeks or so of touring (in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio) followed by a week of visiting my parents in NC. It was great being on the road again, and an experiment of sorts because it was my first extended stretch of shows since transitioning out of ministry work. I hit the road with a lot of questions. Will I enjoy playing? Will I be good? Will people come? And will I make enough to make rent? The answer to all of these questions is, for the most part, yes. I had good shows, and enjoyed connecting with friends I don’t get to see that often.
Being back in NY feels — well, it feels ok. There’s a certain loss of momentum that comes with not having any performances coming up soon. I’m always happier if I have shows lined up. I’m working on booking the next batch of shows, and thinking about what the next batch of songs might be like. It’s been on my mind to record a collection of hymns. Either an all-original collection, or a mixture of some original and some traditional, or, perhaps something more conceptual like a double album of half doubt-songs and half faith-songs. This latter idea has received some good feedback, but I worry it might be too gimmicky or too forced. Part of what I already do (I think) is explore the edges and overlaps where faith intersects doubt. Really, they go hand-in-hand, and I’m not sure I’d want to hear any songs of faith that were entirely devoid of doubt, or vice-versa. So maybe my next album will just be plain old Jason Harrod songs without any special thematic emphasis. But at least, the gears in my mind are turning.
Here’s a picture of a construction site I took on a walk tonight through Midwood, the neighborhood just South of where I live: