Ethiopian market, Christmas present for self, cheesecake

I was so jazzed about my injera and wat lunch earlier this week that I immediately texted Hiwot and asked if she might be remotely willing to teach me how to make injera. If so, where should I get supplies?

"I'm glad that you love my Injera, I'm totally willing to teach you how to make injera. You can find the Teff flour and the (Mitad) grill from any Ethiopian market or I can tell you the market address in Washington DC...I'll bring you some starter."

Um, yes. I am ALWAYS down for exploring a new-to-me market. Hiwot directed me to Black Lion Market on 14th St NW, certain it would have both black and ivory teff flour and the exact grill I needed to cook the injera. Can you even believe the loveliness of this woman? 

I walked in and shyly inquired about the grill, showing one employee a photograph that Hiwot had sent me. 

"Oh yes, you want this one! Also, it can help you make chapatis, tortillas, and pita." 

"Thank you! This is perfect. And do you have smaller than 42-pound bags of teff flour?"

"Now you need to talk to this woman. She knows everything about flour."

That lovely woman brought me over to smaller bags of flour, gallon-size Ziplocs of various flours individually weighed and priced, labeled in Amharic. I heaved one bag each of black and ivory teff, and also a large sack of red lentils into my arms, and placed them carefully on the counter by the register before adding a boxed grill to the mix.

A young man with a great smile walked up behind me, placed his bag of injera on the counter, saw my pile, and asked, "Are you going to make injera? Do you like it?" I was the only white shopper in Black Lion, and I am certain he wondered if I knew what I was doing. 

I smiled back and said, "I love it. My friend made me some and said she would teach me and that these items are what I need because she'll bring some starter. Isn't that cool?"

I showed him and the two women at the register my pictures of Hiwot's injera and they were very impressed.

"Oh yes, she knows what she is doing!"

Then I showed my photo of the wat I'd made. 

"You made that? Lentil wat? Good for you."

We were all smiling like crazy. I turned to the man behind me and said, "Now why aren't you making your own injera?" and grinned. He laughed and said, "Oh, I know I should! But I'm not so good at it." 

I stumbled out into a freezing day, arms and heart full. 
Winter break started yesterday after the kids finished school, and I cannot adequately express how deeply thrilled I am to have no homework to oversee for a full two weeks. Ah! Oliver spent last night at a friend's house, and Jack, T and I grilled a pizza and vegged out.

Today, the boys and I finished up one of the two epic projects we've been working on as surprise gifts for the grandparents, and I made a pumpkin cheesecake for the freezer and also a batch of rum balls. The latter gets better over time, so they'll be perfect when Mom and Dad arrive next week, and my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, just after!