Thursday, May 14, 2009

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

by Mary Oliver from American Primitive

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MoRockin' Chicken

This dish serves 4 and pairs nicely with Israeli couscous, rice or quinoa

For sauce:
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup thinly sliced apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins
4 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic mincer
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon each of: garam masala, ground ginger, turmeric and coarse salt
dash of cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon

For rub:
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon each of: garam masala, ground ginger and turmeric
dash of cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon
1 ¾ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs that have been cleaned of excess fat

1. Mix all ingredients for sauce in a large liquid measuring cup and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the rub. Sprinkle rub evenly over chicken things and massage evenly into the meat.
3. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the ingredients for the sauce then place thighs so they fit snugly along the base of the skillet. Cover skillet and let cook for 14 minutes. Uncover skillet and turn chicken thighs over. Re-cover and let cook for another 12 – 14 minutes until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. Season to taste and serve chicken with a spoonful of sauce and stewed fruit. Enjoy!

**Ever wonder what garam masala means? Well, “garam” means hot in Urdu and “masala” means paste. This mix of ground spices varies from region to region but commonly features: black and white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, long pepper, black cumin, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, star anise and coriander seeds.

*Garam masala can be found in two forms: the whole spices purchased separately, or a commercially ground mixture made from the spices. Commercially ground garam masala is often added at the end of cooking a dish so that the pungent aroma isn’t lost. Whole garam masala, however, is added with fat for a more piquant flavor. Many professional chefs turn their noses at commercially ground garam masala and insist on making their own from whole spices and herbs.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

My new FAVORITE THING: A succulent wreath!

Puts the pedestrian Christmas wreath to shame