On a cold winter evening

This post displays my occasional propensity for pensiveness and reflection.  The highest temperature today was 8 degrees.  The weather forecaster predicted a low of zero, very cold for here with more snow.  In  a few months, it is likely we will hit 100.  Who would want to live in such a place?  Yet people do, worldwide.  Some in places much colder and hotter.  How and why did they all get to wherever they are?  Millennia ago we all migrated from Africa and look at us now.  We think we are smarter, better, but are we?  Perhaps technologically, but psychologically??  War rages over differences in ethnicity and religion.  Clashes for thousands of years change little, just the nature of the weapons, the use of advanced technology.  The intent remains the same.

Sunday, I finished a book by the Turkish writer, Elif Shafak.  I have read all her books translated into English.  This, her latest, Honor, details the effects of the belief in honor of above all else.  To paraphrase one of the main characters, a poor man:  rich men possess money, fancy cars, lavish houses, travel, but poor men have nothing but their honor.  Acting on this belief leaves one family devastated.  For those who desire to learn about other cultures and to understand the behavior of the individuals in them, I highly recommend this novel.

Earlier, I donned two pairs of gloves and socks, four layers of clothes, and ventured out.  If you own horses, you have to feed them regardless of the weather.  Unlike me, my dog, Isabella, fares well in this weather.  Her part wolf blood gives her an undercoat perfect for winter extremes.  Inside, I viewed my larder–what to cook on a frigid winter night?  A simple chicken curry with onions, brussels spouts, jalapeño peppers, and chicken with Jasmine rice, red, white, and black.  And a glass of red wine, cabernet franc, from a local winery, the only wine I have ever seen from only this one grape.  It is usually added to blends.  Definitely haram–still thinking about that book.


As the temperature drops, building a fire in the wood stove seems like a reasonable endeavor.  I love fires but hate to build them.  Nevertheless, sitting in front of the fire reading brings a silent joy, a paradise.  I feel at peace:  chores done, warm house on a frigid winter night, satisfying dinner homemade, and the knowledge that my book of poetry lays in its final stages with the editors and photoshoppers who will make it publication ready.  I feel extremely grateful, looking forward to dazzling dreams on the rim of wonder.


Turkey Curry

The holidays left me with all this left over turkey, cleaned off the bones, and frozen.  Then I kept wondering what to do with it besides the old standbys.  Recently, a longtime friend from Ohio posted a recipe for curry on Facebook.  Suddenly, it hit me:  modify this recipe and use some of this left over turkey.  I made it tonight for dinner and in all the rushing around after work, failed to take a photo. I am posting it anyway.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil

Add 1/2 onion, chopped

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash.

Saute until the onions are translucent.

Add approximately ten cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 large pepper chopped–to increase the heat, use a hotter type of pepper

Add 1 Tablespoon curry powder (I have about three to four types of curry; use the one you like)

1-2 teaspoons ground tumeric

1-2 teaspoons ground ginger, to taste

Stir in 1/2 cup cream to make a sauce.

Finally, add the left over turkey cut into bite sized pieces.

Heat through and serve over rice.

My friend’s recipe called for sour cream instead of heavy cream.  I did not have sour cream so used regular cream instead.  Her recipe used eggplant.  I did not have any so used the squash.

The combination of the squash and tomatoes and the red pepper I used made a very colorful, pretty dish.  My dog was so excited by the smell of the turkey that she got a few bites of it as I cooked.

It was a success all around.  Enjoy!!

Curried talapia with garbanzos and chard

2-3 talapia fillets, depending on size

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and chopped, but not fine

2 red jalapeños, seeded and cut in half

1 Tbs. baltic seasoning

1 Tbs. garam masala

1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained

3 pieces chard, large vein removed and chopped with leaves torn into 2-3 inch pieces

Olive oil

Saute onions in olive oil until caramelized.  Add poblano, jalapeños, and chopped chard stems plus seasoning.

Saute until peppers are half cooked.  Add talapia.  When fillets are almost done, add garbanzos and chard leaves.

When the chard is wilted, but still green, serve over Basmati rice.  Serves 2-3.

Note:  there are different brands of baltic seasoning and garam masala.  I use different brands, but for this

particular recipe, I used Penzy.