Monday, April 19, 2010

"We call upon the earth, our planet home, for its beautiful depths, and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together, we ask that it teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the mountains, the cascades and the olympics, the high green valleys and the meadows filled with wildflowers, the snows that never melt, the summits of intense silence, and we ask that they teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers, and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and ask that they teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the land that grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and ask that they teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the forests, the green trees, reaching strongly to the sky, with earth in their roots, and the heavens in their branches, the fir, the pine and the cedar. We ask them to teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the creatures of the fields and the forest and the seas, our brothers and sisters, the wolves and the deer, the eagle and the dove, the great whales and the dolphin, the beautiful orca, and salmon who share our northwest home, and ask them to teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dream the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are built, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to teach us and show us the way.

And lastly we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of great spirit of love and truth, which flows throughout all the universe, to be with us, and teach us, and show us the way."

Wilma Mankiller
Chief of the Cherokee nation via Cari Ferraro

Friday, April 09, 2010

Battle of the Cooks - Karl v. Cyn - Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

OK, so here's the scoop. My husband cooks 90% of the meals and before you start in, I KNOW I'm lucky. However, I like cooking! I don't mind it at all. Both of my Grandmothers' cooked, my Mom cooked and I cook. I love having someone to cook for me, but our styles of cooking are very different. I love cooking the whole chicken, bones and all. Karl - not so much. For him, it's boneless, skinless, tasteless (to me) white meat.

Enter last evening, I just couldn't face another lump of white chicken. And, to be fair, his chicken is excellent - well flavored and cooked to perfection. It's just not my perfection. I long for a drumstick to gnaw on or some turkey thighs braised in apple cider. So, I decided I would cook my own chicken and he could cook his own. At first, he was a little miffed - no likes to have their food disrespected. However, after thinking it over, he rose to the challenge and off we went in opposite directions. The only rules were we couldn't use a recipe and had to make use of ingredients we had on hand.

Karl's first
Chicken breast was butterflied and marinated in Italian Dressing. When ready to fry, EVOO and a dab of butter in the frying pan. Breast was salt and peppered, dipped in Mayo and dunked in a Pecorino cheese, Italian bread crumbs, instant potato flake mixture. Skillet hot and chicken fried to a deep golden brown. I have to admit, it was very tasty and very moist, just not my cup of tea. He loved it.

Cyn's recipe
Chicken breast was also butterflied and sprinkled with salt and pepper. EVOO and small dab of butter in a pan with 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Cooked slowly until smelled the garlic. Pitted large Spanish olives, capers, diced tomato and diced prunes added to the pan, along with the chicken. Sauteed for approx. 5 minutes, turning the chicken once. Heat turned off and pan covered to allow flavors to meld. When ready to eat, chicken was removed from pan and thinly sliced. Pan was reheated to medium high, added freshly grated ginger, sauteed for approx. 5 minutes with a splash of dry Vermouth added right at the end. Chicken back into the pan and quickly heated through. I adored it.

Naturally, we each thought our creation was the best, mainly due to our individual idea of what food should be. So, although it was a standoff, hopefully it will get us out of the habit of eating the same things all the time and start our creative juices flowing in who knows what direction? Maybe the winner in this challenge was the fact that we had a lot of fun, realized we had such different styles of cooking and we both made something we wouldn't have normally cooked.

I think this is a win, win situation. However, I'm letting Karl do the cooking tonight.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I am so stealing Delphyne's stuff!

School Prayer

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

~Diane Ackerman~