Monday, January 26, 2009

Filled with Singing Birds

Some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it, that it may leaf and bloom
and fill with singing birds.

~Black Elk

Of Note: In many of these pictures, you have seen the rooftops of my sister's neighborhood in Texas. My Mom lives only 4 blocks away. This past week her neighbor committed suicide in between their houses, right outside her bathroom window. That image could haunt. Or it could be a catalyst for another image, one filled with Light and Love for the departed. Such a sending could help him now for without a physical body, his etheric body may be roaming in confusion following his violent end. Thus, he might appreciate a guiding Light energized by compassion, understanding and love.

Today's Weather Report: More sub-zero temps. WAY sub-zero at -25 degrees again this morning. The difference between -20 and 20 is forty degrees. It's the difference between filling our wood-fueled boiler once or twice a day. Or the number of layers of clothing required to stay warm in the house. With no wind, 20 degrees requires one layer while -20 requires two. My-oh-my, we've gotten this down almost to a science as have many across the country during an unrelenting winter.

Winter Recipe Snippet: Looking at cookbooks is one of my favorite pastimes. It always amazes me the number of recipes available when the basic number of ingredients is not infinite. That might be one of the reasons I go back to my old Betty Crocker Cookbook so often when looking for timeless recipes. The other day it was corn fritters. No other cookbook had it. Turns out, a fritter is nothing more than a thick pancake batter with something in it--like corn. One simple favorite of late is vegetable chips. It took several attempts to get this right because the original recipe did not work in our industrial gas oven. But we've got it down now, and it only takes minutes. Yesterday we baked two sweet potatoes and a bag of carrots. All were gone by day's end.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a couple cookie sheets with foil or use any kind of cooking implement available. I use a two by three foot industrial baking sheet with one inch sides. Take two sweet potatoes or several carrots or any other hard-type vegetable and slice thin--no more than 1/16th of an inch thick. I use an inexpensive Asian mandolin set at the thinnest setting. Put sliced veggies into a large plastic bag and poor in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon sugar (helps in crisping) plus cinnamon and salt to taste. Shake well until all pieces are coated. This will take some doing with the sweet potatoes since they like to stick together. Dump the vegetables onto the prepared sheets and arrange in a single layer. Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and wait 1/2 hour.
If the chips are not quite crisp, wait awhile longer, but watch closely as they can go from not done to way over-done in a matter of minutes. This is no time to go off and read an engrossing book. Walla! Put the chips on a plate and watch them disappear.

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