Soul Food

I have read that nutrition for our soul can be, reading a good book, admiring art or expression of any kind, observation and contemplation of the violence and beauty of nature, and finally engaging in an activity or work where the thought of achieving anything other than just enjoying that.

Introducing Duck Soup for myself on Valentine’s Day.

Duck Stock

Whole fresh duck with breasts and leg and thigh removed

Mirepoix-Leeks, Onions, Celery, carrots

Bouquet garni-thyme, bay leaves parsley, peppercorns

3 quarts cold water

 

 

Set aside legs and breasts bag them up and keep refrigerated.

Put everything into a stock pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim foam scum off and discard. Simmer for 2-4 hours. Strain chill and get ready for the soup.

Please excuse me as I do not use recipes and these are just a list of ingredients that I put into the dish

Aromatics

Ginger, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, sriracha

Veggies for soup

Onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms(baby bellas)

For the soup

Sear duck breast

Cut the skin and fat down to the flesh, season with salt and ground pepper

put into a cool dry skillet, skin down and sear until crispy and golden, about 8-10 minutes, turn over and put the pan into hot oven 400+ for another 4-6 minutes, take out of the pan and set aside to rest.

 

 

Prepare the soup

Heat a couple portions of stock 28-32 ounces

Sautee aromatics add mushrooms and veggies, deglaze with rice vinegar and stock

add fish sauce, soy sauce a little honey

heat to simmer and add a squeeze of lime juice about 1/4 lime

prepare bowls with some cooked rice noodles and sliced napa cabbage

in the bowl

did I forget anything?

Ah yes ladle soup over prepared bowls slice duck breast and place on top and garnish with chopped cilantro and mint

Voila
There you have it

Happy Valentine day fool

toe musical selections tonight

 

 

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Do not be too quick…

Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy of God just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you that gives glory to God. Perhaps he fears you because he can find nothing in you of God’s love and God’s kindness and God’s patience and mercy and understanding of the weaknesses of people.

Do not be too quick to condemn people who no longer believe in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and materialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed their faith.

Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation

blossom
Tender Opening

Perhaps you are the only best example of your faith, he has or will encounter. Be the person you wish everyone to be.

 

Demolition precedes Renovation

I am reflecting on this year. I started writing here about this time last year. My eyes and being have been subject to a wonderous eco-system of artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and downright hilarious expressionists. All here to get out what can no longer be contained within.

Mine is a journey of ongoing and perpetual self-discovery and, hopefully, growth. None of which occur when things are going according to my particular sensitivities. I have found that before I have exhausted all of my self-determined solutions and am in complete despair I am unable to surrender.

inside
Demolition

Upon the occasion of surrender and acceptance of my inability to do anything of my self. That part of me must be demolished in order for a renovation to begin. Recovery does not take a linear path. There are pauses and serious faults found along the way where construction is halted, the architect is consulted and a diversion in the path is found suitable. The result, though is spectacular. An ever increasing gratitude and willingness to embrace the mystery of this mortal sentence is uncovered.

 

I am so blessed to be alive, willing and able to feel and express how lucky I am to be here. I wanted to be different than I was. I surrendered, asked for help performed the demolition, evaluated what was of any use, repaired the fractures in my relationships and am growing up.

Merry Christmas the wait is nearly over and All you have needed and will ever need is inside you right now. If only for the obstructions built by self-will. Ask for and accept help…Cry Out! Help is only too ready to assist.

Do you know the difference?

Allow me to introduce you to the Yellow Jacket Wasp.

Profanity Warning!

These little bastards are fucking mean! They are considered to be beneficial because they eat other insects like mosquitoes, apids and the like. I have become acquainted with them, quite painfully 6 times in the past week.

Yellowjacket.Mostly.Dorsal
Yellow Jacket

They will defend the colony very aggressively. A giant, pushing/chasing a lawnmower over the nest is to be attacked mercilessly. The sting is painful initially leaving a sharp ache the rest of the day.

MDAgroundnests
Ground-nesting insects

When the ache subsides, what you are left with is not unlike a large mosquito bite that itches for a week or more. I am amazed at the tenacity and courage of these little fuckers. Imagine giving your life trying to kill a creature several thousand times your size to defend the queen and her brood.

What I have learned.

  1. They only nest annually
  2. Only the inseminated queen survives the cold winters (not sure how I don’t care)
  3. She starts a new colony in spring
  4. Late summer the nest is at its highest density (ah now I am beginning to understand)
  5. Upon discovery stay away, let them settle down and take another pass if necessary.

The Takeaway. I have a profound curiosity for all of God’s creatures. There is something to be learned from nature that I can apply to the miracle of life and existence.

Courage, what are you willing to give your life for? Survival of a representative republic?(that’s a worthy blog post by itself) Tenacity, How adamant are you about your faith? I feel I could be better. Defense of your family. I know I can be hard on them, but I only want what’s best and will expect the same in return.

God bless all of you and thank you for reading to the end.

Vindictive

chinese_symbols_for_vindictive_8935_2_22
Chinese symbols for vindictive

I can no longer endure the psychic pain of resentment. I must be rid of it as soon as it becomes evident in my thought. “resentment is like me taking poison and hoping someone else dies”. -Unknown

 

To be rid of it

  1. Consider the person, place, thing or situation.
  2. What happened
  3. Consider how this affects me and other relationships
  4. Where had I been selfish, dishonest, inconsiderate? Where if any had I hurt them. Did I arouse issues?

I write this down if possible, there is a certain magic in writing with pen/pencil and paper and holding it in my hands to be relieved of this discomfort.

I will then take time, to wish them loving kindness, that they will be relieved of suffering and the root of it.

I can now carry on my way, shedding my qualms like a loose garment.

images from Google images

 

There’s always room for improvement!

And boy, do I have some. Astronomical in size comes to mind. What brought this on? One might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. If you have been following along, you know of my desire to help. Well, it has become painfully apparent that I can do more.

Through reading blogs, scripture, news and so on. The question arises, what have you done for “the least of mine”. Not a lot I must admit. Lately, though I have given some dollars to those requesting “anything helps” at intersections.

I had, in the past, thought that these people were actually just doing this for their job and that they probably made more money than I do. Upon reflection, I found within that this was devoid of compassion.

it's here
Like it or not-Fall is upon us

Another area in my sorted life, where I find room for improvement is in refraining from the judgment of others. This has been brought about reading from Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island “If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity…We must somehow strip ourselves of our greatest illusions about ourselves, frankly recognize in how many ways we are unlovable, descend into the depths of our being until we come to the basic reality that is in us, and learn to see that we are lovable after all in spite of everything”, and that we are loved precisely because of our flaws.

As I emerge from the other side, I am better able to love, any and all. And, most important understand.