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.

 

The Objective Seems Obvious

I find the writings of Thomas Merton a profound foretaste to what is painfully obvious to me in today’s media and political and cultural discourse.

“A message to Poets” Thomas Merton  February 1964

“COLLECTIVE LIFE is often organized on the basis of cunning, doubt, and guilt. True solidarity is destroyed by the political art of pitting one man against another and the commercial art of estimating all men at a price. On these illusory measurements, men build a world of arbitrary values without life and meaning, full of sterile agitation. To set one man against another, one life against another, one work against another, and to express the measurement in terms of cost or of economic privilege and moral honor is to infect everybody with the deepest metaphysical doubt. Divided and set up against one another for the purpose of evaluation, men immediately acquire the mentality of objects for sale in a slave market. They despair of themselves because they know they have been unfaithful to life and to being, and they no longer find anyone to forgive the infidelity.”

Anthony DeMello
To be unaffected by praise or blame

Hope is not lost!

I have been blessed with the gift of being a drug addict. In being led as a byproduct of despair of epic proportions found a community where every walk of life come together in common search for a remedy for the Hell of active addiction. The differences that would divide us, in the workplace or social setting are forgotten for a common objective.

The recovery, recovering, recovered from whatever affliction is the same. In my opinion is a spiritual malady and the solution is an awakening to the Love that is inside all of us.

“Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will apparently be worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”

That had been my exact experience with the people I encounter in “The recovery community.”

Faith in the Love that surrounds me

I can’t see it, touch it, smell it or hear it. I do know, however, that it is there. I can feel it if I am open and attentive to it. Love is infinite, unbounded and beyond description. I must, if I am to pass it on to those I encounter practice faith in it. Devote my entire being to it continually, perpetually. From that Love comes Forgiveness, Gratitude, Hope and Generosity

I have no use for it.

As I feel the pain, anguish, and despair. I remain silent in solitude.

“But before we come to that which is unspeakable and unthinkable, the spirit hovers on the frontiers of language, wondering whether or not to stay on its own side of the border, in order to have something to bring back to other men. This is a test of those who wish to cross the frontier. If they are not ready to leave their own ideas and their own words behind them, they cannot travel further.” Thomas Merton No Man is an Island

pink

If I had not been broken to the point of utter despair, by the Grace of God. I would have no use for the forgiveness, comfort, and peace available to me from that source. God so loved me,  to allow me to attempt every avenue of escape from my true self and Him that I might, and did collide with reality.

Eagle
Bald Eagle

Now I can fly. Suffer the feelings, without want of escape from them. I can contemplate the peace I have been blessed with and radiate the love, the Perfect Love I can summon when chaos erupts. It is truly available to any and all that find a need for it.

bunch

Remember those for whom you care. Tell them what they mean to you and scatter your love and light, as that is the only solution to dispell Hate and Darkness

What is this S%#t?

I notice this on my way home this afternoon. The evidence of the Saint Paul Police Mounted Patrol is in the neighborhood. This actually brings a smile. I love horses and I enjoy seeing them on their companions patrolling events, like today’s historic homes tour.

HankPriceCowboyb
Officer Hank Price and Cowboy

In other news, I am embarking on a pilgrimage of sorts. It has become painfully apparent the I have no idea, what I want to do. I know I want to help. There is a problem though. I seem to lack passion for anything. I am just finishing No Man is an Island – Thomas Merton and next in the queue is The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho I am praying and meditating on my contribution and the fears I have that interfere with me making a bold move for my own benefit. I will be making updates along the way sharing and soliciting for suggestions and experience from all who care to contribute.

It's here
It’s here!

“You can call it fall if that’s what you please…” Barney Song

I’ll leave you all with that for now except for my musical thought for this post.

RIP Walter

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.