Thursday, February 26, 2009


the way that the world smells right when the rain starts on a dry day?
I's one of the most wonderful scents in the world. Fragrant, dusty and memory-inducing.

Lots of changing things in my life. I need a bit (wee bit) more money so I've applied for a couple of jobs. I think I might have gotten one that is going to be really rewarding. It is being a companion to a lovely, middle-aged woman who has some challenges. I and another woman are set to share this task as a live-ins. I am really looking forward to see what I might be able to add to her life...what I might be able to teach or show her about being independent.
And...I am so looking forward to going back to my job at the nursery. I miss all the wonderful people there and look forward to hanging with them again. Life is good...what can I say.

I have a good recipe from my lovely friend, Dwight...he has a birthday party every year and this and last year he has served this wonderful African sweet potato/peanut soup. I am going to enter that recipe here for your possible interest.

Here it is:
African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans

6 servings

2 t olive oil
1 1/2 Cups chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 C peeled cubed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 Cups cooked beans or 1 16 oz can
1 1/2 cups veggie broth or any broth
1 Cu chopped red bell pepper
1/2 Cup water
1 t grated, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (4 1/2 ounce) can drained, chopped green chilis
3 T creamy peanut butter
3 T chopped dry roasted peanuts
6 lime wedges.

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic; cover and cook for 5 min or until tender.
Place that mixture in a 5 quart slow cooker (or a large stewpot) add all the rest of the ingredients except peanut butter, peanuts and lime wedges. Cook in slow cooker 8 hours or in stewpot until done. Place 1 cup of cooking liquid in a small bowl, add peanut butter stir 'til smooth and then re-add to pot. Serve in bowls and garnish with peanuts and lime wedges.

This recipe comes originally from St. Louis Post dispatch and I thank them because it is delicious.

OK, that's all for tonight. Do try this recipe. It is hearty, delicious and healthy. Great for colder times.

Friday, February 20, 2009


You know, as long as I've been cooking healthy foods, I never realize how intuitively I cook until I'm trying to teach someone to prepare even a simple healthy meal.
This afternoon I'm scheduled to teach a friend how to cook a simple meal. Now I'm thinking, do I cut everything up first and put into little bowls, like they do on TV cooking shows? Do I print out a recipe, even though it is a recipe with maybe 5 or 6 ingredients? I'm sitting here wondering how to be the most effective teacher and still get a meal done early enough in the day so we can enjoy it before 10pm. Hmmm...I'll make it through, I guess.
I am going to teach a favorite soup of mine. It's a wonderful soup for cold times, both emotionally and weatherwise.
It is just potatoes, collard greens, carrots, onions and garlic. That is the whole basis of the soup. Then there's the herbs and any extras that one might feel like throwing in...Ah ha...I see, I really do need to write it down so someone can actually follow it who doesn't know food and cooking all that well. Ah, life is only learning, isn't it. So, I'll try it here:

3 small potatoes, cubed.
1 large onion, cut into medium dice
3-6 garlic cloves,diced
2 med carrots, cut into coins
1 large bunch of collard greens, cut into a chiffonade (thin spaghetti-like strips)
A couple of extra veggies like: 1/2 cup of corn, peas, beets,tofu or pretty much anything you like...or nothing additional.
1 teaspoon of the following: basil, oregano, thyme and sage.
1 Tablespoon of salt or several of tamari soy taste.
A few tablespoons of olive oil.

For the finish of the soup...1 T olive oil, 1 T miso, 2 T balsamic vinegar and 1T nutritional yeast

Sautee the veggies, beginning with the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, in the olive oil. Add the potatoes, carrots and collards then.

Stir around in the pot over medium heat for a few minutes...maybe 5 or 10. Then add a couple of quarts of veggie broth or water with a veggie boullion cube and all the herbs and put the top on the pot and allow to simmer for about an hour.
When the soup has been simmering for 15 minutes or so, add a bit of salt, pepper and some tamari. Stir and taste then allow to cook until the veggies are as done as you like.
Just before you want to serve (with about 5 minutes of cooking time left) mix together the finishing ingredients above and add a bit of the hot soup to them...stir until dissolved and put back into the soup. Stir, cook another 5 minutes and then serve with bread or completely by itself.
It is hearty, delicious and comforting for the winter months.
Perhaps I'll add some photos if I can remember to take some.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I went for a three mile walk the other morning and found the darn cutest thing ever. Walking down some street that I've never been on, I encountered a young, natural-looking woman who was walking a beautiful no, not a dog, not a cat but a rooster. This rooster was a multi- colored beauty and reminded me of a day when I was about this young woman's age, living in the country, pretty happy and I was raising a small flock of chickens. I loved the bantams, the couple of silkies, a polish and a few other breeds that I was raising. That was a wonderful time and led me to a life-long love of chickens...not enough to eat them however but as living creatures who have their own reality. I still love the sounds that chickens make as they are scratching around in the early morning chatting with each other in their raspy little voices.
The city of St. Louis allows a family to own four chickens...hmmm...maybe I'll have to look into that.
I only wish I'd had my camera with me cause it was a sweet scene.

Sunday, February 15, 2009



I had such a nice time in Tucson this time. Stayed part time with Suzanne and Michael, friends. They are always wonderful.
Met a new fella to stay with and had the joy of cooking for him. He has a great house, a couple of friendly little poochs and a wonderful view of the mountains.
I thought I'd share some photos of same.
I also stopped in Oklahoma just outside of Oklahoma City at a place called Pops where you can pick up over several hundred kinds of soda. Silly but fun place.


Here is my choice, at least at this time.
After a lot of hours dealing with goDaddy, my website name guys, I've finally decided that instead of spending 80 bucks to get my old name back, I decided to do a new name...sort After all...I'm giving you the info. Well, not really.
I'm just giving this electronic page the info that comes from my head. Nothing too intense, just the thoughts and meanderings or a woman of "a certain age" tsk. tsk.
So, while I have no job to go to to take up my least for awhile...I'll just write. You can read it or you can ignore it. It's all OK.
How about I start this phase of my blog with a poem I've written for this ever-so-sweet weekend...for your enjoyment:

Valentine's Day Evening Song

Shadows fall harmlessly on my neighbor's still-yellow zoysia.
The place where the sky and the earth meet goes all purple and mauve-y.

My wine and cheese await me on my cheerful table.
The music I've put on
seems just right.
I eat and drink alone on this Valentine's Day eve.

I've bought myself roses and purchased supplies for an outrageous dinner tomorrow.
The menu is planned with the likes of a sumptuous pasta and fresh blackberries
dusted with grated dark chocolate. My libation will be my favorite sparkling prosecco.

I wonder...might I be more delighted sharing this with a friend?

I guess I'm not sure. I guess that's why I remain alone.
Alone and not lonely. It's a place to be. A place I could never see me

But here I am.

I go to the kitchen
Spread the silky cheese
on the crispy, brown cracker ,
look out my west-facing window
at the dark purple clouds...

and all I can come up with is this:

Ain't life grand. Ain't life grand.

End of case you did not quite catch that...and I know some of you won't.

So, there you have it. A poem to begin my new time of posting. Hope you'll comment if you feel the desire.