"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

tried and true . . .

chicken dinnerOne of the tried-and-true favorite dishes i like to make (and we enjoy eating) is teriyaki chicken thighs. I’ve made it using a bottled marinade (Soy Vay.) But it comes out fresher and lighter (less salty) with a marinade I put together about an hour and half before broiling. This goes well for chicken cooked on the first grill of the season too.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Ohsawa soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Billy Bee honey, 2 tablespoons cooking sherry (Holland House); a chopped up fresh green onion and a generous amount of grated fresh ginger root (on a box grater.) It will smell heavenly.marinating chicken

Rinse the chicken thighs under cold water and dry each one thoroughly with paper towels. I always do this and do not take the pieces directly from vacuum packaging to the marinade. No excess water should be left on the pieces because it dilutes the marinade. I cover the marinating chicken with a plate on top of the bowl at room temperature for about an hour or so.

To cook, heat the broiler to high and place the oven rack a third of the way down from the broiler. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and spray with Pam. The pan should hold the number of thighs you are cooking so that they are close enough for the juices to run together but not so far apart that the pieces dry out during cooking. If the pan is too close to the heat source, it burns rather than cooking the chicken; if it’s too far away, you’ll be drying out the chicken rather than crisping it up. Take a look part way through and check this proportion of space and the level of heat you’re getting from your broiler.

Broiling chicken takes a little closer watching than baking, but with the soy marinade, baking can sometimes dry out the meat too quickly. I just keep an eye on broiling chicken while I’m cooking the rest of the meal.mushrooms and zucchini

zucchini and onionWith it, I like to serve sauteed zucchini with a half an onion sliced diagonally in slivers. I use olive oil and sprinkle the cooked squash with a little Maldon salt. Tonight I’m also going to cook up a packet of Minnesota wild rice (Carolina brand) with big bits of button mushrooms browned in a little unsalted butter, then added on top of the wild rice once the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. It’s Sunday, after all, right? Now, all I have to do is get to my walker in order to find the rice in the pantry.

Even though it sounds like a straightforward meal to put together, I’m lucky to have G. help me with various steps, washing pots and bowls as they are emptied, taking hot food off the burners and serving it onto our dinner plates. He’s had a number of piano moves and tunings today so it’s been a full day of work for him.

It’s nice to finally sit down to a tried-and-true meal together on a sunny, windy Spring night.

wild rice and mushrooms






magical thinking . . .

DSC_5591_2Magical thinking may lead people to believe that their thoughts by themselves can bring about effects in the world or that thinking something corresponds with doing it.[1] It is a type of causal reasoning or causal fallacy that looks for meaningful relationships of grouped phenomena (coincidence) between acts and events.

I don’t know about you but magical thinking permeates my life, at least lately. So many coincidental things have happened. It reminds me again of what people call “New Age” frame of mind: that there are Helpers in the Universe and all you have to do is to acknowledge you need help, ask for it even if it’s not out loud so anyone can hear you doing it, and somehow, help arrives in unseen ways.

From last Sunday to today, serendipitous things have happened too numerous to count: a repair was done on my laptop under a warranty I didn’t know I had; something of value that was thought to be lost suddenly reappeared. And greatly needed help surfaced in a situation that was permeated with bad energy and felt like a dead end.

I don’t know what magical thinking may have had to do with all of these situations, but it feels to me like there is a script somewhere that we can’t read ahead of time. In our American culture, it’s easy to think that if only we (fill in the blanks) that things will change for the better in time. Sometimes it takes a very long time. And sometimes, something happens that decimates all the things that you think you can’t solve or change.

That’s what has happened with my ankle injury in February. Suddenly, my priorities were a) how to get a good night’s sleep with a heavy cast on my leg; b)getting to the bathroom when I needed it; and c)making sure that I did everything for my ankle to heal, noticing how touching the caring ministrations of my husband, daughters and friends have been through it all.

Gratitude has a lot to do with the amount of magical dust that sprinkles itself into one’s life I think. Hardship is another factor too. I believe (and maybe this is my own brand of magical thinking,) that no matter how dark it appears to be before the dawn, that it’s important to apply oneself, to be honest with oneself and to do one’s best to get through hard times no matter how bad, sad or bereft one becomes at the seeming hopelessness of it all. Is that what is known as faith?

Help sometimes arrives years later than we wished for it. Timing is not up to us, God knows. In hindsight when looking back on my own life, events took their time coming together before the jigsaw puzzle pieces fell in place and then readjusted themselves.

Being in the moment is all we have. Most of what we berate ourselves about is small stuff in the grand scheme of things. If it has taken weeks of being bedridden to learn this lesson, it has certainly been worth it.

Thanks to all my helpers, seen and unseen!