Tuesday, 19 January 2010
The Violinist . . .
I once knew a woman who had been a violinist for a world renowned symphony orchestra. She had played around the world for many years, in many interesting places and in front of many influential and famous people. When I knew her though, she had settled into semi-retirement and was quite happily teaching a few keen and talented pupils.
She confided in me one day as we were sharing a cuppa and a cake together, that, as a youngster, she had hardly dared to hope that she would ever be able to make music her profession. She had grown up in a very poor family, with very little money to spare. The idea of anyone making a living as a musician was quite un-heard of . . . but then, one day, a friend told her of some words that had been spoken by a former American President, Woodrow Wilson.
"He said that you should never allow hope to die. You should 'nurse your dreams and protect them through bad times and tough times to the sunshine and light which always come'. And now," she said . . . . "I'm glad I did!"
I'm glad she did as well. By nursing her dreams she not only made a better life for herself, but a better world for all who had the opportunity to listen to her play, and she was making a better life for those students whom where lucky enough to have her teach them.
Often it is other people's dreams that bring much joy into our own lives. I say never give up. Hang on to your dreams and protect them. You just never know when they will come to fruition, and you just never know who else will be blessed in their doing so.
I decided to make something warming yesterday for our tea. A delicious chili, but a different one. A white chili, so called because all the ingredients in it are pretty much white, well, except for the green chilies. This is an exceptionally flavourful chili and very easy and quick to throw together with the help of tinned beans. If you don't have any tins of roasted green chilies, never fear, just chop up several fresh green chilies and saute them along with the onion and chicken in the first part of the recipe. Use only as many as you can stand and do take care in handling them. Fresh chilies can be quite hot and burn the skin or eyes. I usually wear gloves when I am handling them.
*Creamy White Chili*
Serves 6 to 8
This chili makes a nice change from the red kind with beef. A delicious combination of chicken, green chilies, haricot beans, cream and sour cream. Perfect for a cold winter's day.
1 TBS vegetable oi
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
14 ounce can of chicken broth
2 (15.8 ounce) cans of haricot beans, drained and rinsed
2 (4.5 ounce) tins of chopped green chilies, undrained
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 ounces of sour cream
1 cup of whipping cream
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or medium cheddar cheese
To garnish: coriander sprigs, optional
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and chicken. Saute, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the chicken is done. Stir in the salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook and stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Add the haricot beans, chilies and chicken broth. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and whipping cream and heat through. Spoon into heated bowls and top each serving with some grated cheese and a sprig of coriander if desired. Delicious!
Over on The English Kitchen today are some delicious Rock Cakes. Oh my but these are scrumptious!