Saturday 31 May 2008

In Loving Memory . . .

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on the snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken,in the morning's hush,

I am the soft uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I did not die."
~Author Unknown

Two years ago today, my beloved Aunt Freda went on ahead to the other side. (She is the one holding me in the above picture.) I could not let today pass without saying how much I miss her. Friend, Sister, Mother, Wife, Daughter . . . she was all things to many people and much beloved by any who were privileged enough to know her. You could tell her anything, and she would never judge you . . . she was always ready to listen. She loved a good laugh and you could always count on her to have a funny joke to share, or two or three. At her table there was always room for one more, just like her heart . . . it also knew no bounds, there was always room for one more in there as well. There are times when I feel her around me and I know she's watching over me still. Aunt Freda, I miss you each and every day, and always will . . . til we meet again.

Rhondi of Rose Colored Glasses is hosting a Front Porch party on June 5th! What a wonderful idea! If you want to participate, all you have to do is leave a comment on her blog anytime between now and next Thursday, and then on the 5th, post some pictures on your blog of your front porch, and she'll include links to your blog on that day so we can all visit each other. If you don't have a front porch, perhaps you have pictures of the front porch you've always dreamed of having? Whatever! I think it's a lovely idea and I plan on participating. Come on and join in on the party, it should be a lot of fun!

A few years ago they did a program on the telly over here, where they were searching and interviewing people about Britain's favourite food dish. Not surprisingly, Fish and Chips was very high on the list, as was the traditional Sunday Roast. Interesting enough, curry also featured amongst the top ten favourite dishes. I'm not surprised really. I think I had only had it once in my lifetime prior to coming over here in the year 2000, but I soon became hooked once I arrived in the UK and have been a curry lover ever since. It's one of those dishes that you just find yourself craving every couple of weeks or so. You can buy it in cans over here just like soup. It also figures very prominently in the ready meals section of the chiller cabinets in supermarkets. Supermarkets have large sections of their stores dedicated to the stuff and you can choose from numerous varieties of jarred sauces and condiments, and kits to buy so you can go home and make an almost homemade version in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Nothing beats one made at home from scratch though, and this is one of my favourite versions. I confess, I'm not a vindaloo kind of girl . . . I prefer mild curries like a Korma. I don't mind a little hint of a bite, but I don't want it to reach out and grab you by the throat! This is my adaption of a recipe I found in a John Burton Race cookery book. It's just mild enough to please me with just a touch of heat.

*Kids' Chicken Curry*
Serves 4

Okay so I'm a curry wus . . . a pansy. It's ok . . . I put my hand up! This is a tasty yet mild curry, and if you want more heat you can easily add more heat. It's up to you. As for me, I prefer to bite my curry and not have it bite me back!

1.5 kg chicken, cut into eight pieces
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into fine dice
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger-root, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 TBS tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1 TBS mild curry powder or curry paste (korma)
1 TBS hot curry powder or curry paste (Madras) more or less to taste
1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
200ml coconut milk
250ml chicken stock
1 TBS mango chutney

Pre-heat the oven to 220*C/450*F. I like to remove all the skin and fat from my chicken. You may leave it on if you wish, but I prefer it without it.

Heat a large skillet. Add half of the vegetable oil and fry the chicken in it, turning it frequently until it is nicely browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. Place in large casserole dish. (choose one that has a lid) Set aside.

Add the onions, apple, garlic, ginger and peppers to the dripping in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes over a high heat, stirring constantly so that it doesn't catch. Stir in the curry powders or pastes, along with the cumin. Add the cinnamon stick and the coconut milk and bring to a boil, stirring. Stir in the mango chutney and chicken stock. Bring back to the boil and then pour it over the chicken in the casserole. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Take it out and give it a stir, then return it to the oven and cook it for a further 30 minutes.

You may serve it now if you wish, but I prefer to leave it to cool, then remove and discard all the bones. I then chill it in the refrigerator over night, covered of course. If anything the flavour improves and gets even tastier.

You can serve this with traditional garnishes if you want . . . sliced bananas, boiled egg quarters, red onion rings, mango chutney and sliced fresh tomatoes . . . or you can be like me and serve it simply with some rice pilau and naan bread to soak up all the delicious sauce. Whichever you choose, I am sure this will become a family favourite.


  1. It is hard when someone dear passes away. I believe that the veil is thinner than we realize and that our loved ones like your Aunt Freda are often close to us. I think of my mother often and feel her sweet influence. It is a comfort to know that families are forever.

    The missionaries are coming to dinner Sunday. What do you recommend I fix them? I have never fixed a curry dish. Do you think they would like it? It looks good to me.

  2. Looks tasty! Ben's real into curry lately, so I'll have to try it. I know Aunt Freda is smiling down on you!

  3. I have a beloved aunt that I don't see often enough. I know i will be sad when she goes.

    That curry looks delicious - but I am the only one in my house who likes it, apparently. that is ok, I can make it and freeze it!

  4. Lovely memories Marie, I have some persons that are in Heaven how my grand Ma that always mention in my recipes, a friend of mine that die to 40s (you may imagine) a lovely person and the best friend, but how you I think they live in us and our memories!! Is strangue but always remember my friend Ely when laugh together of everything!!xx
    But I miss her a lot yet!! Gloria

  5. I'm not into curry half as much as I adore some chicken tikka masala. I could eat that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    A front porch party....I love that picture! I've got to get some hanging baskets...


  6. The Fish and Chips, yes! The curry? Not so much. I mentioned the Porch Party in my journal, and linked from mine to Rhondi's entry. Thanks for telling us about it. What a grand idea... though I don't have a real porch, I'll try to do something. I wrote a new entry today. Come and visit, set a spell! bea

  7. BTW, got any good recipes for scallops? There's a guy who sells fresh fish just down the road from me. He sells scallops, big ones, for $15 a pound.. don't know how that relates to British currency. But I didn't like the texture when I fried them, using only olive oil and Old Bay. Is there a way to cook them so they are firmer and crispier? bea

  8. The curry looks really tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    May God bless Aunt Freda's soul. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  9. Wow! I haven't been online much for a few weeks (working long hours) and I didn't know that you had added music. I love it. I don't know the particular song that's playing but I like it a lot. How cool! I also love the poem that you posted; I found it a few years back and it gave me much comfort in thinking of the people in my life who have passed on to another existence.

    Btw, I love curry dishes. I worked at a Jamaican restaurant as a cook for about six months when I was in my 20s and learned about curry from the owner who taught me how to make all sorts of dishes. I'll definitely try this recipe.

  10. Just reading your post today Marie, brought back lovely memories I have of my beloved brother Alan named after my younger son.
    Your curry is right up my DH alley, he likes it but not to spicy or hot.
    Thanks for a great post and music.

  11. Yummy.... I love curry..... although mild is a must. Any thing more hurts my ulcer!

  12. I will have to try your curry! I love a good curry! :)


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