Monday, 13 December 2010
Thoughts on Friends . . .
It's not until you strip it of it's leaves, that you can truly see the peculiar characteristics of individual trees . . . the massive and generous bough structure of the Beech tree . . . the majesty of the great Oak . . . the straightness of the Larch . . . the grace of the Birch . . . each unique and beautiful in their own ways.
It occurs to me this moring that it is the same with our friends. It's not until we have stripped off our outer facade and shared pieces of our hearts with each other that we truly see each other as we really are.
It is when the winter comes . . . and the big winds blow . . . that superficialities and pretence are swept away, and we see the bare bones of true affection in all it's strength and beauty.
A friend is someone who loves you despite your faults and weaknesses and who helps to bolster you up when the big winds blow and the winter comes . . . like a tree devoid of it's summer leaf . . . they can see your branches and the beauty that lies in your uniqueness, and indeed they celebrate it.
I am very grateful for the friendships in my life, and I am truly a blessed woman who can count many people as being my friends. Some are real and tangible and I can see them often, for they are close to hand. Other's are invisible and live far away, but they are no less tangible or important . . . for I have felt the touch of their hearts upon my life and that is too a beautiful thing.
"You meet your friend,
Your face brightens . . .
You have struck gold"
Today I offer a special prayer of thanksgiving for all the friends in my life. You know who you are, and know also that I love each one of you dearly.
One of the things I discovered, after coming over here to the UK was Curry. It was not something we ate a lot of where I come from in Canada, the only Indians there being North American Indians . . . and they didn’t eat curries . . . Pemmican and Bannock being more to their tastes. I have fallen in love with curry and East Indian food. I made this lovely curry for our supper last night and am looking forward to having the leftovers for our lunch today . . . as anyone knows with these types of things, it can only taste better for having sat over night . . .
*Sautéed Chicken Curry*
I love cooking with chicken breasts. They can happily accept many flavours and I love coming up with new ways of preparation. I think this is a delicious experiment of mine that I will be repeating often! You needn't serve this curry with anything more than some plain steamed basmati rice, and maybe a steamed green vegetable on the side. It really is delicious!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS butter
2 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 fat cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS curry powder (I use a medium strength)
1 TBS peeled and grated fresh gingerroot
The grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup hot chicken broth
2 heaping TBS mango chutney
1 TBS chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 TBS chopped fresh mint
½ cup lightly toasted cashew nuts
Thinly slice the chicken breasts lengthwise and then again in half so that you end up with four thin pieces from each. Season well with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot and the butter sizzles. Toss in the chicken pieces and brown them well on both sides. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Reducing the heat sauté the onion, stirring until tender and translucent. Thisshould take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute longer, taking care not to brown it as this makes it bitter. Add the curry powder, orange zest, ginger and orange juice, stirring to scrap up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes to reduce somewhat and then return the chicken to the pan, simmering for 3 minutes or so to cook through. Stir in the chutney and sprinkle with the coriander, mint and cashew nuts before serving.
Serve hot with some steamed or pilau rice on the side and some naan bread to sop up all that lovely sauce.
If a curry's not to your taste, check out the Sticky Pork Filet with Balsamic Onions over in The English Kitchen!