Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Being Thankful

     Having a moderately reliable signal means I can (attempt to) post moderately regularly! I am truly grateful for this small grace. How silly, isn't it, that I am thankful for the use of an available internet signal? I am of course thankful, deeply thankful, for the things that really count: my children, their good health, my husband, his good health, his love and support; my own health (who wants to be ill?); our home, food on our table, our friends and family; our pets, a tankful of fish whose antics send my littlest one into gales of laughter ten or more times a day. I am thankful for the people who stop in and read my random ramblings...and then come back for more! You all are simply wonderful.  
     Are we being frivolous for wanting more? Or greedy? I truly have all I need (even money. I'd like more, of course, but we have enough to pay our bills and feed our children, and that's more than some people have, sadly.) but I would of course like more: to go back to college and get my BA; the ability to purchase all the books I need to research my newest book project; internet that works with me instead of dropping out just when I need it (or when my kids need it. Poor Henry, trying to do research for history class. Grrr.)
      When do our wants transform from harmless daydreams and wishes to overt greed? Is it when we lose sight of the things that matter, or when we fail to fully appreciate what we have? Perhaps that's when. Of course at that point karma comes along and kicks us in the head to remind us that we should have been grateful for what we had, now we don't even have that much. So thank you, Mother of All, powers that be, Whomever You are, thank you for all You have given me, and I do truly appreciate the extras that You toss my today! Cool, gray, slightly's a spring morning!!!!
   Welcome, welcome, welcome spring! (Yes, I know we are to expect freezing rain grossness tonight into tomorrow, but I'm going to live in the present right now, and revel in the fact that it feels like spring today!) Ostara is next Thursday, and then, whether or not we can see the ground, it will truly be spring. So to everyone, everywhere: be thankful for what you have, dream about more, and when you receive it, remember to say thank you. And happy almost-spring!

This recipe isn't mine (I am woefully incapable of creating recipes...although my tuna and bean casserole is pretty good, and I don't like tuna casserole!) but is taken straight from kitchen maven Nigella Lawson. I've made my usual few changes, but left nothing out. The first time I made this my son Henry approached with trepidation, then polished off three bowls. Yes. 'Tis yum.
 Red Shrimp and Mango Curry

1 scallion, finely diced

1 Tbs diced garlic

1 Tbs olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs Thai red curry paste (1 Tbs, 1 1/2 tsp)

1 c coconut milk

1 c chicken stock

2 tsp fish sauce

2 1/2 c butternut squash AND sweet potato cubes

2 c frozen peeled shrimp (I used more, typical for me)

1 c mango cubes (ditto more)

1 tsp lime juice

3 Tbs chopped cilantro (I went light on this...I don't really care for it, but you definitely want to add it)


* Sauté scallions and garlic in olive oil 1 minute, then add curry paste.

* Whisk in coconut milk, stock and fish sauce and bring to a boil.

* Tip in squash and potatoes and simmer, partly covered, for 15 minutes, until tender.

* Drain shrimp under running water to remove excess ice and add to pan; let sauce come back to a boil.

* Add diced mango and lime juice and cook for another minute or two until the shrimp are cooked through.

* Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve over rice...which of course means you should be making rice right alongside your curry, but start the rice first.

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