Poem of the Week: What to Do, by Joyce Sutphen via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

What to Do, by Joyce Sutphen


Wake up early, before the lights come on
in the houses on a street that was once
a farmer’s field at the edge of a marsh.

Wander from room to room, hoping to find
words that could be enough to keep the soul
alive, words that might be useful or kind

in a world that is more wasteful and cruel
every day. Remind us that we are
like grass that fades, fleeting clouds in the sky,

and then give us just one of those moments
when we were paying attention, when we gave
up everything to see the world in

a grain of sand or to behold
a rainbow in the sky, the heart
leaping up.

For more information about Joyce Sutphen, please click here.
alisonmcghee.com

A big thanks to Alison for finding and sharing these beautiful poems.

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Yummy Pad Thai

I’ve experimented with a few Pad Thai recipes and this one is simple, flavourful. The recipe is from a site called “Tastes Better From Scratch” that’s got loads of great recipes. I’ve made this a few times now and it’s been great each time. You can find a more detailed post here.

Picture from Tastes Better From Scratch

Ingredients

  • ▢ 8 ounces flat rice noodles
  • ▢ 3 Tablespoons oil
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • ▢ 8 ounces uncooked shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu , cut into small pieces
  • ▢ 2 eggs
  • ▢ 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • ▢ 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
  • ▢ 3 green onions , chopped
  • ▢ 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • ▢ 2 limes
  • ▢ 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro , chopped

For the Pad Thai sauce:

  • ▢ 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • ▢ 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ▢ 5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ▢ 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar * see note
  • ▢ 1 Tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce , or more, to taste
  • ▢ 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter , optional
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender.  Rinse under cold water.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shrimp, chicken or tofu, garlic and bell pepper. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken, cook until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, flipping only once.
  • Push everything to the side of the pan. Add a little more oil and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook.
  • Add noodles, sauce, bean sprouts and peanuts to the pan (reserving some peanuts for topping at the end). Toss everything to combine.
  • Top with green onions, extra peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Serve immediately!

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Poem of the Week: Things My Son Should Know After I’ve Died, by Brian Trimboli via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

 was young once. I dug holes
near a canal and almost drowned.
I filled notebooks with words
as carefully as a hunter loads his shotgun.
I had a father also, and I came second to an addiction.
I spent a summer swallowing seeds
and nothing ever grew in my stomach.
Every woman I kissed,
I kissed as if I loved her.
My left and right hands were rival.
After I hit puberty, I was kicked out of my parents’ house
at least twice a year. No matter when you receive this
there was music playing now.
Your grandfather isn’t
my father. I chose to do something with my life
that I knew I could fail at.
I spent my whole life walking
and hid such colorful wings.

For more information about Brian Trimboli, please click here.
alisonmcghee.com

Thank you Alison for these poems.

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Poem of the Week: Antidotes to Fear of Death, by Rebecca Elson via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Antidotes to Fear of Death, by Rebecca Elson

Sometimes as an antidote
to fear of death,
I eat the stars.

Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
til they are all, all inside me,
pepper hot and sharp.

Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
into a universe still young,
still warm as blood:

No outer space, just space,
the light of all the not yet stars
drifting like a bright mist,
and all of us, and everything
already there
but unconstrained by form.

And sometime it’s enough
to lie down here on earth
beside our long ancestral bones:

to walk across the cobble fields
of our discarded skulls,
each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
thinking: whatever left these husks
flew off on bright wings.

For more information on Rebecca Elson, please read her fascinating obituary.
alisonmcghee.com
Words by Winter: my new podcast

Thanks so much to Alison for curating these beautiful poems.

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Happy New Year

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January 1, 2021 · 1:10 am

Tomato Coconut Curry with Cod

My sister and her boyfriend gave this recipe to me as a part of my birthday present. I must say, I’ve made it at least a dozen times since then. It’s super easy, and really yummy. You can find a collection of their discerning recipes on this website right here.

This photo comes from Epicurious also a great food website:)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup mild red curry paste
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (5.4-oz.) can coconut cream
  • 4 (5-oz.) skinless, boneless cod fillets, patted dry
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour oil into a large wide saucepan and add shallot. Set over medium-high and cook, shaking pan often, until shallot is golden brown, 3–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot to paper towels to drain; season with 1/2 tsp. salt.
  2. Return pan with oil to medium-high heat and add ginger and curry paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until paste begins to stick to pan, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to burst and curry just starts to stick to pan, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Season fish fillets all over with 1 tsp. salt and arrange over tomato mixture. Transfer pan to oven and bake until flesh is opaque all the way through, firm to the touch, and easily flakes when thickest part is pierced with a paring knife, 18–22 minutes.
  4. Transfer fish and curry to a platter. Toss basil with lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Scatter over curry. Top with crispy shallots.

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Dr. Jane Goodall asks for Lucy the Elephant to be sent to Tennessee elephant sanctuary

Lucy the elephant has lived her life through frigid winters, isolated at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The amazing Dr, Jane Goodall taught us all that animals are intelligent, emotional, and social beings. Now, she’s asking Edmonton Mayor, Don Iveson and the Edmonton City Council to give Lucy the chance to retire to a sanctuary. Watch & share her message + tell your MP & Senators to support the Jane Goodall Act, which will create greater protections for animals in captivity, just like Lucy.

Write your letter to your MP here.  janegoodall.ca/lucy-the-elephant

Read press release here.

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Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon, and Oregano via Epicurious

This recipe by GLAIA KREMEZI is fantastic.

  • 3  pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat with the oil.
  3. Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add the stock, toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you like, preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano and serve at once.

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Poem of the Week: Gravity by Kim Addonizio via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Gravity, by Kim Addonizio

Carrying my daughter to bed
I remember how light she once was,
no more than a husk in my arms.
There was a time I could not put her down,
so frantic was her crying if I tried
to pry her from me, so I held her
for hours at night, walking up and down the hall,
willing her to fall asleep. She’d grow quiet,
pressed against me, her small being alert
to each sound, the tension in my arms, she’d take
my nipple and gaze up at me,
blinking back fatigue she’d fight whatever terror
waited beyond my body in her dark crib. Now
that she’s so heavy I stagger beneath her,
she slips easily from me, down
into her own dreaming. I stand over her bed,
fixed there like a second, dimmer star,
though the stars are not fixed: someone
once carried the weight of my life.

For more information about Kim Addonizio, please click here.
A big thanks to Alison for the beautiful poems.
alisonmcghee.com
Words by Winter: my new podcast

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Skillet Enchiladadas with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

Yum, yum, yum, yum. This is super easy and ridiculously delicious. Thanks to Ambitious Kitchen for this one.

A healthy vegetarian Mexican-inspired dinner — butternut squash and black bean enchilada skillet. Ready in less than 30 minutes! 13g fiber & 16g protein per serving!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch-diced, peeled butternut squash (from about a 2-lb. squash)
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 yellow corn tortillas, cut into thick strips
  • 1-15 ounce can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup reduced-fat colby jack or mexican cheese (or whatever you prefer), divided
  • cilantro and low-fat sour cream, for serving

Instructions:

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large oven-proof skillet. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add cubed squash, cumin and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is slightly tender, 10-13 minutes. You want the squash to be fork tender, but not so tender that it starts to fall apart and become mush.

Next add the black beans, corn tortilla pieces, and can of enchilada sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and sprinkle in 1/2 cup of cheese. Stir again and simmer for a few minutes. Turn on your oven broiler to high. Sprinkle an additional 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the enchilada mixture and place in oven under broiler for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts and tortilla edges become a tiny golden brown. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Feel free to add in cilantro. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, or hot sauce! Enjoy!

In full disclosure, I didn’t add the corn chips to the mixture. I add everything except the chips, grill it and then serve with wraps.

Check out Ambitious Kitchen for more delicious recipes!

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