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.

4 Comments

Filed under Animal Activism, elephants

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Recipes

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Poem of the Week

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!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Poem of the Week: Ars Poetica, by Aracelis Girmay via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Ars Poetica, by Aracelis Girmay

May the poems be
the little snail’s trail.
 
Everywhere I go,
every inch: quiet record
 
of the foot’s silver prayer.
I lived once.
Thank you.
It was here.

Thanks to Alison for finding and sharing these beautiful poems.

For more information on Aracelis Girmay, please click here.

alisonmcghee.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Poem of the Week

Poem of the Week: The Copper Beech, by Marie Howe via Alison McGhee Poetry Mistress

The Copper Beech, by Marie Howe

Immense, entirely itself,
it wore that yard like a dress,

with limbs low enough for me to enter it
and climb the crooked ladder to where

I could lean against the trunk and practice being alone.

One day, I heard the sound before I saw it, rain fell
darkening the sidewalk.

Sitting close to the center, not very high in the branches,
I heard it hitting the high leaves, and I was happy,

watching it happen without it happening to me.

 

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

For more information about Marie Howe, please check out her website.

My website.

My podcast.

My Facebook page.

@alisonmcgheewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Poem of the Week, Uncategorized

Poem of the Week: Calling Him Back from Layoff, by Bob Hicok via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Calling Him Back from Layoff, by Bob Hicok

I called a man today. After he said
hello and I said hello came a pause
during which it would have been

confusing to say hello again so I said
how are you doing and guess what, he said
fine and wondered aloud how I was

and it turns out I’m OK. He
was on the couch watching cars
painted with ads for Budweiser follow cars

painted with ads for Tide around an oval
that’s a metaphor for life because
most of us run out of gas and settle

for getting drunk in the stands
and shouting at someone in a t-shirt
we want kraut on our dog. I said

he could have his job back and during
the pause that followed his whiskers
scrubbed the mouthpiece clean

and his breath passed in and out
in the tidal fashion popular
with mammals until he broke through

with the words how soon thank you
ohmyGod which crossed his lips and drove
through the wires on the backs of ions

as one long word as one hard prayer
of relief meant to be heard
by the sky. When he began to cry I tried

with the shape of my silence to say
I understood but each confession
of fear and poverty was more awkward

than what you learn in the shower.
After he hung up I went outside and sat
with one hand in the bower of the other

and thought if I turn my head to the left
it changes the song of the oriole
and if I give a job to one stomach other

forks are naked and if tonight a steak
sizzles in his kitchen do the seven
other people staring at their phones

hear?

 

A big thanks to Alison for sharing these heartbreaking poems.

For more information on Bob Hicok, please click here.

To listen to Words by Winter, my new poem and storytelling podcast, click here.

My website.

My Facebook page.

Instagram: @alisonmcgheewriter

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Poem of the Week, Uncategorized

Scallop Tom Kha Thai Soup

I tried this last night and loved it! Of course I changed the recipe and used prawns instead of scallops and added garlic and onion and served it with brown rice. But that was it!  It’s definitely a keeper. Wait a minute I also substituted chicken for veggie stock and I used only one can of coconut.

This was passed on from a friend who found it in Coastal Living magazine.

Unknown.jpeg

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, and discard solids.

Step 2

Return coconut milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil over high. Stir in mushrooms, sambal oelek, lime juice, fish sauce, and honey. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in scallops, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among 6 bowls, and top with remaining 2 tablespoons each basil and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired, and serve immediately.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Asian - Curries, Recipes, Uncategorized

Pandemic Daze: A World Without Crowds

vegas-strip-e1584633437836.jpg
AP Photo credit John Locher

If you had told me earlier this year that cities across the world would look like this, I would have said it couldn’t be possible. Nothing could bring down the inexorable momentum of population growth, a growing economy thirsty for consumers to buy, buy buy and a rapidly urbanized landscape with all of its concommitant issues like traffic congestion, economic hardship for growing numbers of vulnerable people, climate change and so on and so on.

Many of us are extraordinarily lucky to live in countries with healthy economies, working democracies, access to healthcare and social safety nets. But here we are. In a matter of weeks the entire global economy has been brought to its knees, and the economic and social systems we  built to support this wonderful world we have created, have all but collapsed. Inequality, dying democracies, dying social and environmental systems, climate refugees, and piles of garbage we don’t know what to do with. The pandemic has shown us many things but one of them is how fragile this world we built is.

I don’t think it’s ever been more evident how interwoven and interdependent our environment, social and economic systems are. The failure of one signals the failure of the other. The current crisis has revealed deep schisms, that we likely already knew were there but chose to ignore or don’t really know what to about.

How do we put Humpty Dumpty back together again? On a hopeful level I don’t think there has ever been a greater demonstration that the exploitation of wildlife, that incursions and destruction of habitat, that trophy hunting, Chinese traditional medicine with its extensive and unproven use of wildlife for so called medicinal purposes, that wet markets, that all of these combined together are destructive not only to the species that are exploited but for our planet as an ecosystem that includes humans. We are all vulnerable. By connecting the dots we can start telling a different story, and by telling a different story we can collectively create pathways to a better future for all. Part of that story is bridging the economic divide that drives behaviour and part of it is education. Alot of it is political will.

In Canada we know that seniors have been left to languish in private care homes owned in many cases by foreign corporations that have been grossly underserved, leaving many left to die difficult and lonely deaths. This is an opportunity to do something different. Let’s do this differently.

The residents of the homeless tent city in the downtown Eastside have been found temporary homes. Why can’t we find permanent homes for vulnerable people? Why does it take a pandemic?

The money flowing from our federal government coffers shows me one thing. That a guaranteed income for economically disadvantaged people is possible. Let’s keep making that possible.

On a micro level I see how we are digging in to the things that matter most. None of them are involve running to the mall to buy more clothes or stuff but instead staying close to home, embracing really simple things like hanging out together, baking bread (if you can get your hands on yeast), discovering birds, hoping to god that nobody that we know will get COVID19, phoning people to make sure they’re not lonely, and being kind.

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Musing

Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce

My sister introduced me to this and now I can’t stop making it. You can find this and some other fantastic recipes on her website here. For anyone who ever wondered how to make crispy tofu, put the oil away. This is easy, fast and super delicious.  I’m what my brother calls a ‘radical’ cook, a nice way of saying I can’t follow recipes. For this recipe I used tablespoons instead of teaspoons for the marinade.

Happy Eating!

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu (preferably organic, non-GMO)
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • cornstarch

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 ½ tbsp creamy peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Start pressing tofu using a tofu press, or wrap in clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy — like a cast iron skillet or books — on top to press out the moisture. Press for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, prepare peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl and whisking thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
  3. Cut pressed tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and add to a large plate. Top with Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Gently toss to combine using hands or a spoon. Let marinate 2-3 minutes, stirring/tossing occasionally.
  4. Use a slotted spoon or your hands to transfer tofu to a paper bag. Add cornstarch 1 tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer.
  5. Transfer tofu to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping at the 18-minute mark to encourage even baking. It should be firm to the touch, firm on the edges, and slightly browned on the exterior once removed from the oven. Bake slightly longer if needed.
  6. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet (12 inch) over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu and the peanut sauce. Toss to coat. Stirring frequently, sauté the tofu for about 2 minutes, or until the tofu is hot and well coated with peanut sauce.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Asian - Curries, Uncategorized