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Here's a picture of the actual stew, which I cooked during the blizzard. The recipe follows:

Kassin Harbor Bean Stew

Ingredients:
1 lb (about 400 grams) dried beans, or two large cans.
4 shallots, 2 sweet red peppers, I yam or sweet potato, ½ to 1 bulb fennel.
4-8 oz (100 to 250 grams) salt fish (I’ve used both pollock and cod.)
1-2 tablespoons olive, canola, or good quality oil. 3 or 4 teaspoons curry powder, at least 2 teaspoons cumin, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, a clove or two, hot red pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste. You may substitute an onion for the shallots, green pepper or celery for the fennel, and you may add 1-4 cloves garlic if you like it. The fish is optional, too; you can substitute ground meat or simply make a vegetarian version. Read more...Collapse )

Merry Christmas!

To all who celebrate, and happy New Year to my friends who don't. I'm learning this for one of my choirs,and it's truly a prayer for peace. In this video, the composer is conducting in Belfast Cathedral. May we have peace and may we help to bring it!

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Hunger is a mountain - a writing prompt.

(crossposted from my author page)

Patricia Dunn, author of “Rebels by Accident”, came to our creative writing class last spring and did some really neat writing prompts. This autumn, I tried her method again. One of the prompts was “hunger is a mountain”. This is what I came up with.



Hunger is a Mountain

(A Writing Prompt)


What does this mean? How can a mountain be hungry? It grows and dies so very slowly, and when does it ever eat? What feeds it?

I can’t imagine being in a mountain’s skin. One of the old, metamorphic mountains of New England. Every summer, hordes of tourists and locals climb through its green, damp woods and cross its streams. They are hungry, as the wild creatures are hungry, for the little dark berries that grow on the bushes ringing the mountain’s bald crown. They call it Blueberry Mountain.
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The mountain is generous. It feeds the foxes, the chipmunks, the squirrels, the porcupines and birds and deer and people. The people climb up hopefully and walk down again carrying buckets full of blueberries. Then they eat. They eat blueberry muffins, blueberry dumplings, blueberry turnovers, blueberry pies, blueberries with cream and ice cream. They eat blueberries fresh and frozen and canned. And every time they eat, they think of the mountain and how they’ll go back the next summer and pick blueberries again.

The dragons of Sekkess: a tourist brochure

I went to the Unicorn Writer’s conference on Saturday and had a lot of fun. One excellent class was given by Paul Witcover. He asked us to write a tourist brochure for an imaginary setting, and this is what I came up with.



For those who love the wildest wildlife in our part of the galaxy, Sekkess can't be missed. The gentle, generous and intelligent Sekkessians will be sure to make your stay comfortable. You will live in houses among the treetops, with a clear view of the greenish sky and Sekkess' one small moon. You will hear birdsong and rushing rivers and feast on leni fruit and other delightful Sekkessian cuisine. But the high point of your stay will surely be your first view of a dragon. Sekkessian monitors, or dragons, are three times the size of the monitors on terra, with gorgeous iridescent scales. To view a hunting monitor is an extraordinary experience you will surely never forget. Be sure, however, to attend to your Sekkessian guide at all times and enjoy the dragons from a safe distance. Beautiful and unique though they are, Sekkessian dragons are wild animals and they can be very dangerous. You will be perfectly safe if you stay on the treetop paths or inside your mobile viewing dome.

The Music and the Noise

Or, struggling to get noticed! I'm not sure I have any answers here, but sometimes submitting queries, etc, can seem like throwing stones down a very deep well and waiting for the echo. Or, even more, it can feel like you're jumping up and down, a toddler among a whole room full of toddlers, waving your arms and shrieking, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at MEEEE!"

But, honestly, is that what's happening? I certainly hope not. Yes, there is a lot of noise out there, and yes, we are adding to it. But that's not all we're doing.Read more...Collapse )

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So - having watched the show in its entirety, my sister (the lovely Deirdrea - deirdrej on livejournal) and I are watching episodes here and there, mostly from the fifth season. Among those we saw recently were "Dr. Bashir, I presume" and "The Begotten". And-


I really love Kukalaka! And here is why. It isn't childishness that makes Dr. Bashir hang on to him; at least, not entirely. Little Jules stitched that bear together at the age of 6, as a small, slow, differently abled child. Kukalaka is concrete proof to the good doctor that the child he was is the person he is today. He's still stubborn, determined, capable, and a healer, just as he was as a little boy. The best parts of him were things he already had long before anyone "fixed" him.



And then there's the lovely grandfather/father/child dynamic in "The Begotten". Warning - some spoilers ahead!Read more...Collapse )

Another Sunday Poem-

This came to me while thinking of the tragic arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. I cannot say anything at all about Charleston except that I am praying for the victims and their families.



Hunger

For years, the elder brother
Gulped envy; swallowed bitterness,
Till, at last, he spat them out
In anger,
Forgetting
(As his brother, eating greed and shame
in his pigsty, also forgot),
That there is love enough
To feed everyone.

Books that influenced me-

the books we love most passionately are often books we discover in late childhood or adolescence. Books we read at that age can have an enormous influence on us, too, can’t they? This isn’t a comprehensive list, by any means, but I’d just like to note down here a few books that influenced me.

The first couple of titles will be no surprise at all to anyone who knows me.Read more...Collapse )

C.S. Lewis and current events-

I’m very troubled by what’s happening in the world generally, and in the Middle East in particular, and I’m struggling to understand it. I am posting this now because it is Holy Week, and I think that’s relevant to my understanding.

Amidst all the trouble and bloodshed, a few facts do stand out:Read more...Collapse )
So - we had the book of Job today in Church. That inspired this. I was seriously thinking of trying to send it somewhere, but, because of how it came, I decided to share it instead. It seemed like a gift. Cross-posted to my author blog, and comments are welcome here or there. Enjoy!



And God spoke out of the whirlwind.
God's voice was the silence
In the heart of the whirlwind.
God's silence said this:

I am eternal
Transformation.
I am the fire
In the sun's core.
That flame
Creates all matter.
Its name is love.

Will you burn with me?

(Mary Johnson, February 8, 2015)

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