Saturday, 19 January 2013

Pet Turkey Memoir Beside Spicy Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

Hello friend,
Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year! We are already a couple of weeks into 2013 and I don’t know about you but I am still making great efforts to implement my New Year’s Resolutions. I admit to already having a bit of slippage on a couple – walk at least four times weekly (did great the first week but nothing since, and now I am snowed in, ooh er); and in tandem with that eat low GI / GL (also have a sweet tooth and been finishing up Christmas goodies).  But, I have prepared and sent out a Newsletter – so I’ve kept that resolution. And here I am writing a blog post – another Resolution kept (so far).

I prayed for a way to keep on track with blog posts and I now plan to invite * Guest Bloggers! I hope that you will enjoy the variety of content on this blog and keep checking back for new posts. The essence of this blog is: +Christian Living and Writing – body, mind and spirit.  Expect encouraging info and articles covering a lot of ground including: Creative Writing, Beauty, Health & Fitness, and Personal & Spiritual Development.

And so, dear friend, if you have something to contribute that will fit into that broad framework please do get in touch…

Having been a vegetarian for many years I have enjoyed experimenting with recipes – adapting, dabbling, and mixing things up. I am a great lover of Greek food - the Mediterranean diet is famous for its health-giving ingredients – which I now concoct from ingredients found in Wales.  Over the coming posts I will be sharing these with you. They are tasty, quick and easy recipes either vegetarian or vegan which I hope you will enjoy. As I am now experimenting with cooking on my wood burning stove I will offer two cooking methods for many – classic and wood burner. See my first offering – Vegan Red Lentil and Sweet Potato soup – smooth, lightly spiced and colourful - below
Guest Blog.

Guest Blog

Guest Blogger is Lisa Barrow, author and labyrinth expert who lives on Long Island, New York

Snaggle the Turkey Was My Beloved Pet
By Lisa Barrow


When we think of Turkeys we think of holidays and turkey soup.  Or, we hear about how "stupid" turkeys are.  I have heard on several occasions, "Turkeys are so dumb, that they tilt up their heads and open their mouths when it rains, and then they drown..."   True or not....my Snaggle would never do something as strange as that.

Snaggle was the head fowl on our property, overseeing the chickens, roosters, his beautiful white feathered wife, and my young child. His head, usually a pale sky blue, would turn purple with annoyance or anger if we were going against the farm "rules". 

Upon my rising early in the morning, and venturing downstairs to the kitchen to start another day, outside the glass sliding doors, there would be Snaggle, resting on his chest, feet tucked under, awaiting my son who was five years old at the time, to come out to play in the yard.  As soon as Jordon would be dressed, and allowed outside, Snaggle would be in loyal pursuit, following in his footsteps as I did the regular household chores. If I heard excessive gobbling, I'd go outside, only to witness Jordon climbing on a big mound of soil that was dug by the back hoe, or into other mischief.  Snaggle let me know if any mishap could happen.

If my mother would come by to take Jordon for the day...Snaggle and his white feathered bride, and the guinea hens, would jump on the car, and chase it down the dirt road.....as one of their 'flock' was being apprehended.

When evening would fall, Snaggle would spread his wings, and moving them to and fro, would herd the chickens into their coop for the night, and then turn his attention to us, herding our family into the home, as he knew it to be our "coop". To humor him, we would obediently retreat.

Snaggle eventually died, ironically on Thanksgiving Day.  Not by hatchet, or other means of turkey kill, but from defending our homestead from a large neighborhood dog, protecting his wife, and our chickens while we were away for the day.  Footprints of dog and fowl told the tale of the battle, and Snaggle's beautiful bride laid still and deceased in the side yard.  His steps were traced to the coop, where he dragged himself, up onto his shelf. He breathing was shallow and he was dying.  And die, he did.  The loss was unthinkable. Our family's heart was broken.

After burying Snaggle, I picked up his feathers that were strewn from his tail around the crime scene.
I keep them to this day, passing them out over the years to my son whenever bravery was needed in school, or other settings.  And I still do use them. 

Asking myself...am I as brave, diligent, loyal, and loving as this turkey?  Snaggle never called in sick, he never took a day and said..."Oh I think I need some time away or time off", and he didn't run in the face of a life-challenge.  He never hid his true feelings or emotions.  He cared about what was truly important, and protected what he felt was truly precious.  Still today, I have a glass containing still some of Snaggle's feathers, and ten years ago wove one of his feathers into a house charm that hangs on my wall in my kitchen.

So much, I wish I had been home that day to help my dear companion.  His memory, and what he taught me will be with me for the rest of my life.

I want to live up to what HE was.  And I fall short. My love goes with you, Snaggle, and I know my family felt the same way.  I love you still. []

Lisa Barrrow, a.k.a. +Lisa Acor Laurel is a contributing monthly writer for The Spiritual-Renewal Center, and author of Love in the Gardens of Macantar; A Spiritual Journey of Healing from Codependency and Relationship Addiction. She builds labyrinths and teaches labyrinth workshops, and owns Sacred Spaces Organic Gardening, living on Long Island, New York, with her son and two dogs. Google her at: www.addictedtorelationships.com.

Comment from Teresa
Thank you Lisa for this thought-provoking tale that clearly reveals the nature of a turkey which most of us can identify with – if we choose to…

For a tasty recipe without cruelty please read on… 

Vegan recipe: Spicy Red Lentil and Sweet Potato
1 large white onion – roughly chopped
1 large sweet potato – peeled and diced
1 litre (1¾ pt) vegetable stock (fresh or made with 4 stock cubes)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
500 g (18 oz) red lentils
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cayenne pepper to taste
Paprika

Method
Steam fry onion over a medium heat until soft in a little stock or water - stir continually and add extra liquid to prevent sticking
Stir in cumin and turmeric and mix in well

Put lentils, sweet potatoes and stock into a saucepan. Add the onions and simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils tender. (If cooking on wood burner cover with tight fitting lid and slow cook until lentils tender - could take hours depending on amount of fuel used, etc.)

Allow to cool slightly then add lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper and blend until smooth. Before serving, lightly sprinkle bowls of steaming soup with paprika. Enjoy with crusty bread and a green side salad for a wholesome and filling winter-warming meal.

Invitation to be my next * Guest Blogger: If you have an idea for a post that fits into the broad scope outlined above please contact me on: teresa@teresaodriscoll.co.uk


I welcome your comments on the above.


Coming next: Coronation Street will be moved to the new time-slot of…6 am!

Vegan recipe: Leek, Potato & Cannellini Bean Stew.