Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Promise

Today, when I pulled my twice-recalled-by-GM car into the driveway of my current home, with tears on my face about current turmoils and trials, a rainbow appeared in the fantastic blue and grey and rose-colored sunset clouds. It landed right over the house in the thunderstormy, early-summer sky, and my first reaction was anger.

My life doesn't look like the one I thought it would. I'm sad, and the rainbow, which represents promise, seems like a very mockery of my current and ongoing heartbreaks. 

And then I remember the poem about promise I've had posted beneath my mirror so that  I read it every morning and every evening as I brush my teeth:

you promised.

well actually, you didn't promise very much, did you?

But you promised to be faithful, and not to let me fail beyond your forgiveness of my failures.

In common temptation, you promised that I would not be tempted more than I am able.

You promised not to lead me into temptation beyond my strength. 

And YOU - YOURSELF - are my refuge in temptation.

My escape from the pit - and THAT is enough. 

So that I can bear more than I thought I could bear



For THINE is the kingdom - and other great "fors";


THIS is what you promised.

It is enough.
It is everything.

-excerpted from Madeleine L'Engle's "The Promise"

Monday, May 5, 2014

Magic Chicken Soup

I was home this weekend for the first time in about 2 months. I left home only twice: once  to pick up groceries, and once to deliver Magic Chicken Soup to my culture-care family members Luz and Cole Bratcher, who were hit by the Nasty Cold truck this weekend.

I just ate some leftovers for lunch, and I'm not messing around, this soup is Magic--and it's entirely gluten-free, too. 

1- Organic Rotisserie Chicken (got mine from safeway. You don't have to go organic, but when I'm making broth from the bones, I prefer them to be extra-healthy)

2- whole carrots

3-stalks celery

1-sweet yellow onion

2-large leeks, the white-to-light green parts

1-bunch italian flat-leaf parsley

2 TB fresh Thyme leaves

1 TB fresh rosemary leaves

3 TB fresh grated ginger root

1 whole lemon, juiced

3 cloves fresh garlic

1 dried serrano pepper, flaked (or 1/4 tsp red  pepper flakes)


1 cup chardonnay (if you prefer not to taste the wine, use a lighter white wine)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Put the whole chicken into the the pot, cover with water and boil until you've got a good broth. let cool, then remove most of the meat from the chicken and set aside. Add the carcass, skin and bones back to the pot, add more water, and boil again for 30-45 minutes.

2. With 2-3 TB EVOO, sautee onions and garlic until transparent. Add chopped celery, carrot, and leeks, sautee and stir constantly. when most of the moisture is gone and the onions are soft and melty, add 3/4 cup of the wine to deglaze and remove from heat.

3. Once the broth is extracted, strain broth into a bowl and discard the chicken bones, skin, and fat. Chop the chicken meat finely and add the meat, broth, and the sauteed vegetables back to the pot. Cook on medium heat. 

4. Add the parsley, thyme, rosemary, pepper or pepper flakes, and grated ginger.  cook for 15-20 minutes on medium heat until greens are soft. If the broth is tasting dull, add a little sea salt and black pepper.

5. Add the last 1/4 cup of wine, and the lemon juice, cook for another 15 minutes until flavors are blended. Adding just a bit of wine and the lemon at the end (in addition to the ginger kick) really brightens up the flavor and makes it taste springy.