Over the weekend I, as I am sure many of you, have had a constant stream of thoughts and images around what is happening in Japan running through my mind. It seems so strange that while I worry about my awkward hair length, a teething + independence seeking toddler, and a husband studying for the gmat every night, that there are people without homes who are missing family members; children, husbands, wives. Cities have been destroyed and face a difficult and lengthy recovery, and I complain that a blueberry muffin recipe I am testing has been irrevocably ruined by my mediocre substitutions. It's not unusual, the way I feel. In fact I am willing to bet many of you feel the same.
It's an awkward grieving process that I go through during world calamities like this. At the time of tragedy, I instantly feel closer to those suffering, because I am human and know something of loss, so I empathize to some small degree. But I know I cannot stop living my own life, a life that has not come to a crashing stand still but continues on with a momentum that however lessened, still propels. So I focus on what is immediate, what is most important in my own little world, still enjoying the small moments and not forgetting the greater picture. I guess that's what really helps me cope with these tragic moments, knowing, seeking, and remembering the bigger picture.
what can you see of it?
I may not always talk about world tragedies, because I usually do not know what to say. But I do grieve, in my own personal way and know that aid in any way helps. If you are interested, here are a few ways you can help.
American Red Cross
US Fund for UNICEF
good advice on giving responsibly + a list of charities to give to
more good advice about giving responsibly
because it has been mostly cloudy and cool the last few days, we made soup.
pappa al pomodoro with lentils and root vegetables
3 celery sticks, chopped
1 yellow onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
a pinch each of dried marjoram and sage
a handful of fresh parsley
salt and pepper
1 cup french lentils
4 cups (1 quart) dried bits of bread
2 - 28 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
6 cups vegetable/chicken stock or water
3 medium carrots, cubed
1/2 celery root, cubed
1 rutabaga, cubed
a few handfuls of fresh spinach
Sauté the celery, onion and garlic until fragrant and the onion begins to soften. Add the herbs and cook for a few minutes more. Add the lentils and bread and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stock/water, and root vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally to assure no lentils stick to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper - if you use water rather than stock you may have to add a significant amount of salt to bring out the flavor of the soup.
Just before serving and while the soup is still hot, throw in a few handfuls of fresh spinach and stir in until they wilt. This will assure they keep their color and a very small hint of that fresh crunch rather than turn to mush.
Serve with fresh parsley, creme fraiche or yogurt, and homemade croutons :: cube bread, toss with olive oil, then broil (watching very closely!!) turning until golden.
wishing you well + happiness.