Friday, January 21, 2011

Ground Turkey and George Foreman

I once had a Turkey burger in a restaurant and it was OK, but not great. We’re trying to eat healthy and delicious.

Whenever I would hear people talk about the George Foreman grilling Machine, I rolled my eyes. I thought it was just another gadget to own. Well, even when I reject something, I am still fair and give something a try before my final judgment. We did buy one—the small version for two. I tried to justify all the reasons in my mind of why this could be a good thing. I also had a George Foreman grilling cookbook with recipes. The book was given to me some time ago. This was the impetus behind the purchase.

A month later, and I’m having my doubts. As I suspected, it’s a bit of a pain to clean. It’s time consuming and if I use honey in a sauce to pore over the meat, it is even harder to scrape off the grill. You cannot submerse the grill in water. All cleaning must be done by hand, careful to get in the grooves and get all the little bits out.

It’s a novelty that the meat cooks from the bottom and the top. For the most part the meat or fish stays tender inside, leaving a slightly tough and dry outer skin. I have a feeling that after a few more uses, we are going to retire Mr. Foreman. I think what I like most about it is that it doesn’t spatter oil all over the place and I don’t have to have all the stove burners running.

We’ve cooked chicken, salmon, sole, and turkey burgers on the grill. If not for the grill, I may not have ventured into the world of ground turkey, thus, I prepared a dinner last night that was light and delicious.

I knew that I was going to prepare the small package of  artichoke with cheese and olives raviolis. I didn’t want to pair a heavy sauce with it, so I decided to use what I had in the kitchen. The idea came to me after looking through a few cookbooks. To make the simple sauce, these are the ingredients I used. It’s not so much a sauce as a dressing. I ran out of garlic; otherwise, I would have added it too.

Dressing a la ground Turkey

-Splash of olive oil
-Pat of butter
-Small handful of ground turkey
-Dash of salt and garlic salt
-Pinch of parsley
-Few shakes of basil
-1/2 handful of walnuts crushed up
-Bunch of fresh baby spinach leaves

Brown the ground turkey in the olive oil and butter, using the spoon to break it down into fine pieces. Add all but the spinach, stir. When all ingredients have married, add spinach.

Keep warm. Cook pasta, add a bit more olive oil, and toss with turkey spinach dressing.

We also had a green salad with dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, and cherry tomatoes, tossed with an olive oil vinaigrette; and tortillas as our bread.

I must say this was one of my favorite meals so far and all thanks to the George Foreman Grill.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My senses are usually in a state of heightened awareness, feeling the honey rise from the droplets of imaginary mist that wrap around me and ground me. I feel my way through a department store, touching the material of different pieces of  clothing, especially the textured linens—they speak to the tips of my fingers and swirl images of the clothes and my body interacting. I usually have these highly tuned experiences, but now my perception and awareness is further heightened by Helen Keller’s book, The World I live In. We are reading it together and it further makes us appreciate our own senses as they dance together in the world and with each other.

Some time ago I read Keller’s The Story of My Life. I recall fragments of it and am moved by her overall story and what she accomplished in her life. I feel closer to The World I live In because she speaks to us on a more personal level, an invitation into her sensory world—her relationship to her environment. She writes poetically and stimulates the imagination.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Midnight Globe Spins

I’ve been collecting books for years now and at certain points in my life, I have taken sections of those books and sold them, clearing space for new books. As I moved from place to place, I seemed to accumulate more books. Sometimes I would lose track of what I had on the shelves and end up with two copies of the same book. Recently when I moved into my new space, I felt for the first time ever a prisoner of my books, of the books that meant so much to me sitting on the shelves, many unread, but waiting, teasing, serving some purpose unknown to myself. Were they a placeholder to fill some void all these years of rummaging through second hand stores and used bookstores? I had never felt that or maybe I didn’t want to believe it, but for the first time—and it could have to do with also finding love again—but for the first time in my life, I don’t feel the need to keep all of these books. Even if I had the space, which I currently do not, I would not be too sad if I gave up many of them. I don’t have tons of books like many here, but I have enough boxes of books that they are a sort of nuisance because I don’t have the space. They stay hidden from me. If I don’t peek inside and just throw the box to the sea, I would not miss what was inside of it. The moment I lift the lid, however, is when I have second thoughts.

I have not moved many times, but the few times I have, there was much to let go. I wondered how I accumulated so many objects, so much paper, so many words. I was especially selective this time on what would come with me and what would be donated or thrown out. It was difficult. Each trip I made to donate my things, I felt that I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff, but it seemed that there was still so much. I felt it pressing down on me, my stomach in tangles. There were moments I sat and stared at everything tossed about on the floor in piles. Piles to keep and piles to give up. I took my time, not wanting to make the same mistake I did last time, which was to box everything up and deal with it later. I needed to make choices now, conscious choices that would leave the unneeded old energy behind.

Even though I am now settled into my new space—our new space, there is still a small chunk that I need to release. The bulk of items that this applies to is books, old school work, my journals, and clothing. I realized that some journals go back so long ago that they no longer have a place in my life. I also realized that by hanging onto these journals, they are merely sitting there collecting dust and not being used productively. Part of me wants to select how far back I want to go and find the glimmers of light, the pieces that I can use or glean inspiration from; the other part of me wants to take all those journals and toss them to sea and start anew.

I am happy to have unloaded of many items I no longer needed that didn’t move me, but rather seemed to keep me in a sort of limbo. As the weeks and months unfold, I would like to continue releasing these objects and live with the very minimum. It feels good not to feel a prisoner to these things, and I feel more at peace with my books and know that I will slowly release many.  I don’t feel a deep attachment where I can’t let certain items go, but when I see them, they may speak to something deep inside of me that thinks I should hold onto this or that.

In life it is important to live without regret.

In life it is important to feel free, yet learn how to navigate through the spots that feel constricting.

Life is amazing.

Life is that great midnight globe that spins and spins and lights up and sparkles. I thank you dear Universe for smiling down upon me, and I forever ask for your guidance in all that I do.

Peace and love to all.