daddy’s girl

“This tug-of-war often obscures what’s also happening between us. I am your mother, the first mile of your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means that in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give to you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of tribe, a run at happiness. You can’t imagine how seriously I take that – even as I fail you. Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done.
― Kelly Corrigan, Lift

a few sunny days here on the farm and combines are roaring everywhere…  these last few days have felt like harvest…  I come back from a morning run feeling itchy from the dust still clinging in the dewy morning air…

combine lights dance like fire flies out my window at night…

porcupines, skunks, deer, moose and geese are all on the move… cutting the grass I found three dead muskrats that my dogs proudly left for me…

and after two weeks of my boys being gone to boarding school I have whittled down my crying to generally once a day…  3:40 pm …  the moment all three of my children should be getting home and it’s just one small little girl with mounds of strawberry, blonde hair piled high on her head that I see wondering in off the bus…

in my last text to my dad, I asked him how he ever was happy again after I left home… I was curious to know how he was able to get up in the morning and make sense of the day without his little ‘ray of sunshine’ there to make him smile…  he still hasn’t responded (you know how busy retired life can be) but I’m sure his answer will be that he still struggles to this day to find joy when I’m not around…  (by the way, ‘ray of sunshine’ was a name I made up for myself…  he called me Catherine… my given name)

life goes on… and I am still trying to figure out how to mother my boys from a distance…  tending to teenage boys involved a lot of cleaning, folding laundry, picking up towels off the bathroom floor, flushing toilets, odour control of sporting equipment, odour control of them, grocery shopping, feeding them, dishes, feeding them… feeding them…  and now that has been ripped away from me

fortunately there are farmers to feed… it honestly would have been too painful to cut it down to just Sienna and I…  we need to ease into that…

it was with great enthusiasm that I cut kohlrabi and radishes to add to the pasta salad I was taking out…  until I had a Hutterite stop by to try to sell me a turkey and asked what I was making for supper – only to be told that no one likes pasta salad… and when he spotted a zucchini he informed me that those can ruin a cake pretty quickly…

kohlrabi pasta salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb medium pasta shells
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 small kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
  • 8 radishes, diced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • few dashes of sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, (or 1/2 tsp dried dill)

Directions:

  • bring a large pot of salted water to boil
  • add pasta and cook according to package
  • drain and rinse under cold water
  • pat dry
  • in a large bowl, combine pasta with bell peppers, kohlrabi and radishes
  • in a medium bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients
  • pour over the salad and mix thoroughly
  • chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before serving

when I was in grade 3, my life goal was to be a ‘Weather-Woman’…  for a news crew…  I was thinking perhaps CHCA-TV out of Red Deer, Alberta…  so I wrote out pages upon pages of news updates (it was during the Calgary Olympics of ’88, so it was mainly weather and Olympic coverage) 

fortunately enough, my dad was ahead of the game with technology and we had a news crew style RCA video camera…  he got it out of the giant briefcase it was housed in and set it up on the tripod, focused in on me sitting behind the piano bench, ready to give the news highlights for the evening…

this is the thing about being a parent…  you actually love everything about your child… even the weird things… especially the weird things…

I never felt any pressure from my dad to do anything neat to catch his eye…  in fact, I was under the impression that he was just as proud of me for doing the news that evening as he was when he was videoing me running at track and field… or butchering a song at a piano recital…

this is what I have realized over the last two weeks of the boys absence from home… it is what I remember about my dad and still to this day feel around him… it never has been about what I’ve been able to do or accomplish or work for… he has always wanted to sit with me, listen to me, laugh at my jokes, play a game and talk to me…

not only did my dad want to be around me… he wanted to record it all on a giant video camera…

chili with ground beef and italian sausage

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
8 oz smoked sausage
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 oz) can mild green chile peppers
2-3 tbsp diced jalapeno peppers, seeds removed
2 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp montreal steak seasoning or seasoned salt
2-3 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
freshly cracked black pepper
extra salt to taste if necessary

Directions:
brown the meat and drain
in an Instant Pot, saute the onion in some olive oil and then add the pepper and garlic
add the remaining ingredients, including the browned meat, and set on slow cook mode for at least 2 hours but preferably longer!

well, dad finally responded to my text with “yes, it took awhile for us to get over the trauma of seeing you leave home, Catherine and this trauma was only exacerbated by the fact that Princess Diana and Mother Theresa both died at the same time you left.

 the use of the word ‘trauma’ in his text was presumably a bit tongue-and-cheek, although these things can be hard to pick up on in the modern age of texting…  I do believe that he was deeply saddened with the passing of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa however…

cheddar cornbread muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • line muffin tin with paper cups and spray them with cooking spray lightly
  • in a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk
  • add the egg, milk and butter and combine till well mixed
  • scoop into the muffin tin
  • bake for 17-20 minutes until golden brown
  • if desired, brush the tops with butter and serve

back to my news broadcast…  my dad made a highlight reel of the countless hours of footage he was able to compile of me and my brothers throughout our childhood… this made the cut and the weather forecast I delivered was “it is getting warmer out, but it is still very cold… it might snow or rain”  pretty much nailed the weather…

the highlight reel had me believing I was a far better basketball player than I actually was… the compliation also reveals that my dad really did video us doing just about anything…  he truly enjoyed us kids for who we were because the footage is far from extraordinary…

as I was sitting with the farmer as he was combining a partially hailed wheat crop, I noticed that the variety of wheat was Brandon (this being my oldest boy’s name sent me into a bit of a cry) … some say distance makes the heart grow fonder but I was truly fond of them when they were close to me… when they were home… distance just breaks the heart…

and as I try to figure out how to be a Mom to my boys who are away, I realize that I once again am turning to the advice of my parents…  as long as they aren’t too busy to respond to a text…

and this gives me hope…  so now on we go with harvest…  well it is now raining this morning…  as a ‘Weather-Woman’ once said, “it might snow or rain”

what do you want to be when you grow up?

is our only opportunity to be an athlete when we are young and in school/college?  or can we continue the quest of athletics as we age?   should athletes only be the best of the best or does anyone applying themselves and working at a sport get to call themselves an athlete?

I grew up loving sports…. it started in Elementary School with an excellent Intramurals program…  (this is what our school called noon hour sports… in grade 6 I got to be the captain of the Bears…  highlight of my Elementary experience… low-light was the 52 detentions I received in grade 6.. after school – did not interfere with my Intramural pursuits)

I went to a different school for Junior High and my love of basketball really took off…  this was back in the day when you could basically play every sport offered and no one was playing one sport all year round – unless you counted the pick-up basketball games we played year round… it was fun to have the season change and try out something new… and remind yourself why you loved basketball with your lack of talent in other areas… 

heading to yet another school for High School, I was still very driven with sports and basketball in particular…  it was exciting to keep this going and get to play in College…

and then I got married, started working and became an ‘adult’…  which I thought meant sports quit for me…  not for the farmer I should add… men seem to do a far better job of remaining an athlete than women do… 

having kids was really the icing on the cake – cementing my ideas that athletics for me were part of my childhood… never to be revisited again…

I remember the joy I felt when I could finally put my oldest boy in baseball, hockey, you name it…  I even cried at his first hockey practice…  this should have been a hint to me that I was missing being an athlete…

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

  • Servings: one chicken
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Ingredients:

  • one whole chicken (mine was 6 lbs)
  • trivet
  • butter, melted
  • kosher salt
  • cumin
  • lemon pepper
  • paprika
  • carrots
  • yellow onion
  • celery

Directions:

  • use a fresh or defrosted chicken – I defrost mine in the bag it is in, in cold water in the sink – this generally takes around 3-4 hours
  • pat dry with paper towel
  • place trivet in Instant Pot bowl
  • add 1 cup water
  • add chicken
  • pour butter over the chicken
  • add the carrots, onion and celery around the chicken
  • sprinkle with spices
  • place lid on and set manual high pressure for 40 minutes (basically, 6 minutes per pound)
  • allow for a natural pressure release (around 15-20 minutes) when done cooking
  • transfer the chicken to a cutting board
  • put a strainer over a bowl and pour the liquid and contents into it
  • use the liquid for recipes needing chicken stock and the meat for lunch meat!

{/recipe]

don’t get me wrong – watching my kids play sports is very fulfilling and exciting – but when I realized I was living through their experiences I knew I had to try to get back to being an athlete myself… I needed to let them have their athletic experiences for themselves and I needed to see what was out there for me…

it had been roughly 17 years since I had done anything other than ‘exercise’… there were many reasons why I let things get like this I believe…

I didn’t think I was athletic enough to warrant the amount of time and money it would take for me to be involved in my own adventures…  we were busy enough with the farmer’s hockey and then my children’s hockey and other sports…  I needed to be the one to keep everyone going…  maybe – if I was a ‘gifted’ athlete – I would have made the time…  but I was always middle of the pack and I thought middle of the pack people should just enjoy school sports and then settle into a life of cheering for those more talented… 

I was a yo-yo exerciser…  I would do some exercises for awhile and then quit…  with no accountability, competition, coaching or purpose, I found exercising very difficult to be consistent or even motivated with…

I was also worried about judgement from other people… I felt like it would be selfish and almost spoiled if I spent time working towards some sort of athletic goal in my late 30’s… I didn’t have a lot of influences in my life or examples of moms that were pursuing athletic goals…

chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled (if old) and finely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium – preferably homemade)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:
– heat oil in a large pan

  • add carrots, onion and salt
  • cook on medium heat for a few minutes and add green peppers, beef and garlic
  • season with spices and turn heat off when meat is cooked
  • in your slow cooker, add the meat/veggie mixture and then add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes and beans
  • simmer on low for 6-8 hours, high for 4-6 hours
  • if you want more greens, add spinach or kale at the end

everyone has the money goal down…  we all are pursuing money… security…  but I just didn’t see women going on adventures or training for a sporting event… I saw moms dedicating their lives – nobly – to their families and it confirmed my beliefs that to be a good mom you sacrifice your life for your family…

moms are pros at scheduling… and we schedule all the kids activities and our husbands lives but forget to schedule in ourselves… or feel too guilty to do so…

and now, after two years of scheduling myself in, I can tell you I wish I had done it earlier…  I know everyone would have had a better time and I wouldn’t feel like I neglected myself for years…

in January of 2017, a friend of mine at the rink told me about a running coach she had and how much she was enjoying being coached…  it was like a lightbulb when on… I contacted this coach and started letting her train me…  it made me feel silly at first – I was too embarrassed to tell many people – but slowly I started to see the benefits in my own life… having a coach give me a ‘game plan’ for the week and then being able to schedule it in somehow gave me there permission to train and take the time for myself…

that fall, after hurting my knee, I thought I’d try some Hot Yoga/Pilates for rehab…  and I fell in love with it – even though, again, I was not very good at it…

it did feel very selfish to be spending the money and time twice a week to do this and then running four times a week…  my family has had to change they way we do things in order to accommodate for my schedule at times, which feels ridiculously self-involved

 but I started to ponder, what am I living this life for?  so I can be exhausted, depressed  and unfulfilled, complaining about how busy I am?  live comfortably, not facing my fears and anxieties?  never find out what potential my body had or where it could take me?

I had to tell myself that I am worthy… we all are worthy… it is what God put into creation and why we are created in the first place…

I am worthy of having a running coach… worthy of taking the time for long Sat/Sun runs and practicing yoga…  worthy of trips and adventures that fill me with anxiety and leave me feeling strong…  worthy of feeding my body healthy food and getting the sleep I need to have the energy for big training days…  worthy of pursuing all these things no matter what my talent level is(that was the biggest hiccup for me)

because sports, athletics, competition and adventure is not just for the super-athletes…  it is for everyone…  I have won a race and almost lost a race – and the fact of the matter was I trained for both those races and the training had made my life full of purpose and joy…  I remember being on different teams and coaches often saying ‘it’s the journey, not the destination’… and it only really made sense to me as I got older…

strawberry-spinach wheat berry salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight and rained (2 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 cups spinach
  • 2 cups sliced, washed strawberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts (or see recipe)

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping tbsp Dijon mustard

Hazelnuts:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 cups raw hazelnuts

Directions:

  • for the wheat berries, bring 4 cups of water to a boil
  • add the wheat berries and salt and simmer, covered, until soft – around 50 minutes
  • transfer to a large salad bowl and allow to cool
  • just before serving, add the other ingredients – you won’t use all the dressing
  • for the dressing – shake well in a jar
  • for the hazelnuts – preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment
  • melt butter in a small saucepan
  • add cinnamon, cayenne and honey
  • take off the heat and add hazelnuts and coat
  • pour onto the baking sheet and spread out
  • sprinkle with salt
  • bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
  • cool completely and break apart into chunks

it is the journey… it is the training and the dedication – no matter your skill level – to a craft, sport or cause that matters…  keep asking yourself – ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’  never stop asking yourself this and never stop going after the next thing that it is for you…

don’t feel like any dream is too big for you… set some outrageous goals and see how many you can check off and then enjoy the process… and realize that the secret to it all is that the process is what we are all seeking…  a reason to get up in the morning and attack the day…  a reason to be happily exhausted when you go to bed, sore in the morning and nervous at a start line…

there are too many people out there battling for their lives… whether it be cancer, depression, poverty, loss, addiction…  the list is endless and you have no excuse to not live the best life that you possibly can… you are not guaranteed anything but death…  and you owe it to yourself to explore why you are here and what you are capable of… and you owe it to the people that love you

because there is nothing more inspiring that watching someone attempt scary things, work extremely hard for a goal, conquer a fear…  no one wants you to hate your life…  so you must dedicate yourself to living it in a way that gives energy and life to those around you…

it is not just for the super-athletes…  in fact, the middle-back of the pack people generally have the most fun anyways!  (but I only watch the super-athletes on YouTube… so they should keep being super!)

black bean protein brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (19 oz) can black beans (if you have 15 oz can, just use that), strained and rinsed
  • 2 scoops (34 g scoop) of Casein protein powder (or whatever protein powder you have kicking around) 
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

Directions:

  • combine black beans, protein powder, oats, peanut butter, coconut oil, greek yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla in a vitamix or food processor and combine until no chunks
  • in a separate mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • add eggs
  • using a spatula, add the thick bean mixture to the cocoa powder and eggs
  • mix until combined
  • fold in chocolate chips
  • in a sprayed or greased 9×9 baking pan, pour the brownie batter
  • melt 2 tbsp of peanut butter in the microwave and pour in a few dollops on the brownie batter
  • using a knife, cut through the peanut butter dollops to make a pretty pattern
  • bake for 15-20 minutes, until the middle is slightly firm but the sides are not overdone
  • let cool and cut into 16 brownies
  • these freeze well

pesto potato salad, teddy bear chili and blueberry polenta scones

the farmer’s alarm clock goes off at 3:40 am… then 3:45… then again at 3:47…  he gets out of bed, gets dressed and brushes his teeth using the flashlight from his phone so he doesn’t wake me up…  I consider that I should tell him that I am totally awake due to his three alarm system…

but this is his routine so I let him continue on with the exact same thing every morning… he will go upstairs and make a coffee and pack his lunch with more often than not the leftovers of the meal to the field the night before…

he wanders back downstairs to kiss me goodbye and wish me a good day…

and then I generally get the best sleep of the whole night… for some reason, that 4 am-7am sleep feels like an extra nights sleep… generally filled with crazy dreams and waking up every half hour but getting to fall back asleep again…  nothing better…

I tried one time last spring to get up when he did and I accomplished so much by 8 am that I had no work left to do for the day…  not making that mistake again this seeding… I only have a certain amount of work to do in a day and I don’t need the 3 extra hours in the morning to complete it…

this morning I got the kids breakfast and lunches done and began meal prep…  potatoes boiled and crockpot chili made…

I call this ‘Teddy Bear chili’ because the beef I am using for it is from my friend’s daughter’s 4H cow named Teddy Bear… I feel like my kids need to know that they are eating Teddy Bear when they eat chili… circle of life etc…

teddy bear chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) pinto or kidney beans
  • optional toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, avocado, sourdough bread

Directions:

  • heat oil in a pan and saute the carrots and onion for around 5 minutes
  • add salt and green peppers
  • place this mixture into your crock pot
  • add meat to pan, drain off fat and then add seasoning to meat
  • add the meat to the crockpot
  • add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours (or keep on warm)

after the meal prep and then an hour of bookwork I paid my first visit out to the seeders…  this is a common sight this time of year… the seed trucks and fuel truck…

the farmer picked me up and I comment on things like ‘I think that seeder is very pretty’… I ask him every year the same questions I think…  I can’t remember…

these screens in his tractor are very interesting… it boggles my mind the technology that is involved in putting a crop in…

but more things than not boggle my mind so who knows… maybe it’s not that amazing…

today the wind here was gusting from 50-70 km an hour…  you couldn’t even tell in here but I barely made it back to my vehicle…

if I was the farmer I’d race Gerald – who is driving the other tractor – but he doesn’t seem to play that game…

power poles… this is why I’m the cook and not operating machinery! (well it’s on a short list of 8 reasons I’m the cook)

so I head home to run on my treadmill as opposed to the tornado outside and then finish up the meal… these blueberry polenta scones were about the easiest desserts I’ve ever made… simple and I enjoyed eating one with an afternoon coffee…

ok two… I ate two…

blueberry polenta scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • mix the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl
  • add the milk, oil and vanilla and combine
  • fold in the berries
  • pour out on well floured counter
  • pat into a rectangle – it will be a sticky mixture
  • cut into 8 wedges
  • with a spatula, scoop and place on the baking sheet
  • brush the tops with almond milk and sprinkle with brown sugar
  • bake until golden on bottom – 12 to 15 minutes

I made the arugula pesto in my Vitamix because I do not own a food processor (perhaps this Mother’s Day I’ll strike it rich and get one!!! fingers crossed…)

my kids loved this potato salad and I have my fingers crossed that a few of the farmers enjoyed it… we’ll see when I get the dishes tomorrow!

it does look green and scary so I’m not holding my breath… we have one farmer who has told my husband he loves salads so I get very excited to think of him eating it!

pesto potato salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup Arugula Cashew Pesto
  • ground black pepper

Pesto:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups tightly packed arugula
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Directions:

  • boil potatoes in water with salt until they are just tender – but not mushy
  • drain and cool
  • to make pesto, place ingredients in a food processor (I had to use my Vitamix) and pulse until slightly chunky
  • add pesto to potatoes until you have as much on the potatoes as you like
  • store the rest of the pesto in the fridge
  • sprinkle salad with black pepper and serve

the farmer’s shift on the seeder ends around 3 pm and he begins the running around making sure things are going smoothly…  he generally has time to stop in and pick suppers up to deliver them…

and I head to my son’s hockey practice for the evening…  it seems to be either baseball or hockey but evenings are generally filled…

 living in an area where you see others working so hard this time of year is exciting and inspiring… and you know days are filled with ups and downs… I’ve come to see that farming is one good thing mixed with about four difficult things…

but if it’s in your blood it’s in your blood…

and when I take his picture every year in the tractor I feel like it’s similar to a 16 year old boy with their new truck…  boys like to play in the dirt… and this farmer is no exception…

it won’t be boring

 

I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring. – David Bowie from Madison Square Garden on his 50th birthday

David Bowie passed away… people were leaving flowers and candles outside his home on Lafayette Street in Soho, New York and here myself and the farmer were wandering around outside that building a few months ago and you have no idea who lives in these beautiful buildings…

so I did what so many others I’m sure did this morning… listened to Best of Bowie while cleaning and doing laundry…  and considered his quote ‘it won’t be boring’ as I folded the same underwear as I did last Monday morning…

I also took the time to read a little bit about Bowie’s life and career…  I assume everything on Wikipedia is the truth…

he became Ziggy Stardust for awhile… similar to Beyonce becoming Sasha Fierce… I need an alter ego… this is something I need to add to my things to do in 2016… alter ego… and my main reason for wanting it is to have someone to blame when I falter…  Naughty Nicki did it…  I saw her do it…

songs I enjoyed listening to this morning…

Space Oddity (released in 1969), Changes, The Jean Genie, Rebel Rebel, Fame, Let’s Dance, Young Americans, Dancing in the Street with Mick Jaggar and of course Under Pressure with Queen.

the farmer came home for lunch and told me he had been listening to Lazarus which was off of Bowie’s latest album released when he turned 69 called Blackstar…

when asked about religion, Bowie had a few opinions but one was ‘you should follow music’…  this one I found the most interesting out of what he said… mostly because a good portion of his thoughts were rather scrambled…  this is what makes music so timeless and important and makes us mourn artists… even though the artists might look a little different or talk a little different than anyone you have ever seen in your own life… they make songs that resonate with us or make us question things or wonder or disagree… but it affects us and draws us out of our day-to-day hum…

for instance, yesterday I left the house at 10:30 am to go to Prince Albert for a hockey game and got home at 10:30 pm in the evening… around seven hours of being in a vehicle… and this is a pretty normal Sunday for us…  so music becomes very important…  new music, old music… basically anything other than 80’s music…  it feeds the soul and lights the imagination…

it reminds you of how you felt when that song came out, what you believed about the world, about our society, about love…  and new music inspires you to be more creative and gives you insight into what direction our world is heading…

so today, as I listen to more Bowie, I will cook, clean, make chilli, take my daughter to a hockey practice, pay bills, watch tv, go to bed…  but it was not a boring day…. why?  because I was transported by music to New York, to London, to a different time… a odd time… artists make life less dull… make us think… make us love…

from all the farmwife’s out there… thank you Bowie and thank you artists for making my life less boring!

chicken and navy bean chili

  • Servings: one small pot
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Ingredients:

  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • lemon pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 cans (398 mL) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (398 mL or 14 oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • toppings: cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce, sour cream

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • on a parchment lined baking sheet, lay chicken thighs and drizzle olive oil over them
  • season with salt and lemon pepper generously
  • cook until done, around 20-25 minutes
  • in a deep saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and add onions
  • then add red pepper and garlic and saute on low heat
  • add the spices and the sauce and beans
  • cut up the chicken and add to the chili
  • let sit for a few hours (no heat) for flavours to combine
  • turn heat back on to low and heat up to serve
  • top with your favourite toppings and serve with a slice of bread