The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, December 31, 2012

Chicken Soup

The Year of Bessemer Food

This being the last day of the year, and me recovering from a mild case of the flu or a persistent cold, I think it appropriate to share my recipe for chicken soup. It cures.

There are so many flavors in this soup, and it does take a little extra effort, but it is worth it.

To save time, cut up the vegetables and cook your rice while the chicken is cooking.

Chicken Soup

3 chicken breasts, skinless*
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 small onions (or 1 medium)
1/2 tsp salt
1 can chicken broth

For prepared rice
1/2 cup rice
1 cup water
1 tsp crushed rosemary

*If the chicken breasts are "huge," filet them to make 2 pieces from each, cook all of it and use 1/2 for the soup and the rest for sandwiches the next day.

In a baking pan, whisk together olive oil, wine, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Coat the chicken in the mixture and lay the pieces in the rest, in the pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until done.

Peel and slice the carrots very thin. Slice the celery very thin. Peel and quarter the onions, and then slice very thin.

 Prepare rice by bringing 1 cup of water to a boil, add 1/2 cup of rice and 1 tsp rosemary. Reduce heat and simmer until done, about 20 minutes.

Shred chicken with fork or fingers and combine with vegetables in pot. Add salt and chicken broth, and one or more cans of water to make soup the consistency you like.

Add 1/2 cup or so of pan drippings to soup (try not to add too much oil/grease).

Add prepared rice.

Heat to boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 or 15 minutes.


And Happy New Year and have a prosperous and joyful 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guns don't die; children do

Yesterday another mass killing took place. It really doesn't matter whether it was 27, 7, or one that was killed; it's too many.

And we pray for the victims and their families. The nation is praying.

But I am tired of something. I am tired of every time a well publicized shooting takes place, I hear "This is not the time to discuss gun control."

We heard it the day Gabby Giffords was shot and several of her constituents died. But nothing meaningful was discussed afterwards either.

We heard it when the theater shooting took place in Aurora, Colorado. But nothing meaningful was discussed after that either.

And we heard it today from the President's press secretary.

Well, today we are discussing it. Twenty children died at the hands of a disturbed individual. So did seven adults. For the killer, it must have been easy for him to acquire the guns that he used. That's the way it is in America. That's the way the NRA wants it. That's the way most of the people in Alabama want it. They want mentally ill people to be able to acquire guns, even if it means that on occasion teenagers at a movie premiere or elementary age children in class are killed, because they think that if it is made more difficult for some people to acquire killing machines, then it could become more difficult for them to acquire the same.

If they didn't want it this way, they would fight for change. But they don't.

And here is part of the problem. Let's start with the Bible. Many in our state and around the country think of the Bible as the infallible word of God. Some of us recognize the fallibility in it. For instance, the Bible says to stone a woman who marries who is not a virgin. To me, that is a fail.

I could give other examples.

But regardless of what one thinks about the Bible, it cannot be changed. The way it is interpreted can be changed, but the Bible itself cannot be.

Now; the Constitution. Many Republicans, and some others, think it is also infallible. But we know it had has faults. Slavery...women...were not equal in the beginning of this country. But we corrected that. We are still working on inequality for gays. So...the Constitution can be changed. And even easier, laws can be changed.

No one is calling for banning guns. But let's all admit that when the Second Amendment was written, the object that the early Americans wanted to defend themselves against was the tyrannical government of England . The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or feeding one's family. Tyranny is not something we worry about today (I won't even reference George W. Bush here).

We could easily...easily pass laws that make guns and especially automatic and semi-automatic weapons less accessible to the mentally ill and criminals. We could require background checks.  We could make it so guns could not be sold easily at gun shows and flea markets. I am not a policy maker, but I'm sure there are other steps that could be taken as well.

But the NRA and those who want mentally ill people and criminals to be able to get guns easily will try to prevent meaningful legislation from being passed. And in doing so, they you are just as guilty as the one who pulls the trigger next time a killing like this takes place.

If you are not for strengthening gun laws, and if you contribute to the NRA, you are making it easy for the mentally ill and criminals to get guns. You will have a role in the next mass killing of kids...or shoppers...or office workers.