Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Zen Moment

Nobody sees a flower-really-
it is so small it takes time-
we haven't time-
and to see takes time
like to have a friend takes time.  
by Georgia O' Keefe
Recently I experienced some Zen moments at a indoor concert at a local conservatory. Moments of calmness prevailed while enjoying the beauty of huge array of poinsettias and soothing music. The punches of coral, pink. red and white poinsettias were warm and inviting despite the frigid temperatures outside. This concert was an after hours event at the conservatory. People seem to enjoy strolling among the flowers, listening to music and chatting with their friends. Since it was dark outside the indoor photo is not as bright as I had hoped for. 
Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of a middle Chinese word Dzyen. Zen emphasizes experimental wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment through meditation. It strives to help you achieve inner peace. Perhaps we all need to seek out some places where we can find our own Zen moments. Follow this link to watch and hear some very short music videos of some Zen moments covering topics such as awareness, nature, creativity, happiness, courage and fun. 

On blog posting Cooking The Italian Way Dec 8, 2011 I wrote about Carmela Tursi Hobbins who has authored two cookbooks. She grew up in a large Italian family and often hosts culinary tours to Italy and Savannah Georgia. I was fortunate to be at luncheon where several of her recipes from the cookbook were served. The following recipe is a real winner. 
Tomato Vegetable Soup

Recipe from Celebrations with Carmela’s Cucina by Carmela Tursi Hobbins with a few adaptations.
This soup tastes even better on day two after the flavors have had a chance to meld

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 large potato shredded or finely chopped (not cooked0
  • 1 large carrot shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
  • 1 can of chunky tomatoes-basil, garlic, oregano
  • 2 TB. flour
  • 1 TB. brown sugar
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
  • In a large soup pot melt butter and then add garlic, onion. potato, carrot, zucchini and celery
  • Saut√© till vegetables are slightly wilted
  • In food processor chop tomatoes with juices
  • Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and blend on medium heat about 2 minutes
  • Add processed tomatoes, brown sugar, chicken broth, basil, marjoram and bay leaf.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat about 25 minutes
  • Remove from heat and take out bay leaf, add milk, paprika, salt, pepper and curry powder
  • Simmer covered for 5-10 minutes longer
  • To serve grate Parmesan cheese over bowl serving

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