Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Official 2013 Earth Day Poster
Today is Earth Day. It was first observed in 1970, but its roots go back to the 1962 publication of Rachel Carlson's book Silent Spring. This book exposed the effects of pesticides and other chemical pollutants on the environment. Earth Day became a secular holiday in 1970. According to Earth Day Network, Earth Day is celebrated by a billion people making it the world's largest secular holiday.
Earth Day gives us the opportunity to think about how we can better take care of our home planet. This year, Weather (my official weather source) challenges us to look beyond the traditional environmental conservation efforts, and explore ways that each of us can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
But sadly, their forecast for our area today is grim with up to 9 inches of snow possible tonight!! The endless winter just goes on and on.

Chief Seattle was a man ahead of his times with his words of wisdom on the need to preserve our earth's resources. He was a well respected speaker among his own people and settlers and a eloquent orator in his native tongue;  Lushootseed.
Chief Seattle's speech, according to pioneer Dr. Henry Stevens, was given on the occasion of an 1854 visit to the Seattle region by Issac Stevens who was the governor and Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the Washington Territory. Today Seattle's significant words about taking care of Mother Earth still carry great importance. There are several versions of the speech's text since it had to be translated from one language to another before being translated in English. Here are some familiar words from the last part of the speech.
"Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

"This we know the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

"One thing we know our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

"Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

"When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirits of my people left?

"We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

"As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all."

This link is to the full version of speech

On April 22, 2013, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take some action to protect it. This year's theme is The Face of Climate Change. It is the hope that by us all working together we can redouble our efforts to fight against climate change and inspire a call to action from our leaders. 

Leeann Chin (Feb. 13, 1933-March 10, 2010)
Chinese-born American, Restaurateur, Entrepreneur, Author, Host of a Cooking Show PBS
She founded Leeann Chin Restaurant chain serving contemporary Asian Cuisine in the Twin City area MN in 1980
Currently there are over 40 locations total in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Stir-fry Lemon Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Chinese Cookbook recipes by Leeann Chin (1981)

serves 4
Cook’s notes: I skipped the part from the recipe directions about making a batter to coat chicken. The original recipe called for making the sauce and then pouring it over batter fried chicken pieces to serve.
I just used the lemon sauce recipe and added sauce right into the stir-fry mixture instead. Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 lbs. chicken cut in chunks
  • 3/4-cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 TB. lemon juice
  • 2 TB. light corn syrup
  • 2 TB. cider vinegar
  • 3 TB. vegetable oil
  • 1 TB. catsup
  • 2 cloves of garlic mined
  • ½ cup finely diced onions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • 1/3 lemon sliced
  • 2TB lemon zest
  • 1 TB. soy sauce
  • sugar snap peas
  • 1 small box of mushrooms
  • diced carrots
  • diced tomatoes
  • cashews or walnuts for garnish


  • In a wok or large non-stick fry pan add 2 TB. oil, stir fry chicken chunks, onion, chopped mushrooms and garlic
  • Brown meat till no longer pink in center and set aside
  • Mix cornstarch with broth and pour into fry pan or wok
  • Add in honey, lemon juice, corn syrup, vinegar, 1 TB. vegetable oil, catsup, and lemon zest and diced carrots
  • Bring to boil stirring frequently till sauce starts to thicken
  • Reduce heat, add in chicken, onion, mushroom and garlic mixture, sugar snap peas and tomato chunks
  • Cook on low heat uncovered 15-20 minutes
Serve over steamed rice, cellophane noodles or chow mein noodles, garnish with nuts and lemon slices

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