Monday, November 23, 2009

Alena's Turkey Chili

With the colder weather beginning to set in I've been enjoying soups and stews and thick warm one pot meals. Here's a new one I came up with tonight working from a Veteto family favorite. I changed it a bit and so have taken liberty with a new name. Enjoy!

Alena’s Turkey Chili

(based loosely on Brian’s Chili given by Jeanne Veteto)

1# ground turkey
¼ c diced onion
¼ c diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
1 can cooked kidney beans plus the juice
1 can cooked cannellini beans plus the juice
½ c – 1 can stewed crushed tomatoes plus the juice
½ c frozen sweet corn

2T chili powder
1tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

6oz brown style beer
1T agave nectar

Heat saucepan to medium. Brown the turkey and then add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir. Add onion, garlic and pepper and cook until soft. Then add the beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, and spices, stir and cook on medium high for 30 minutes. Add beer and agave and cook as long as you want (at least another 30 minutes), the longer the better and stir occasionally.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crescent View chapter three

Chapter Three: The stranger
As Gina screamed the stranger walking out from behind the painting stopped suddenly. He raised his hands above his head to show that he was unarmed. It was dark in the studio because Gina had not yet turned on the light but very suddenly a bright light began to shine and it seemed to be coming from the hands of the stranger. She blinked hard to make sure this was not a dream, it wasn’t. The man came closer and Gina was unable to move. She felt frozen to this very spot just inside the door and pulled almost magnetically to walk closer to the man.
Now that she had the chance to breathe and calm down a moment she wasn’t scared at all. She felt a sense of peace and a warm buzz swept over her entire body as if her blood pulsed with electricity.
As he approached, a voice so soft and clear and familiar reached out to her, “I see that you found my gift. I’ve been waiting for you to come home.”
She moved quickly now into his arms. Into the warm embrace she had missed these past years. The one she knew she would never feel again. Could it really be true, could he really be here?
“Max, is it really you?” she had to ask. She needed to break her silence to be sure she could trust herself to believe he was standing here. “How…when did you get here?” she asked in a whisper afraid he wouldn’t answer because maybe he wasn’t really there.
“I swam and then walked,” he said with a slight chuckle, “I only just arrived today.” With that he pulled her close and kissed her with such emotion she thought that she might faint on the spot. He was gentle, holding her closely kissing, now whispering in her ear about lost love and ocean voyages, then more kissing and all the while the white-blue glow emitting from him setting a surreal scene in her little studio.
Abruptly Gina pulled away pushing him in the opposite direction. It was too much. She felt too alive, too sensitive. Images were flashing in her brain of tumultuous seas and sinking ships, of love gone missing, of years of grieving, of best friends and crashing school dances, of winters alone on the beach waiting or wishing, of the agony of knowing that he was gone. How could he be here? He wasn’t supposed to be here. He was lost at sea. Who was this glowing man, grown and different, yet enough like Max to confuse her? Dolores always said he would come back one day.
“Don’t give up hope Gina, he’ll be back against all odds. I know it,” was one of the last things Dolores had said to her. That was over a year ago.
It was still too much, she dropped the shell, her head felt dizzy and the light…the light was so brilliant, too brilliant. She fell suddenly into his arms and he caught her.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Earthscouts and Alpacas

A few weeks ago our Earthscouts group went to visit Crooked Pine Hollow Alpaca Farm. The Farm is located in Winterville, GA and is run by Nancy and Ricky Miller.

They have a breeding herd, fleece animals, a rescue herd, and a few bordering aplacas.

Above is one of the breeding herd members pregnant
and expecting this fall.

These three on the right are in the rescue herd. They were emaciated when they came to Crooked Hollow but now seem to be getting better with the all of the love they are receiving.

Our Earthscouts went to Crooked Pine to learn about Economic Justice and to support a local business and member of our extended community.

We talked about how Nancy and Ricky earn a living by taking care of, raising, breeding and selling products from Aplaca fur, which is soft, warm and beautiful. we also used alpaca fleece to create felted squares that we will stitch our earned badges onto.
One fun fact we learned is that Aplacas are considered to be "green" animals becasue their poop doesn't smell and is extremely beneficial as a compost and soil additive.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is my current favorite making it's presence felt at least once a day.


1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes
1T olive oil
1/8 t salt
1/8 ground pepper
1t oregano
1/2t garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350

Peel sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4inch rounds. Place in a bowl with remainng ingredients and coat well. Spread evely on a cookie sheet and bake until done, about 20 -25 minutes. For a crisper potato slice flip over after 10 minutes. Delicious and oh so satisfyingly sweet.