creative endeavours and healing

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I have been slowing down, sifting through, and clearing out on purpose. Life has presented me with an abundance of challenges over the past few months, with children, family, finances and grand life decisions. I keep reassuring myself there is no wrong here, just different paths to take, i keep reminding myself that i am only one person, and all will be well. Friends are important right now, at least one in particular. I think without this friend, my challenges would have been inevitably harder. She has been my breath when i have found it impossible to breathe, she is the one who listens as worlds fall apart, makes the tea and wipes away the endless tears without trying to change or move me into feeling better. She is alright sitting beside the hurts knowing only too well that they must be felt and really is powerless to change them anyway. It is with this hand, of this friend, that things are able to rise to the  surface and be felt at the very depths that they require, without holding them in judgment or with regret. It is with this, that things are ever so slowing changing form, making room for new ideas, new beginnings, creating space, honouring growth. She is the one who reminds me to be more gentle with myself, to nurture my soul and more importantly forgiving myself for the minor infractions I so harshly hold myself accountable for. She reminds me that All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

Slow roasted chicken with silky potatoes green beans and veloutè sauce

 

we ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other

Earnest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

 

IMG_2962Restaurant Polidor 41 rue monsieur Le prince 75006 ParisIMG_2961Polidor restaurant featured in Woody Allen’s, Midnight in Paris 2011IMG_2876

We dined here three time during our four night stay, at this wonderfully humble restruant famous for Hemingway. I ordered the same meal twice not for any other reason than to simply indulge my senses once more in the simplicity of this succulent dish, suprême de poulet veloutè de morilles,purèe. ‘superbe’

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 Slow roasted chicken with silky potatoes and green beans with veloutè sauce

Ingredients for the chicken: 4 large pieces of free-range Maryland chicken,1 litre chicken stock, 3 continental parsley stalks, 2 cloves of garlic, cracked pepper

Method: place all the chicken into a deep baking dish, they can rest on top of each other. lay the parsley over the chicken, add the garlic whole to the baking dish, lightly season with the cracked pepper and then pour in the stock. Cover tightly with foil the entire top of the baking dish to keep all the steam contained. Set the oven at 180°C and slow roast for 2 hours. Check the chicken after approximately an hour and ladle the stock over the chicken sitting out of the stock, recover with the foil and continue roasting. Meanwhile prepare the veloutè.

 

ingredients for the veloutè sauce: 100grams butter,100grams flour,1litre chicken stock

Method:In a saucepan gently melt the butter without letting it colour. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once and stir to combine. Place the pan back on the heat and cook over a gentle heat to a lightly fawn colour. Allow to cool. Bring the stock to the boil. Add the stock to the roux (flour mix) slowly over the heat, beating in well and allow to thicken before adding the next ladle. Bring to the boil, adjust heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

ingredients for the potatoes: 6 large desiree potatoes peeled and chopped,50grams butter, 250mls cream, salt to taste

method: In a pot of boiling water add the peeled and chopped potatos, boil on a rapid heat until cooked through then strain and return to the pot, mash well until there are no lumps . In another saucepan gently heat the butter until melted and add the cream cook until warmed through then add the mix to the potatoes. With a cake spatula and over a gentle heat work the cream through the potatoes until silky smooth.

Next, boil the string beans for a few minutes, ladle the veloutè into wide bowls add a large scoop of the potato and place a piece of the chicken on top finally drain the beans lightly drizzle in olive oil and season then place a few onto the chicken. Serve.

sacred spaces

Religion is, as I say, something universal and something human, and something impossible to eradicate, nor would I want to eradicate it. I am a religious person, although I am not a believer.

Philip Pullman

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These pictures were taken from a few of the many breathtakingly beautiful churches around Italy.  I always love the feeling that becomes present when you first step through the doors into these places, and take the moment to really see, what it is that is surrounding you. Religious or not, believer  or non, really it doesn’t matter or is of concern. You are welcome into the divinity of these walls that have been standing for the test of time. They have heard and hold deep within the deepest of secrets, immeasurable stories and prayers to  ever be recounted. These places are sacred, not only by vertue of religious believers but by their very presence and the silence they keep on all that has ever been confided. It is here, that it is for ever memorable that I light a candle for the passing of my mum’s dearest friend, Ruth.

words from whitman..

Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.

 

You must travel it by yourself.

It is not far. It is within reach.

Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.

Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”

 

– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

IMG_4370 IMG_4368 IMG_4369 IMG_4372 IMG_4365IMG_4377 IMG_4359 IMG_4366Photographs taken at MISO DI RISO, BIO BISTRO, Vegetarian, Vegan, macrobiotic restruant Borgo degli 54r Firenze (FLORENCE)