Gratitude

Me & Chaz

Me & Chaz

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating today.

Let us be grateful that we have a roof over our heads, food in our kitchen, clothes on our back, clean water to drink, and an income to keep us housed, fed, and clothed. I think we often take this for granted when we are caught up in so many worries that will not matter ten years down the line. So many people are not so fortunate.

I am grateful for so much more and I could list them all out for you, but I just want to share the most important one for this blog. I am grateful to you for coming back post after post. You are the reason why I keep this up even when I think, maybe I’ll just focus on my fiction instead.

Pomegranate Sauce

Pomegranate SauceWhen cranberries came back as a reaction on my blood tests earlier this year I was sad. I love cranberries and always looked forward to seeing them in the stores in the Fall. I always made my own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and was my favorite thing to make next to the turkey and the mashed potatoes.

I had all year to think of how to do cranberry sauce without it being cranberry sauce, but I have been busy.

Earlier this week it hit me. Pomegranate.

Two of the big, red, round fruits were in my fruit bin begging me to use them up before they turned. Pomegranate seeds and cranberries couldn’t be that far off of each other could they? Sure the seeds have seeds inside them, but it did not deter me. I like a variety of textures when I eat.

No, I did not blend and strain this to make it less crunchy. I was going to after I tried it. However, after eating it with the chicken I made, I found I didn’t mind the seediness of it. If you are affronted by this, by all means, blend and strain. I cannot guarantee your results though.

Cross one side off my Thanksgiving day list!

Pomegranate Sauce

Seeds of two pomegranates

Zest and juice of one orange

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (grade B)

water

Add seeds, zest, juice, cinnamon stick, and maple syrup to a saucepan. Add just enough water to come to the top of the seeds. Bring to a boil over medium. Lower heat to keep it at a low boil and cover, leaving a crack to let steam escape. Let the sauce simmer for an hour. Serve warm or cold. Allow to cool before storing in the refrigerator.

This post is linked to Whole Food Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska and Wellness Weekend at Ricki Heller.

Portuguese Bean Soup

I do not like cold weather. I do not like being cold. I do not like my hands feeling like blocks of ice. I do not like Old Man Winter.

It snowed the other day and not all the leaves here have turned and fallen off the trees/bushes. It was an odd sight to see snow blanketing red and green leaves on the trees. A much different sight from snow on pine needles. I could not tell what season it was. The temperature told me one thing while my eyes were just confused.

The only upside to cold weather is being in the mood for foods that really warm me from the inside, which I need in order to stay warm. Layers of clothes do not help much when my hands are still exposed. Wearing gloves while working around the house is not feasible. I even tried getting a pair of cheap gloves and cutting the fingertips off. Just my fingertips being exposed kept my hands and the rest of me cold.

Portuguese Bean Soup is a comfort food from back home. I had some Portuguese sausage in the freezer and I was trying to figure out what to make to use it up. Soup! Duh!

I realize Portuguese sausage may not be available in your area. I was thrilled to find it in Jungle Jim’s, but they do not always have it in stock. You can use chorizo or andouille in its place. I also use dried beans and I do not soak them. Boil them for about an hour before using them in the soup and they will be done by the time the soup is done. If you want to use canned beans, you can.

This filled up my dutch oven and I had lots of leftovers.

Portuguese Bean Soup

20-24 ounces Portuguese Sausage (or chorizo or andouille), sliced (or halved/quartered and sliced)

1 onion, chopped

1 head cabbage, chopped

1 cup dried kidney beans, boiled for 1 and drained

28 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

water

chili flakes

salt

Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot on medium. Add sausage and onion. Cook until both are sweating. Add cabbage, kidney beans, canned tomatoes, and salt and chili flakes to taste. Stir well then add water just until ingredients are covered. Lower the heat then cover and simmer for at least an hour.