Thursday, 11 February 2010

Where were you ???

I have forgotten so many things in my life, things that while they were happening I thought I could never forget, but I did. There are days which I do remember, events that still bring goosebumps to my arms and raise the pitch of voice a little.

There are the obvious ones, like my wedding day - but not the entire day, just small seemly insignificant things that when I close my eyes, I can transport myself back into that white meringue dress, with the dropping white roses in my hand and I feel the excitement like it was yesterday.

The day we fetched Markwin to come and live permanently with us, knowing we would never have to live through another Sunday afternoon tantrum of a 4 year old, begging you not to take him back to "the home". Him sitting in the administrator's office, all alone, with all his worldly possessions in a black garbage bag, dressed in someone else's Sunday best. He looked so small and scared, everything and everyone he knew he was leaving behind.

Today is a day which I remember and it happened 20 years ago. Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster prison, near Cape Town, after 27 years incarceration. I stood, together with hundreds of thousands of people lining the National Highway, waiting to see his car pass. Seeing the power salute from the car window, knowing that this day would always mean something big. I was only 18 years old, but on that day I became a part of a something bigger than me .

Then 4 years later, standing in the rain for 2 hours queuing to cast my vote in the first democratic election - I would have stood there for as long as it took, too be part of that special day.

Red- letter days - A term which comes from the Medieval Church calendars, where the calendar showed special holy days in red ink.

My Red-Letter days are so beautifully summed up in the song: "A Whole New World" -

A whole new world.
Every turn a surprise

With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I'll chase them anywhere

There's time to spare

Let me share this whole new world with you

Well, I have a new dish wish I made, not red-letter - but very different to my usual fare. I got the idea from the March edition of the Your Family magazine.

Pork Neck Steak and Chickpea Pilaf

3 Pork Neck Steaks (you can use lamb lion, steak or even chicken)
1 Onion
½ Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
1 Tin Chickpeas
¼ Teaspoon of ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Paprika (I like the hot one)
1 Teaspoon Dried Chili Flakes (Use less if you want)
2 Handfuls of chopped Spinach or Swiss Chard
½ Handful of fresh Parsley ( I really didn't measure this one)
150g Basmati Rice
2 Teaspoons Chicken Stock Powder (or one cube)
Lemon wedge to serve

Fry the steaks on a medium heat, in a little oil until cooked, and allow to rest.
In a pot fry the Onion and garlic until soft and golden.
Add the spices, stock and rice and cook for 1 minute
Add about 1 cup of water and cook for about 20 minutes, until the rice is just done.
Add the meat, which you first chop into bite size pieces and the chickpeas.
Heat through the meat and the chickpeas.
Stir in the spinach and the parsley.
Check if you need a little more moisture and turn off the heat and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Will I be with you forever or will you be gone in a minute?

1 comment:

Marisa said...

Like the name Red Letter day! Makes the special days seem even more special...

Pilaf looks tasty!

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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