Wizardry and Death

March 11, 2014

Apparently NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS!!! Haven’t been around, but I keep looking out for you all! Send me a message, let me know what my peeps are doing!

ஜ~§ Book Of The Day §~ஜ

Wizards First Rule

Richard Cypher’s decision to help a woman in the Upper Ven near the Boundary between the Midlands and Westland creates more trouble than first appears. The woman, Kahlan Amnell, seeks the help of a wizard in the Westland, and she brings with her dark news from the other side of the Boundary: Darken Rahl, Ruler of D’Hara, has brought down the Boundary between D’Hara and the Midlands. This menacing ruler continues his dead father’s quest for control by pressing war on the now vulnerable Midlands. Kahlan is attempting to find the great wizard who had left the Midlands for the Magic free Westlands due to the corruption of the government in his eyes, so as to have him Name a Seeker of Truth. The great wizard turns out to be Zeddicus Zu’l Zorrander, Richard’s longtime friend, who then proceeds to name Richard the Seeker.

ஜ~§ Quote Of The Day §~ஜ

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

ஜ~§ Question Of The Day §~ஜ

What does the word Jenga mean?

ஜ~§ Word Of The Day §~ஜ

jingoism pronunciation\JING-goh-iz-im\

DEFINITION

noun

: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy

ஜ~§ Poem Of The Day §~ஜ

Poem of Life

For My Grandmother

Life is but a stopping place,

A pause in what’s to be,

A resting Place along the road,

to sweet eternity.

We all have differnt journeys

Different paths along the way,

We all wer meant to learn some things,

but never meant to stay …

Our destination is a place

Far greater than we know.

For some the hourney’s quicker,

For some the journey’s slow.

And when the journey finally ends,

We’ll claim a great reward,

And find an everlasting peace,

Together with the Lord.

ஜ~§ Recipe Of The Day §~ஜ

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

Chicken

Ingredients

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon mustard powder

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

4 small skinless, boneless chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total), pounded to 1/4″ thickness

8 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 lemon, halved

Preparation

Place flour in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs in a second shallow bowl. Combine panko, Parmesan, and mustard powder in a third shallow bowl and season mixture with salt and pepper.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer to bowl with beaten egg and turn to coat. Lift from bowl, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Coat with panko mixture, pressing to adhere. DO AHEAD: Chicken can be breaded 3 months in advance. Place between pieces of freezer paper or waxed paper and freeze in resealable freezer bags. Thaw before continuing.

Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook cutlets, adding remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan between batches, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Serve with lemon.

 

ஜ SPS ஜ

Advertisements

A Game of Grilling

June 27, 2011

HAH! My state was designated as the third Tax-Unfriendly State! Well technically it was for retirees, however, I’m feeling the sting personally!
In my recipe section I’ve decided to focus on some outdoor grilling recipes. It’s summertime, let’s celebrate it OUTSIDE!!! So you’ll be seeing a lot of grilling recipes for ya!

ஜ~§ Book Of The Day §~ஜ

A Game of Thrones

gameofthrones

I’m sure by now EVERYONE has heard about either this book or the HBO series.  Fell free to discuss in the comments or link to a discussion blog of your own! Yummy goodness!

ஜ~§ Quote Of The Day §~ஜ

A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company. -Charles Evans Hughes, jurist (1862-1948)

ஜ~§ Question Of The Day §~ஜ

Would you rather be a vampire or a vampire hunter, and why?

ஜ~§ Word Of The Day §~ஜ

laodicean

PRONUNCIATION:
(lay-ah-duh-SEE-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Lukewarm or indifferent, especially regarding religion.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Laodicea, a city in Asia Minor, whose Christians were rebuked for their indifference to religion in Revelation 3:16 in the New Testament. Earliest documented use: 1633.

USAGE:
“How can we expect such vital realism from our pathologically Laodicean political class?”
Kevin Myers; An Irishman’s Diary; Irish Times (Dublin); Jul 19, 2005.

ஜ~§ Poem Of The Day §~ஜ

Messy Room
by Shel Silverstein

Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater’s been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or–
Huh? You say it’s mine? Oh, dear,
I knew it looked familiar!

ஜ~§ Recipe Of The Day §~ஜ

Kebobs

Sensational Serloin Kebobs

Ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper seasoning
4 fluid ounces lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
2 pounds beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 green bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
skewers
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, stems removed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 fresh pineapple – peeled, cored and cubed

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, light brown sugar, distilled white vinegar, garlic powder, seasoned salt, garlic pepper seasoning, and lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage. Reserve about 1/2 cup of this marinade for basting. Place steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Cover with the remaining marinade, and seal. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add green peppers, and cook for 1 minute, just to blanch. Drain, and set aside.

3. Preheat grill for high heat. Thread steak, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and pineapple onto skewers in an alternating fashion. Discard marinade and the bag.

4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook kabobs on the prepared grill for 10 minutes, or to desired doneness. Baste frequently with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Brightest Blessings!

~S~


Smokin’ Hot!

June 26, 2011

My mother is getting first crack at the new Evanovich book, but I’ll give it to you on good authority that if you’ve not been reading this series … you really should. (also for you guys out there, many of my male friends have read these and think they’re hilarious!)

Currently I’m re-reading a trilogy that is a pretty easy and fun read. I’m also re-reading Dune and I’ll start on A Tale of Two Cities when I’m done with the trilogy.  Sometimes … I look through my bookshelves and I think … I can’t decide which one i want to read again, because they’re all so deliciously good!

Tomorrow is grocery shopping day … good thing too, because right now I only have Oatmeal. Speaking of food, or lack there of, I actually have had the grilled bacon jalapeno wraps … and they are delicious.  I made mine on my stovetop grill pan.  You can actually bake them as well, just bake them until the bacon is crispy.

So … because I don’t have a whole lot of news today … I’ll go ahead and answer my question of the day … Which book do I find myself regularly re-reading and why?

The book I re-read most frequently is ‘If Tomorrow Comes’ by Sidney Sheldon

ITC

I just love the story of this book … desperate woman tries to get vengeance for her mother, gets framed by a hooligan, ends up in jail, heroically saves warden’s child, gets pardoned, and lives a life as a world class thief! Intrigue, suspense, drama, interesting characters. Excellent book that I highly recommend.  Actually I recommend anything written by Sheldon!

 

So that’s the lot for today … more on the morrow!

 

ஜ~§ Book Of The Day §~ஜ

Smokin’ Seventeen

Smokin17

Janet Evanovich ~ Stephanie Plum Series

ஜ~§ Quote Of The Day §~ஜ

I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.
Noel Coward
 

ஜ~§ Question Of The Day §~ஜ

Which book do you find yourself regularly rereading, and why?
 

ஜ~§ Word Of The Day §~ஜ

babel

PRONUNCIATION:
(BAB-uhl, BAY-buhl)

MEANING:

noun:
1. A confused mixture of noises or voices.
2. A scene of noise or confusion.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Hebrew Babhel (Babylon). In the Old Testament (Genesis 11:4-9), people united in an attempt to build a city with a tower that reached the heavens. This displeased god who halted the project by confounding people’s speech so they wouldn’t understand one another. Earliest documented use: before 1382.

USAGE:
"While an excited babel of Spanish, German, Japanese, and Hindi emanated from the dozens of television news crews in the street, the response to Charles and Camilla’s I dos among locals was mostly We Don’t."
Glenda Cooper; In Windsor, a Royal Pain; The Washington Post; Apr 10, 2005.

ஜ~§ Poem Of The Day §~ஜ

Song

By James Joyce 1882–1941 James Joyce

My love is in a light attire
Among the apple trees,
Where the gay winds do most desire
To run in companies.
 
There, where the gay winds stay to woo
The young leaves as they pass,
My love goes slowly, bending to
Her shadow on the grass.
 
And where the sky’s a pale blue cup
Over the laughing land,
My love goes lightly, holding up
Her dress with dainty hand.

ஜ~§ Recipe Of The Day §~ஜ

 

Grilled Bacon Jalapeno Wraps

jalapeno-bacon-wrap-2

Ingredients
6 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded (I don’t generally cut fully in half, I just cut off a sliver to make a little ‘boat’. Also I prefer red jalapenos and not green)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
12 slices bacon

Directions
1.Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
2.Spread cream cheese to fill jalapeno halves. Wrap with bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
3.Place on the grill, and cook until bacon is crispy.

Brightest Blessings!

~S~


Back on the Bandwagon Again!

June 25, 2011

People, I’m back again, getting back on the blogging bandwagon.  I know I’ve said that before, but it’s really time.  I’m also (as you can plainly see) getting back to my old blogging format, a little something for everyone.  I’ve also added a new category, book of the day.  This is going to run the gamut from children’s books to the classics and all those in between. You are all cordially invited to share your favorites in my comments section and I’ll work them in as well! (I’m all about blogger interaction!).  My next read will be Janet Evanovich’s ‘Smokin’ Seventeen’.

I have been terribly terribly lax in posting comments in all your blogs, and I hope to be changing that in the future as well!

I hope you enjoy!

ஜ~§Book Of The Day§~ஜ

Monkey Truck
by Michael Slack (Author, Illustrator))

MonkeyTruck

Book talk: This paper over board book for toddlers has a silly monkey who is also a truck. Look at him go!

Snippet:
His overdrive engine
burns monkey gas.
REV REV
TOOT!

~§Quote Of The Day§~ஜ

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.
Paulo Coelho

ஜ~§Question Of The Day§~ஜ

What childhood toy did you desperately want that your parents refused to give you? Do you still think about getting one?

ஜ~§Word Of The Day§~ஜ

Aceldama

PRONUNCIATION:

(uh-SEL-duh-muh)

MEANING:

noun: A place of bloodshed.

ETYMOLOGY:

The term is derived from the name Aceldama, a potter’s field described in the New Testament. It was purchased by the priests with the money Judas Iscariot received for betraying Jesus. From Greek Akeldama, from Aramaic haqeldema (field of blood). Earliest documented use: 1382.

USAGE:

"Mickelsson describes Philosophy Department as a ‘treacherous, ego-bloated, murder-stained hovel.’ Ah, the groves of aceldama!"
Margaret Manning; Book Review; Boston Globe; May 30, 1982

ஜ~§Poem Of The Day§~ஜ

The Ragpickers’ Wine

In the muddy maze of some old neighborhood,
Often, where the street lamp gleams like blood,
As the wind whips the flame, rattles the glass,
Where human beings ferment in a stormy mass,

One sees a ragpicker knocking against the walls,
Paying no heed to the spies of the cops, his thralls,
But stumbling like a poet lost in dreams;
He pours his heart out in stupendous schemes.

He takes great oaths and dictates sublime laws,
Casts down the wicked, aids the victims’ cause;
Beneath the sky, like a vast canopy,
He is drunken of his splendid qualities.

Yes, these people, plagued by household cares,
Bruised by hard work, tormented by their years,
Each bent double by the junk he carries,
The jumbled vomit of enormous Paris,-

They come back, perfumed with the smell of stale
Wine-barrels, followed by old comrades, pale
From war, mustaches like limp flags, to march
With banners, flowers, through the triumphal arch

Erected for them, by some magic touch!
And in the dazzling, deafening debauch
Of bugles, sunlight, of huzzas and drum,
Bring glory to the love-drunk folks at home!

Even so, wine pours its gold to frivolous
Humanity, a shining Pactolus;
Then through man’s throat of high exploits it sings
And by its gifts reigns like authentic kings.

To lull these wretches’ sloth and drown the hate
Of all who mutely die, compassionate,
God has created sleep’s oblivion;
Man added Wine, divine child of the Sun.

ஜ~§Recipe Of The Day§~ஜ

Quick Dill Dip

DillDip

Enjoy this flavorful low fat dip anytime.
Prep: 5 min – Total: 3 hr 5 min

1 cup MIRACLE WHIP Light Dressing
1 container (16 oz.) BREAKSTONE’S FREE or KNUDSEN FREE Fat Free Sour Cream
1 Tbsp. dill weed
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

MIX all ingredients; cover. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
SERVE with assorted NABISCO Crackers or vegetable dippers.

Makes 24 (2-Tbsp.) servings

Make-Ahead: Dip can be made a day in advance. Most vegetables can be cut up a day in advance as well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutritional Info Per Serving: Calories 45,Total fat 2g, Saturated fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 100mg, Carbohydrate 5g, Dietary fiber 0g, Sugars 2g, Protein 1g

Slainte

~S~


FRIENDSHIP

November 5, 2010

Here’s the deal, either you’re a friend or not. I wanted my ‘girl’ to love me so much that I wanted her to tell me everything.

I didn’t give her everything about me

she keeps trying and i keep buying

but i never gave it up

she’s my  

best friend

oh for chrisake

who cares

no one cares

she’s gone

(Just a weird poem that popped outta me)


Buff n Tan, Buff n Tan

March 22, 2010

I’d like to start out by apologizing to my good friend for hurting her feelings with my post yesterday. That was not my intent. Mostly I’m pretty much facetious and unless otherwise stated my posts should be taken as a load of rot.

Moving on … it’s my FRIDAY!!! I’m sooo excited to have a few days off to catch up on my sleep again! WEET! (FYI This also means I likely won’t be posting again until Thursday morning!)

Health Care Reform seems to be banging right along, all I’m going to say on the matter is that I don’t want it, it’s going to ruin our nation, the people who passed it are morons, and this is just the next step of the long slow slide downhill for our nation. I do hope it’s worth it; I certainly hope I’m wrong.

However, I don’t put much faith in this ‘hopey changey’ stuff. The country plugged along for 230 years without such a socialistic/welfare nation power play (Social Security could be used as a counter-example, but that was supposed to be a short term program, HAH!) … I certainly think a less sweeping approach could have improved healthcare more efficiently, in a shorter amount of time, allowed for the free-market structure, and helped more people in the short term. *end rant*

It’s supposed to be sunny and relatively warm over the next few days … so I’m packing up my camera and heading out to take some pictures … dunno where, and I couldn’t say when the film will be developed … I’ll make sure to mark it clearly though when I’m done with the roll. I think I’ll ride my bike around and see what I see.

Also, I’ll be enjoying time with the doggies at the dog run at my apt building. Brilliant idea by the management company putting those dog runs in!

Hitting the gym again today, I did more reps yesterday than normal and I’m a bit sore … so I’m going to back off on the weights a bit, and treat myself to a long soak in the sauna! Tanning after that … really my new mantra is “Buff, Tan, Buff, Tan, Buff, Tan” and I’m liking it alot!

Now I’m off to continue re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! (cannot WAIT for the first film of the last book to come out!)

ஜ~§Quote Of The Day§~ஜ

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.
Michael Crichton

ஜ~§Question Of The Day§~ஜ

The eighties were known as the Me decade. The nineties have been called the Electronic age. So far, what would you label this decade?
(loss of decadance decade!)

ஜ~§Word Of The Day§~ஜ

Steenth

PRONUNCIATION:
(steenth)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Latest in an indefinitely long sequence.
2. One sixteenth.

ETYMOLOGY:
Alteration of the word sixteenth.

USAGE:
“And for the steenth time I wondered why he hadn’t phoned me.”

ஜ~§Poem Of The Day§~ஜ

As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed

As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, “Don’t put it there,
a head’s no place for underwear!”
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred’s underwear remains.

At night when Fred goes back to bed,
he deftly plucks it off his head.
His mother switches off the light
and softly croons, “Good night! Good night!”
And then, for reasons no one knows,
Fred’s underwear goes on his toes.

Jack Prelutsky

ஜ~§Recipe Of The Day§~ஜ

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze

Ingredients:
For tart shell:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons cold water

For filling:
1 1/2 pounds strawberries (about 1 1/2 quarts), trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup ruby Port
1 pound mascarpone (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Equipment: a 10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom; pie weights or dried beans

Preparation:
Make tart shell:
Blend together flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Beat together yolk, vanilla, lemon juice, and water with a fork, then drizzle over flour mixture and stir with fork (or pulse) until mixture comes together.

Gently knead with floured hands on a lightly floured surface until a dough forms, then gently knead 4 or 5 times. Press into a 5-inch disk. Place in center of tart pan and cover with plastic wrap. Using your fingers and bottom of a flat-bottomed measuring cup, spread and push dough to evenly cover bottom and side of pan. Prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until side is set and edge is pale golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and continue to bake until shell is deep golden all over, about 20 minutes more. Cool in pan, about 45 minutes.

Make filling while tart shell cools:
Stir together strawberries and granulated sugar in a bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Strain in a sieve set over a small saucepan, reserving berries. Add Port to liquid in saucepan and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk together mascarpone, confectioners sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until stiff.

Assemble tart:
Spread mascarpone mixture evenly in cooled tart shell, then top with strawberries. Drizzle Port glaze all over tart.

Brightest Blessings,

~S~


On Imagination

February 27, 2009

Here’s a quick funny for ya. (Caveat-I’m not a teacher, it’s just how the story reads)

Show and Tell

One day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. ‘This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.’

‘First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.’

She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

‘Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ (Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans.) ‘She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

‘My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.’ (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

‘And then, pop! M y Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!’ (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

‘Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe’. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.’

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

ஜ~§Quote of the Day§~ஜ

Hatred is blind, as well is love.
Oscar Wilde

ஜ~§The Question Of The Day§~ஜ

What’s the story behind your username?

Aha! I knew you always wanted to know this about me. Surry is a shortened form of Surreptitious. Surreptitious is my FAVORITE word in the dictionary. When I first started chatting my FIRST ever username was Surreptitious_Poet. When I was in yahoo chat it was shortened to Surry. Later I found that my favorite flower was the Sweetpea, smells nice, easy to grow. (so I’m told, I have a black thumb) I was getting too much junk mail under surreptitious_poet, so I created a new account. Piscean_river_walker (don’t freakin ask, I believe I was just getting into learning about pagan paths) the ‘Nickname’ under my new account is now SweetPeaSurry. YAY. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!!!

ஜ~§The Word Of The Day§~ஜ

Coeval

PRONUNCIATION:
(ko-EE-vuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Having the same age or duration.
noun: A contemporary.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin coaevus, from co- (in common) + aevum (age), from Greek aion (age). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aiw-/ayu- (vital force, life, eternity) that is also the source of ever, never, aye, nay, eon, eternal, medieval, primeval, utopia, Sanskrit Ayurveda.

USAGE:
“Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born in the same year, on the same day: Feb 12, 1809. … Instinctively, we want to say that they belong together. It’s not just because they were both great men, and not because they happen to be exact coevals. Rather, it’s because the scientist and the politician each touched off a revolution that changed the world.”

ஜ~§What I’m Reading§~ஜ

I forgot my book today, didn’t bring it to work … so I’m reading erotica instead. *giggles*

ஜ~§What I’m Watching§~ஜ

Tonight is: Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, Numb3rs, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicals, Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse. (I’d better stop and get some more wine)

ஜ~§Poem Of The Day§~ஜ

On Imagination

THY various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck’d with pomp
by thee!
Thy wond’rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon’s refulgent heights attend,
Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till some lov’d object strikes her wand’ring eyes,
Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
And soft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy’s raptur’d eyes
The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
The frozen deeps may break their iron bands,
And bid their waters murmur o’er the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow’ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
And all the forest may with leaves be crown’d:
Show’rs may descend, and dews their gems disclose,
And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
Such is thy pow’r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leader of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought,
And thine the sceptre o’er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
Of subject-passions sov’reign ruler thou;
At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Fancy might now her silken pinions try
To rise from earth, and sweep th’ expanse on high:
From Tithon’s bed now might Aurora rise,
Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies,
While a pure stream of light o’erflows the skies.
The monarch of the day I might behold,
And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,
But I reluctant leave the pleasing views,
Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse;
Winter austere forbids me to aspire,
And northern tempests damp the rising fire;
They chill the tides of Fancy’s flowing sea,
Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.

Phillis Wheatley

ஜ~§Recipe of the Day§~ஜ

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberies and Red Swiss Chard

Ingredients:
For Swiss chard
1/3 cup minced shallots (2 medium)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lb red Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately

For pork chops
4 (1 1/4-inch-thick) rib pork chops
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For sauce
1/3 cup minced shallots (2 medium)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (4 1/2 oz)
3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Prepare Swiss chard:
Cook shallots and garlic in butter in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add chard stems and center ribs and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add leaves and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer chard to a heavy saucepan and wipe out skillet.

Cook pork chops:
Pat chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chops, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into meat registers 155°F, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer chops with tongs to a platter, leaving fat in skillet, and cover chops loosely with foil to keep warm.

Make sauce:
Sauté shallots in fat remaining in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and deglaze by boiling over high heat, scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half. Add cranberries and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to burst, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and thyme and simmer, stirring, until berries are collapsed, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until incorporated, then season with salt and pepper.

Assemble dish:
While sauce is cooking, reheat chard over moderate heat, stirring. Divide among 4 plates and top with chops, then spoon sauce over.

Brightest Blessings,
~S~