Good Grief Geese

As a bird watcher and lover of nature in general I could not help but think of the natural instincts of geese as I sat through 3 beautiful weddings this month. Early in my own marriage my husband had given me a lovely gold pin created by a Maine jeweler titled “Geese Mate for Life”. Did you know that geese mate for life? It is just one of the reasons why I love this bird. Not to mention that young William would walk around the house imitating their call “ga-LEEK ga-LEEK” in a high-pitched voice. 

When it comes to grief humans should be more like geese. Their devotion to not only their partner, but their entire flock is incredibly inspiring. They illustrate perfectly the notion of “many hands make light work”. Grief work is the hardest you will ever do. If there is ever a time for a need of loving and supportive companionship it’s when someone we love dies.

Geese have a few other instincts that we can all learn from. Look up. It’s this time of year with winter in their cry that geese are flying in “V” formation. Their journey is a long one. They do it together for a reason. The flapping of their individual wings allows the bird behind them to have a bit of an uplift making the flight less of a burden. The difficult journey is made more bearable. No one need or should travel a grief journey alone. Accept support. 

Once in awhile a goose falls out of formation. (Oh, those angry years.) It immediately will feel the drag and difficulty of flying alone. What does the flock do? A pair will drop from the “V” and follow the wayward goose to support and protect it until it is able to continue on its own. It’s a through thick and thin kind of friendship. It’s the bond of love and compassion at its best. Just hold your friends up when they can’t hold themselves.  

Now one thing is for sure. A griever can be super high maintenance. The journey is long. No one person can care for and protect you. When the goose at the point, the one leading the journey, gets tired he/she falls back and let’s another take over. He/she is exhausted and needs comfort. It is wise to understand that no one person can bear the burden of your grief. Take a cue from the geese and expand your flock.

There are times in life when we must rely on each other. Times when we need to be connected and encouraged. We need to honk like the geese to show our mutual support and love otherwise we end up traveling alone. Make room for your partner in life and a few trusted family and friends. 

To everyone: Be the Goose

As a side note, one of William’s favorite movies was “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise as the character Maverick. His wing man was aptly named “Goose”. 

With the holidays on the horizon you might be expecting a recipe for goose, but that ain’t happening here. I love geese, but not on my dinner plate. So, I looked back in my arsenal of recipes and thought I’d share one from a family cookbook that my cousins and I put together many years ago. My extended family are totally a flock of geese. They have been there for me on so many occasions, but it was aunt Faye who rescued me in times of trouble during elementary school. Back then we walked to school and mid-day took a break for lunch. Aunt Faye lived only a few doors from the school and rather than me walking the long route home in the rain and snow she’d invite me in for a warm bowl of her pastina. How lucky was I to have the love and support of Aunt Faye. Here is her recipe as written in our family cookbook. 

Aunt Faye’s Famous Pastina

1 pound pastina

2 eggs

Butter

Parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper

Boil pastina till tender. Drain and add 2 eggs, butter and parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste.

Okay…for all you cooks who like clear-cut quantities just go with your instincts. Be Italian for 5 minutes and add a spoonful of this or a pinch of that. Be the Goose! 

Top Recipes For 2017

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It was this same time a year ago I began to struggle with writer’s block. What to Write? What to write? What to write? Like last year, I got nothin’! So instead I will share YOUR top 3 favorite recipes from 2017. BTW-your favorites are for sure some of mine. May love always guide you in the kitchen.

Sweet William's Fancy

inspired by Will

Not one bit surprised that the recipe that got me started writing this blog makes the top list for the second time. Who doesn’t love a perfectly crisp chocolate chip cookie with a soft inside spiked with bourbon? Click here for the recipe.

 

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Next up a heart-warming nourishing bowl of soup that features wild rice. It’s perfect for the crazy cold winter we are having all over the country. Click here for the recipe.

 

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Pretty sure this third and final recipe made the list not only because people seem to love everything cheesecake, but also because it was a Food Network Magazine prize winner. Getting a little national attention never hurts in the blogosphere. Get the recipe right here.

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Food is the common denominator that brings all kinds of people together at the table

Gather the ones you love most as often as you can.

More Happiness in 2018

 

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Super Shopping & Soup Pot Give Away

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Here is some exciting news for all my foodie fanatic friends at least those who love to cook and bake. Mark your calendar for Delaware’s Annual Mega Warehouse Sale of Kitchen Products. They have given me an exclusive look at this beautiful stock pot and generously giving one away to one lucky reader. More about that later.

Scheduled for October 27 – 28, 2017  See what you can look forward to.

Consumers and professional chefs are invited to the annual mega warehouse sale of home and kitchen products in New Castle, DE on Friday, October 27 and Saturday October 28. This year’s event includes exclusive products not available at prior warehouse sales or anywhere else in the United States. Products purchased at the sale are tax free.

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Thousands of people converge on the industrial complex in the first state each year for bargains and factory seconds from premium European brands: Emile Henry, Duralex, Lékué, Mauviel, Rösle and Novis Vita Juicer. Shoppers will be able to pick up holiday gifts for everyone on their gift lists including products for professional and amateur cooks and bakers, serious grillers, healthy eaters, movie night fanatics and even news year’s revelers.

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Cooking enthusiasts will have the opportunity to buy the stainless-steel BBQ tools, the French ceramic lasagna baker, the copper stewpot, the centrifugal juicer and hundreds of other kitchen products they’ve been coveting for years. The two-day sale on Friday, October 27 and Saturday October 28 is in the Centerpoint Business Complex Park in New Castle at 802 Centerpoint Blvd. Follow signs from Route 273 to the warehouse. Doors open at 3:00PM on Friday and 9:00AM on Saturday. Cash and credit cards will be accepted. For additional information on the sale, please call 302-326-4800.

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The Annual Stock up for Seniors Meals on Wheels Delaware fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, October 26 from 6:30 till 9pm, the night before the sale opens to the general public. Visit www.mealsonwheelsde.org to purchase tickets to the fundraiser. Ticket sales as well as 5% of the proceeds from the warehouse sale will benefit Meals On Wheels Delaware.

For cooks who don’t know these brands, here are a few facts: Emile Henry colorful, all natural, heirloom quality ovenware and tableware is made from Burgundian clay in the French town of Marcigny. Mauviel 1830 is one of the only copper cookware manufacturers left in the world today and makes all of its products in Normandy, France. Rösle’s award winning, German designed kitchens tools are backed by a lifetime warranty. Duralex is the French manufacturer of the renowned French Picardie drinking glasses and Lys glass bowls. Lékué is a Spanish manufacturer of platinum silicone cooking tools and bakeware designed for healthy cooking. Novis offers a Swiss designed, multifunctional, powerful juicer in a range colors.

Products from all six brands are sold in premier kitchen stores and online catalogs and have been featured in hundreds of articles and shows in the national media including the Today’s Show, Good Morning America, Food Network, Cooks Illustrated, Fine Cooking, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

Duralex, Emile Henry, Lékué, Mauviel, Novis, Rösle

802 Centerpoint Blvd., New Castle, DE 19720

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And now for the give away of this lovely Emile Henry ceramic soup pot/tureen. Don’t you love a piece that does double duty cook and serve? I think you will not only love it for its good looks, but also for its ability to efficiently conduct heat using lower temperatures. Made of natural materials with a non-porous glaze no oil is needed to prevent sticking to the pot and allows for gentle healthy cooking of soups, stews, chili and anything that one likes to braise. Beautifully insulated it also kept my soup warm for a good three hours sitting off the heat (perfect for a holiday open house event). Unlike metal pots clean up is a snap with no burnt on crusts to scrub. If you would like to win this amazing stock pot please go over to my Instagram (follow me) and leave a comment tagging a friend on the soup photo. For an extra entry leave a comment here with your favorite soup.

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Here is one of my favorite soups using fresh butternut squash and Thai basil picked from my garden today. Using the Emile Henry stock pot eliminated the need for oil, but if you are using a metal pan add a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil to cook the curry paste and onions. If you like your soup spicy then certainly kick up the amount of curry paste.

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Thai Style Coconut Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash

1 to 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

3 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced

1-tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cups thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken

garnish: chopped green onions and Thai basil leaves

Heat stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and red curry paste; cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant and onions are softened. Add the coconut milk, broth and brown sugar; increase heat and bring to the boil. Add the squash, lime juice and chicken and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Top the soup with the green onion and basil leaves to serve. Serves 4–6.

 

I will randomly choose a winner in 2 weeks. Good luck and happy shopping.

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