Men and Fire.
Why do men have a deep-seated belief that it requires an abundance of testosterone to tend a fire?
Do they fear a loss of masculinity if a woman tends the fire?
Are they afraid of what will happen next if women master (ha) this sooty, messy task?
Will loss of the TV remote be far behind?
Do they fear becoming redundant?
Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to man…. And, by Zeus, man is NOT going to share with woman. I mean, look what Prometheus got for his troubles!
We are in Avignon, staying at a lovely little hotel. In the restaurant is a huge fireplace, with a merrily blazing fire.
Last night, the fire burned very nicely, without anyone minding it, for about an hour. It was starting to burn down and a young women came over to tend it.
She carefully chose a log from the pile, put it on the fire, and then gently blew on the coals a few times.
The fire burst back to life with flames leaping and crackling, the coals glowing brightly.
It was a perfect fire; she had done a masterful job.
She stood in front for a minute, making certain it was burning steadily (it was) then went into the kitchen.
Not 2 seconds later, one of the young men came over, picked up the poker and made a great show of stirring it up a bit. He stared at it in triumph, then strutted off.
He almost put the fire out with his ministrations.
The young woman came out of the kitchen and just shook her head
I could almost read her thoughts: "Praise be! The world is safe once again"…..
From my own, personal, recent everyday fire-tending experience let me just say this:
I keep it burning just fine when it's just me and the girl-dogs in the house.
I keep it burning just fine after we get back from working on our house and mon mari is up relaxing in his hot bath…..
But, the second he comes downstairs, no matter how perfect the fire is, he opens the door to the stove and gives it a little poke…
Every, single night….
On the other hand, he keeps his hands off my wooden spoons….
Stir-fried Sesame Chicken with Peanut Butter
Peanut butter adds a creaminess to stir fries, as well as a subtle, almost sesame flavor. The finish of toasted sesame seeds carries the flavor through. You can buy toasted sesame seeds or toast them yourself in minutes.
2 chicken breasts
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp minced, fresh ginger
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs soy sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena)
2 tbs sherry
2 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs sesame seeds, toasted
Toast sesame seeds in a dry, nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, 3 – 6 minutes. Start flipping them or shaking the skillet after 1 – 2 minutes and remove as soon as light brown. Set aside.
Slice celery at an angle. Cut carrots into matchsticks. Cut onion into quarters, lengthwise, then slice thinly. Mince garlic. Peel a small section of ginger, cut into thin slices, then mince. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
Heat oils in large skillet. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, celery, carrot and sauté 5 minutes longer. Remove to a plate. Add chicken to skillet and sauté 5 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet. Add soy sauce, stock, cover and simmer, 5 minutes.
To finish: Dissolve cornstarch in sherry. Increase heat under skillet. Add peanut butter and stir until dissolved. Add cornstarch and stir until thickened. Add half of the toasted sesame seeds, stir. Spoon over rice, sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and serve.
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 tsp butter
1 cup chicken stock
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and sauté, stirring for 2 – 3 minutes. Add stock or water. Cook rice for length of time on package. When done fluff with fork and serve.
In addition to the above, for the week of December 12 we have Creamy Broccoli Soup, Salmon and Chevre Risotto, Confetti Polenta, Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne….
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