Friday, February 5, 2010


John Updike, "The sound of her (his mother) typing gave the house a secret, questing life unlike that of any of the other houses...". Jane Kenyon, "Here in this house, among photographs of your ancestors, their hymnbooks and old shoes... I move from room to room."
Yesterday I walked to the underground library and returned with many words so lovingly arranged on myriads of pages. I carried books of promises through the snowy streets. When I arrived at my room I sat down with Victor Jara and Emily Peake. Jara was a world-famous Chilean folk singer. In 1973 he was murdered. His crime? He awakened the consciousness of the people with his message of hope and social change. Emily was an Ojibwe woman from White Earth Res. who worked for community. My Grandmother Vanoss often spoke of her. She died April 18, 1995. She was born May 28, 1920, Fairveiw Hosp, Mpls.
In preparation of tonight's wild rice dinner and storytelling salon I walked to Kowalski's. No, I was not looking for road kill! It was a pleasant excursion into a lovely day. I am going to use the recipe my deceased relative Winnie Jourdain shared with Emily. I include it here FYI. I am boiling 4 plump chicken thighs as I write. You must wash the rice if, like mine, it is home processed. Remember 1 cup of rice needs 3 cups of water. Home processed rice cooks fast so don't boil it too much. Bring water to boil, add rice, cover and let stand. Dice 4 stalks of celery, one onion and 1 cup mushrooms, saute in 2 T olive oil. Remove chicken from bones, dice and set aside. Save the broth. Measure 3 cups of broth into bowl, add 1 t. vinegar and 1 1/2 t salt. Drain rice and add other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into covered casserole. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.
Winnie died at age 101 (2001). She was the last survivor of the Broken Arrow Guild. But I felt her looking over my shoulder as I stood at the stove. She said, "Mushrooms will make a nice addition to this gourmet hotdish." Winnie had an impressive cookbook collection and was a great admirer of Julia Child.

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