Deep into Friday night, when the Internet usually creeps the closest it can to something remotely akin to repose, sparks flew. The world was bellowing its plea in three words: pray for Paris. Those who understood the heaviness of those words and the price of prayer knelt on their knees to pay just that. Some who have only seen the Bible a on a handful of occasions when they visited their grandparents’ abode passed on the phrase for its propriety. Still there were others wholly unknowing of the term, yet still disseminated the message on their feeds. I thought this the most curious. Had the special attention given to posts hashtagged #prayforparis prompted this like some uplifting current? Or were consciences restless until a tragedy response post was made so that subsequent posts of novelty could be made with a peace of mind? Or maybe, and I am hopeful in this, this hashtag made it just a tad, ever so slightly clearer that as humans we are broken. The hands in which we pride ourselves and to which we owe the complexity of our civilization do little but destroy at a rate exponentially greater than we can ever dream to mend. Perhaps we are coming to terms with the fact that we, humanity, is desperately in need of a hand – a hand apart from our own. One of healing and love which we do not deserve, yet extended in grace so we might receive a fate we can ever fabricate on our own.
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace –
only that it meets us where we are
but does not leave us
where it found us.
Turmeric Jewelled Rice (serves 4)
- 1 2/3 c brown jasmine rice, rinsed
- 1/4 c sultana raisins
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- generous 2 cups water
- If you have a rice cooker, perfect. Just put everything in the rice cooker and steam as you normally would until the rice is cooked through. If you don’t have a rice cooker, bring 2 1/2 cup water to a rolling boil in a small pot, add everything and lower the heat to a steady simmer. Cover with a lid, and cook for 35-45 minutes until the moisture is completely absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Keep warm.
Spiced Ratatouille (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 large Chinese eggplan, quartered and sliced
- 4 plums or apricots, pitted and sliced
- 1 small red chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- black pepper
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- 1 tbsp honey
- In a hot pan, sweat the onions and green peppers with a bit of salt until soft. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, plums, and chili. Cook on high heat until the liquids are reduced.
- Deglaze with cider vinegar and add 1 cup of water. Season with the remaining salt, cinnamon, and black pepper.
- Cook until almost dry, then stir in the lemon juice and honey until the mixture reaches a chutney-like consistency. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Cumin Fried Eggs (serves 4)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 large free range eggs, cracked into a bowl
- Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1/4 tsp cumin seeds in a nonstick pan until fragrant.
- Tip in an egg and fry until sunny side up until the whites are set. Slide onto a plate and repeat with the remaining eggs.
- chopped pistachios
- plain yoghurt
- mint leaves (optional)
Divide the rice and ratatouille among four dinner plates (or bowls). Add a dollop of yoghurt, top with an egg, and finish with chopped pistachios and mint leaves.