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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Vegetables


My daughter and I visited the Japanese Garden in Fort Worth this morning. Expecting another searing day, we planned to leave at 8 a.m. to enjoy the garden in the cool of the morning. We were delighted to find the region blanketed with cloud and a steady, gentle rain falling.

We had wonderful sharing on the 50 mile trip over. Once in the garden, the rain still falling steadily, we went and stood in the covered area surrounding the bed of raked sand with its islands made of lichened boulders. We stood and talked for 20 minutes, continuing our deep sharing.

Courageously we moved out into the garden. We were delighted to see the rain lightly hammering the surface of the upper pond. It had always been so still on previous visits. We walked past the spot where we’d spent 15 minutes an arm’s length from a great blue heron, still enjoying the memory of that day.

We stepped up onto the porch of the tea house on the lower pond and enjoyed being out of the rain but still deeply in contact with it. We watched, enthralled, as silver droplets of water collected on the surface of heart shaped leaves, tiny droplets joining the larger, until, at last, the large droplet slid off of the leaf.

Later we sat in a gazebo, right on the water, and enjoyed the sight and sound of the rain pattering into the pond. I shared that I often visited a shelter in the park near my girlhood home and sat in a picnic shelter, listening to the sound of rain or snow falling. I called it the Rainsnow.

More deep conversation in a shelter high above the pond, then back to a dry bench near the raked sand.

We lunched at the Modern Museum of Art. I had a fresh tomato tart made with real tomatoes, homemade mayonnaise, homemade sour cream and pepper Jack. It was divine. The side salad was covered with thin slices of Asiago. A glass of dry champagne rounded out my meal.

I am grateful for this blessed time with my daughter. And 3872 steps and 20 flights of stairs (surely I will get a Fitbit badge for those stairs!) And I am grateful for the rain that drenched our parched region.


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I am a fourth generation native of Washington DC, living in Texas. Recently I jumped at the chance to visit DC with my daughter, who had to go there for some continuing medical education. 

We went up early so we could visit museums. The most notable exhibit we saw was a listening device shaped like dog poop at the International Spy Museum.

We visited the Natural History Museum twice, two wings of the National Gallery of Art and the National Zoo. 

We also ate at some wonderful restaurants. We had a fabulous Burmese cabbage salad with diced ginger, peanuts and fried lentils. We had an excellent mezza (small portions of many dishes) at a Lebanese restaurant. We had amazing salmon in a puff pastry crust with caper remoulade at a Russian venue. We ate tapas and shared four dishes including one with rabbit; we finished by sharing the best flan we’d ever eaten. We visited an old favorite Afghan restaurant where we also shared four appetizers, including an oldie-goodie with pumpkin, yogurt and red meat sauce.

We walked many miles a day so the entire adventure was weight neutral!

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Gravy is a breeze the way I make it. It is filled with many, many layers of flavor and it is gluten free.

I start with about four cups of diced vegetables. I used three stalks of celery, a medium onion and three good sized carrots on Easter for my six pound chicken. I drizzled the veggies with olive oil and laid the bird on top. I rubbed unsalted butter into the chicken’s skin. I roasted the bird, turning the pan once during cooking for even browning. I didn’t need to baste.

When the chicken was done, I removed it to a plate. I pushed the vegetables around in the pan to absorb all of the browned bits. Then I put the contents of the pan in my blender and whizzed it up until it was fairly smooth.

That’s it.

Gravy made this way is ample, wonderfully thick and it is divinely multi-layered with flavor. The pan drippings, the aromatic vegetables, the browned parts of the vegetables, the olive oil, the butter.

I just finished the last of it tonight, poured over the last of the white meat of the chicken. Mmmmm!

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