Going to start to apply some heat around here soon, I think…
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington is one of my three or four favorite places on earth.
Watching people, not a few with tears in their eyes, stand on the stone where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech is one powerful reason why.
What an astonishing thing a book is. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time.
Put the following into a food processor:
- Half a large onion
- 5 or 6 or 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 3-or-4-inch piece of ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- .5 tsp ground cumin
- .5 tsp black pepper
- a few shakes of turmeric
- about tsp of kosher salt
- .5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 or 5 small canned whole tomatoes (or whatever you get from a 14 oz drained can of whole peeled tomatoes)
- .5 cup of water
- The other half of the onion you used for the curry paste, sliced thinly
- 2 cups of plain yogurt, at least 2% fat content (not fat-free, don’t skimp on this)
- approx. 2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs (I have also used leftover thanksgiving turkey and chicken breast, but nothing is better for this than thigh meat)—chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/3 cup water
- couple big TB of chopped cilantro
- Rice, preferably basmati or brown
- In a large saute pan, heat some canola oil at medium/medium-high
- Saute the onion until they get some good color
- Add the curry paste from your food processor, pull the heat down to mediumish. Cook and stir frequently for about ten minutes.
- Add in about a cup (maybe a little less) of the yogurt and keep gently simmering another ten minutes. It will thicken up a lot and most of the liquid from the yogurt will cook away. Keep stirring and scraping.
- Add the chicken, remaining yogurt, and water. Let it come back to a simmer and go until the chicken is cooked through, depending on the size of your chunks, about ten minutes more.
- Now take the chicken back out with a slotted spoon, set it aside.
- Bring the heat back up and thicken the sauce until it’s where you want it…I like it pretty well thickened, but it’s just a few more minutes.
- Gently salt and pepper everything as you go, by now it’s probably fine, but taste to be sure.
- Recombine everything and serve over rice, with the cilantro for garnish.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what other people tell you.
If you can find some courage (in yourself) and some faith (in anything) and some perspective (it’s not that big a deal) and some kindness (always be the nicest person in the room) you can make things happen that will amaze people.
This is what I’ve learned from my mother. Not just in the past month, but my whole life. There’s a reason my people pay attention to “Auntie Kay.”
Book publishing has been trying to commit suicide for all the decades I’ve been writing, and now it’s finally getting some traction on that project. Its latest folly is ironic: one of our most antitechnology businesses now places unrealistic hopes on technology as a savior, a textbook case of an American industry’s unwillingness to make significant changes until one minute before doomsday. I don’t expect more from publishing than stabs of experimentation until business gets much, much worse.
Earlier this week, the literary journal Electric Literature launched a “microserialization” experiment by publishing a new story by Rick Moody(pictured) on Twitter–co-publishing the story on other Twitter feeds, including the Vroman’s Books feed. Jacket Copy summarized the frustration that some Twitter users felt with the simultaneous delivery: “In the past, having bookstores, bloggers and other magazines simultaneously pass out a short story would widen the circulation. Today, many of those people are in overlapping social networking circles, and the result is repetition rather than reach.”