A cold wind is howling around my little house, evidence that winter is alive and well in Queensland. I love it because I’m warm and cozy indoors and don’t have to be out in the bluster and blow, dodging flying tree branches and other detritus from the farmyard.
I’ve been sick as can be this week, and still am, but in spite of that, it’s been a good week.
The weather has been scrumptious with sunshine and brilliant blue skies.
I’ve spotted all sorts of signs that Spring is on its way: tiny flowers peeping up in cheery yellow and purple, lime green blades of new grass pushing up through brown earth and rocks, orange blossoms on one of my seedlings, and animals strolling and napping in the sunshine.
My friend Ann surprised me with a drive in the country, heading out to the rolling hills of Killarney. It was so good to get out of the house and be cozy and warm in her truck as we motored past tidy little farms and cute towns with names like Tannymorel, Yangan and Emu Vale.
We stopped at her friends house and while they had their meeting, I got to sit on a sun-drenched porch in a comfy yellow chair, so deliciously warm as I rested and looked out at the hills and gardens and trees.
I had a small stack of library books with me, and happily passed the time reading and thinking. I perused an art book and decided that while Art Deco is interesting, it is Art Nouveau that really sets my heart aflutter. I do love reading in the sunshine.
Today I am hunkering down in my big, green chair, weathering this storm with copious amounts of hot tea, warm bran muffins slathered with butter and steamy dollops of this admittedly ugly but oh so delicious Ginger Lentil stew with Swiss Chard (silver beet). Simmered with fresh ginger, turmeric, coriander, and cumin, it is savory, hearty, spicy, and oh-so-comforting.
What is the best book you’ve read recently? I’d love your recommendations. 🙂
Gingery Lentils with Swiss Chard
1 package red lentils (sorted and rinsed)
enough water to cover by 2-3 inches
1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 bunch Swiss chard (remove and discard cores) washed, and chopped (silver beet, kale or spinach work well too)
(NOTE: if you want this dish less spicy, halve the amount of fresh ginger you use)
- Pour rinsed red lentils into heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with water 2-3 inches. Bring to boil and remove any scum.
- Stir in turmeric and first amount of fresh ginger, cumin and coriander.
- Return to boil then lower heat and simmer with lid slightly askew for 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
- At the 25 minute mark, pour vegetable oil (or ghee) into heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. After oil heats (about one minute), add second amount of cumin, coriander and fresh ginger. Stir until fragrant, then add chopped silver beet, stirring to coat leaves.
- Cover and heat until leaves have wilted, stirring occasionally.
- Remove sliced ginger from cooked lentils then pour over silver beet, stirring well to incorporate. Cook over medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes.
- I served this with hot roasted chicken for a simple, hearty dinner.