Tuesday, November 13, 2018

World Kindness Day

Green shakshuka

"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." William Shakespeare

It’s a little late in the day to remind you, but today is World Kindness Day, an international marking of the importance of creating a kinder world by celebrating and promoting good deeds. Can you think of something you did to make someone else’s day better?

All I can think of that I did today that might count was to cook dinner for a treasured old friend. We had a jolly happy hour with Jordan, my neighbor Mary, and dinner guest Nancy. After the first two left, I fixed Green Shakshuka. Shakshuka is a Mediterranean dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, commonly spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper.  I have made and enjoyed traditional shakshuka, with the tomato sauce, but tonight it was a green sauce.

Of course, I fiddled with the recipe a little. The recipe called for Swiss chard, but I’m not particularly fond of chard so I used spinach, which I like a  lot. Worked well—and Nancy commented on how good the spinach was—but I think the chard wouldn’t have wilted down so much. Another time I might simply use more spinach. I followed the directions and sautéed onion and garlic, but I’m wondering if green onions might not have been a good idea. When the spinach wilted, I added a bit of cream, and then made four nests—to hold four eggs that poached in the sauce (in a skillet with the lid on).

The toppings for serving were almost as much trouble as cooking the dish. Cotija cheese—but I used goat cheese; sliced avocado; sliced jalapeno (I fixed it for Nancy but passed for myself); chopped cilantro; lime wedges. I do have to say it was pretty good—the lime really finished it nicely..

Even made dessert tonight. An apple crisp that was so easy and delicious—when my Gourmet on a Hot Plate page is up and running (http://www.gourmetonahotplate.blogspot.com ), that’s one of the first recipes I’ll include. Since I had the cream I’d used for the shakshuka, I offered cream with the apple crisp. A satisfying meal.

My other notable accomplishment of the day: an appointment with the audiologist. I now know how to make a phone call and leave the phone of my desk, while the sound goes directly into my hearing aids. Jacob accidentally discovered it last night playing a video he did when he was about five, and it nearly blasted me out of my seat. Today, with more control, I played it again and thought nostalgically about how cute he was, singing, “I’m uphappy today,”—his own arrangement and creation.

It’s not too late—go do something kind for someone. This tired old world needs every act of kindness we can give.

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