Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging - Shakespeare's Winter Poem

Since it's turning cold again here in Michigan after an incredibly warm January, I thought it would be appropriate to quote Shakespeare today.

This poem, which concludes William Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost, has always moved me. (I'll share "Spring," the companion poem from this play, later.) Note the stark imagery ~ he paints a cold, frigid, and austere scene with words. You can feel the cold. You can hear the wind whip in Shakespeare's use of alliteration ~ the soft "w," "wh," and "h" sounds. Yet the merry sound of the owl's hoot is a distraction from the austerity and a reminder that life exists and cycles beyond the drudgery of the cold and harsh moment.

"Winter," from Love's Labours Lost

WHEN icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit!To-who!—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doe blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit!To-who!—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cajun Chicken Recipe (Hot Food for a Cold Night!)

I thought I'd share this tasty Cajun Chicken recipe. It's fairly quick, and simple. The ingredients are staples, and the spices are perfect, provided you treat yourself to quality spices.

Cajun Chicken Fettuccine


6 ounces uncooked Fettuccine

1 # uncooked chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
2 slices bacon (optional**) , or
3 T butter (my preference)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 to 1/4 crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 15 oz. can Cajun or Original Style Stewed Tomatoes*, undrained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 c. chopped onion (or to taste)
1/2 c. green and red bell peppers


1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Set aside.
2. Melt butter.
3. Add garlic to butter; saute for 2 -3 minutes.
4. Saute chicken in garlic butter until no longer pink in the middle.
5. Add crushed red pepper.
6. Add stewed tomatoes with juice and tomato sauce, Cook over medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add onion and peppeer, cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
8. Serve over pasta.

4 servings.

*When using Original Style Tomatoes, add a *pinch* each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and red pepper to tomatoe mixture; continue as directed.

(Note: 1 # shelled and deveined shrimp can be substituted in this recipe. Cook the shrimp 2 - 4 minutes in the butter or bacon remnants, turning once every minute. )

Another delicious recipe from Chez Vicki. Try it out and let me know what you think. Simple, but good.