Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tuning out, tuning in... and chilli con carne

I'm really tuning out of the world right now as the big day approaches... retreating into my own space and deeper still to Little Planet... trying to tune in with her even more, encouraging her with thoughts and love to be calm and gently move ever downwards into my pelvis... listening more and more to my birth preparation hypnotherapy meditations and imagining my cervix as a tightly coiled flower that slowly and surely opens up its petals one by one... trying to think of contractions not as painful in and of themselves - because of course they are painful! - but as part of the journey that will bring Little Planet into our lives, into the world... focussing on my breathing techniques... breathing deeply through painful twinges... trying to give Little Planet much more oxygen through my breath to help her on her journey... taking lots of naps, for hours on end... spending alot of time snuggled in my duvet... not really being interested right now in the outside world and the concerns of others...

Except for tonight, when I will host dinner for M and two of my closest friends D and J - a couple, two women, who have three children together and whose civil partnership ceremony a couple of years ago I was witness at. There is a huge pot of chilli con carne bubbling on the stove as I type this, and I will serve it later tonight with basmati rice, tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream. It is 5pm and raining outside, but I'm okay, because I am tucked safely inside, retreating from the world... for another few hours at least.

Chilli con carne, for 4 big portions

Olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1kg lean minced beef
25cl red wine
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
4 tbs tomato puree
2 heaped tsp red chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
4 sticks cinnamon
4 good shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 beef stock cube, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
2 x 400g red kidney beans, drained
2 small squares of black chocolate
1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped, as garnish
Wedges of lime to serve

1. Gently saute the onion, garlic and red peppers until translucent then stir in ground coriander and cumin for a few minutes
2. Add meat and fry gently until browned
3. Stir in tomatoes, wine, puree, red chilli flakes, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon sticks, stock, salt and pepper, chocolate and a little extra water to cover
4. Stir mixture in thoroughly, bring to the boil then lower heat to a gentle simmer for a couple of hours, checking water level and stirring occasionally
5. Towards the end of cooking time, add kidney beans and a squirt of one lime and test if mixture needs more salt or chilli.
6. Sprinkle chopped fresh coriander over the top before serving

No comments: