What a week this has been; awaiting election news, hoping for the best and dreading possible outcomes!
My best coping strategy was to take long solo walks on Kelsey Road in Sheffield, Massachusetts. It is surrounded by mountains on one side and a protected nature preserve with wetlands on the other. On Election day, I tried to create a “news blackout” policy and after teaching my online students, headed out to Kelsey Road in the late afternoon. I found myself drawn into closely into the idyllic beauty encompassing me. It was deeply calming.
After a mostly sleepless night, the day after the election was a challenge. I was thankful to have the distraction of my online students and in the late afternoon headed out to Kelsey Road again. I noticed that the tamarack trees were just changing color and in the late afternoon light, they seemed to take on a golden glow.
I walked briskly for about three miles; forgetting the shorter amount of daylight, and on my return, was treated to a beautiful sunset.
After this, it was time for some serious comfort food! Earlier in the day, between students, I started a big pot of Lentil Soup; with carrots, onions, celery, diced tomatoes, kale, bay leaf, coriander, cayenne, cumin and chicken chorizo sausage. When I arrived back home, I heated up the soup, removed the bay leaf and with an immersion blender pureed a bit of the soup to make a creamy texture. Served with toasts made from an old loaf of multi-grain bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, it was the perfect antidote! I hope you enjoy this recipe!
“Election Day Lentil Soup”
2 cups dried lentils-rinsed and picked over
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 large carrot finely chopped
1 stalk celery finely chopped
6 large pieces kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
1 small can diced tomatoes
2 chicken chorizo sausages, cut into small pieces
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper- more if desired
salt and pepper to taste
To Make Soup:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot.
Saute onions until they soften slightly.
Add spices and cook a few minutes more.
Add vegetables and lentils
Cover with water, about 2 inches over the vegetables and lentils.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
Cover pot and cook about 1 1/2 hours until vegetables and lentils are very soft.
If you would like soup to be thicker uncover pot and cook a bit more until soup thickens.
At this point you can let the soup sit on the stove for a few hours to let the flavors meld- this is where the walk comes in!
To serve: bring soup back to a simmer, remove bay leaf and using an immersion blender, puree a part of the soup. This will give the soup a nice creamy texture.
Adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper.
Take a big breath and ENJOY!!
BUT, it was Saturday November 7th, that was historic and remarkable. Paul and I were about to enter the Mass Pike, heading out for a hike, when an announcer from NPR interrupted Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and said there was a special message. I was driving and looked over at Paul with hope and as the announcer said that Biden had just flipped Pennsylvania, I started to sob with joy, squeezed Paul’s hand way too hard and made the wise decision to pull the car off to the side of the road!! I took a few deep breaths of relief and I think the whole world has also done so!
My Hevreh Ensemble colleague and dear friend Laurie Friedman says it all in this video! The joyful sounds of the Shofar rang loud and clear from Laurie’s Brooklyn rooftop!!