Time. Time is a mysterious and magical entity. It speeds up and slows down at whim, making minutes seem like hours and months seem like days. How is it that waking from a short nap can feel like emerging from underwater, yet a night’s sleep can leave you struggling to understand how it is already morning when you just lay your head down on the pillow.
Some of my favourite words ever written contemplate time:
“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven;
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.”
(Kohelet [Eccelesiastes] 3: 1-8)
This is a strange season for me, a time for readjustment and new beginnings. As autumn descends for some, here the heat continues, and as the sun blazes overhead, I have spare time on my hands after three busy years. What will I do with these hours? Does all time spent need to be productive? I feel it run through my fingers like sand, unsure what to do with it…
This week I enjoyed peaceful, unhurried time in the kitchen – trying new recipes, experimenting with spices and admiring autumnal colours. I found an interesting but simple recipe for tandoori chicken kebabs, intended for a barbeque, which I grilled in the oven instead. I couldn’t resist buying pumpkin in the supermarket, which I combined with red onion and carrot and roasted slowly with herbes de provences and fresh rosemary.
I love how certain flavours are associated with particular seasons…somehow it all comes together: russet apples, pumpkins, leaves falling from the trees of my imagination…just as there is a time for all things, so it seems there is a time for relishing these flavours.
TANDOORI CHICKEN KEBABS
Adapted from a recipe by chef Oren Giron
3 large chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of each of the following: Dried coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, caraway, cinammon
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1.5 lemons
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1. Mix the spices in a bowl, add the other ingredients and chicken cubes and mix well.
2. Place in the fridge for at least four hours.
3. Put the chicken cubes onto bamboo or metal skewers.
4. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 4 minutes on each side, taking care not to dry out the meat.
ROASTED PUMPKIN, CARROTS AND RED ONION
This is too easy for instructions but good for inspiration. Mix cubes of carrot, chunks of red onion and pumpkin with fresh rosemary, herbes de provence, olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes to an hour, until golden and crispy in places. Enjoy the colours.