Spicy Root Vegetable Chili

Spicy Root Vegetable Chili Vegan RecipeThe chill air tickles my nose as I watch the sun set from my roof deck. As I open my mouth, my breath steams out tangibly in the waning light, floating upwards and dissipating into the night sky. First frost is here, at long last, and I can almost hear the earth sighing in relief. The energy of that sigh reverberates within my very bones: a subtle, ancient, weary sort of consolation. It’s getting harder and harder for the earth to comply with the destruction wrought by humanity; easier and easier for cycles that have existed for thousands – no, millions – of years to become disrupted. I felt affected on a visceral level during the unseasonably warm weather – as if something inside of me was being stretched to a breaking point, but finally, now, the tension is being released. I let the sharp, crisp, slap-to-the-face air temperature remind me that winter is on its way. This is my favorite time of year: a time to harvest crops, build up stores of immunity support herbal remedies, and honor the ancestors as the veil thins. When the season of Death is delayed, it can feel as if we all are dealing with lingering baggage. But now that it is here at last, it’s finally time to bury that which no longer serves us, and turn our thoughts and actions towards preserving only the essentials as we move forward into rebirth and renewal. What do we need in the coming months in order to feel comforted, satisfied, and whole as we undergo that often difficult transformation process? I think of the spicy-sweet warmth of a chipotle pepper, and the groundedness of root vegetgables, whose flavors tell a rich story of deep-earth magic. 

Ingredients*

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic minced

½  large yellow onion, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced with seeds and stem removed

2 large beets, peeled and diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1½ cup frozen corn

2 cups vegetable broth

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 7-ounce chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons adobo sauce from same can, more to taste

1 – 14-ounce diced tomatoes

1 – 6-ounce tomato paste

1½ teaspoon dried oregano

⅛ teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

 

Directions

Preparation

  1. Assemble all of the ingredients, and mince/dice the vegetables that require mincing/dicing.

Cooking

  1. Add the olive oil to a medium-to-large sized pot, and allow it to heat for about a minute before adding the minced garlic and diced onion.
  2. Cook the garlic and diced onion for about a minute or two until aromatic before adding the diced red bell pepper, diced carrots, diced beets, and corn to the pot. Cook these vegetables for a few minutes until they have softened.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth. Allow the vegetables to cook in the broth over medium-to-high heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are all tender.
  4. Lower the heat, then add the black beans. Stir, and let sit for a few seconds.
  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and all the spices.
  6. Allow the spicy root vegetable chili to simmer for a few minutes before serving.

This recipe is 100% vegan. I’ve also made it with boca crumble (which mimics ground beef – but I actually like it way better than real ground beef!)

Bowl of Spicy Root Vegetable Chili

May the Lady Frige bless this meal.

*This recipe was adapted from a recipe I learned about through the Greensgrow Farm Winter CSA newsletter. The original recipe comes from Cooking With a Wallflower, which features a few extras that I don’t usually include (personal preference).

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Frith

Study Notes from The Culture of the Teutons by Vilhelm Grønbech | Prologue + Chapter 1

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Frith means keeping the peace between oneself and the people in one’s inner yard.

In the modern age, for modern Heathens, frith can still be upheld and valued. We still have inner yards, even if we do not live in tight-knit primitive communities anymore (i.e. physical proximity). The inner yard’s main purpose is to provide the individual with safety and security – not just physically, but mentally (allowing the individual to be their true self without reservation, judgement, or anxiety). Essentially, the inner yard is comprised of the people that we have considered worthy of experiencing us in various states of vulnerability (mental or physical) – either because those people are our blood family, our married-into family, or our closest chosen-family (best friends).

Note: every person in the modern age will have different perspectives on what constitutes “family” and to what degree of importance “family” has for them. 

An attempt at listing the current members of my inner yard (in order of most important to least important, in terms of levels of frith-keeping and obligation):

  • Jack (my husband through the oath of marriage)
  • My siblings
  • My parents
  • My closest friends (“chosen family”)
  • Jack’s siblings
  • Jack’s parents
  • My extended family that I have met / spent significant time with
  • Jack’s extended family that I have met / spent significant time with
  • My extended family that I have not met / spent significant time with
  • Jack’s extended family that I have not met / spent significant time with

If / when I have children, they would be granted the same level of importance as Jack.

Note: I would personally choose to outcast my paternal grandmother to the outer yard if not for my father’s feelings on the matter. Even though she has broken frith with me and my family beyond repair, in my mind, through her actions and words over the years, because I would want to keep frith with my father I would continue to include her in my inner yard. But I do not consider her an individual I feel safe and secure around. Our relationship is, and will continue to be, solely about keeping the peace (without joy). This seems to be the most challenging aspect of frith-keeping, at least for me, when organizing my life into these terms. 

If maintaining frith produces joy, excellent – we can celebrate that. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too, as it is sacred nonetheless to keep that peace – that is the whole point of frith, in the first place: upholding balance within the inner yard (and hey, sometimes that won’t be easy – and may not necessarily feel “fun” or “joyful”; but it should always feel right). In terms of some modern guidelines, it seems reasonable to keep frith with our inner yards in the general sense (acting fairly and peaceably around them) at all times, as long as we are mentally and physically able to do so. We should keep frith with our inner yards in terms of specific favors / obligations as long as:

  • The ask / obligation in and of itself will not cause mental or physical harm. If it will, it would not be considered breaking frith to say no at the time of the request being asked.
  • One is mentally or physically unable to take part in or complete the ask / obligation at the time of its happening, regardless of what one originally agreed to. In this case, it would not break frith to let the person (who requested something of you) know that you will not be able to go through with the ask / obligation (doing as much as you can to keep the peace despite that failure).

If there are any conflicts between you and someone within your inner yard, or among people within the inner yard in general (but not necessarily with you directly), you should try and reconcile the situation so that all people are satisfied / okay with the proceedings, and so that a general sense of peace can be restored. However, one can only do so much in that one should not actively bring harm to one’s mental or physical health in the process of reconciliation / peace-keeping.

It is also important to keep frith with the spirits of the land that one’s physical house/dwelling sits upon, as well as with the greater spirits of one’s city / town / region. I also feel it would be important, based on what I read, to keep frith with one’s animals (pets and/or livestock) and any plants grown/cared for indoors and/or outdoors (on or within one’s property).

IMPORTANT REFERENCES / QUOTES

“For the Northman to be affected by this or that in what he meets depends on something that has happened, something past, and something ahead, an event which has happened to himself or his ancestors, and an event which must be brought to pass for the betterment of himself and his descendants.”

“We find a community based upon general unity, mutual self-sacrifice and self-denial, and the social spirit. A society, in which every individual, from birth to death, was bound by consideration for his neighbor.”

“Egil appears to regard life in the light of a process at law, where the man with a strong circle of kinsman wins his case, because he is backed by a crowd of men ready to swear on his side, and whose oaths carry weight enough to crush his opponent.”

“We must begin with the kin, the race or family; a gathering of individuals so joined up into one unit that they appear incapable of independent action…no single individual can suffer without affecting the whole circle.”

“At the very moment when man most passionately and unreservedly gives way to his own feelings, the clan takes possession of the individual fully and completely. Egil’s lament is not the lament of a father for his son; it is the kin, that utters its lament through the person of the father.”

“In “frith”, peace, we have the old kinsman’s own definition of the fundamental idea in their inner-relationship. By frith they mean something in themselves, a power that makes them “friends” one towards another, and “free men” towards the rest of the world.”

“The frith of earlier days was less passive than now, with less of submissiveness and more of will. It held also an element of passion which has now been submerged in quietism.” 

“But the world tells us indisputably that the love which knit these kinsmen together is not to be taken in a modern, sentimental sense; the dominant note of kinsmanship is safety, security.”

“Frith is the state of things which exists between friends. And it means, first and foremost, reciprocal inviolability.” 

“We need have no doubt but that good kinsmen could disagree with fervor, but however the matter might stand, there could – should, must inevitably – be but one ending to it all; a settlement peaceable and making for peace – frith.

“The power of frith is apparent, in the fact that it does not count as a virtue, something in excess of what is demanded, but as an everyday necessity, the most obvious of all, alike for high and low, heroic and unheroic characters.”

“The frith is something that underlies all else, deeper than all inclination. It is not a matter of will, in the sense that those who share it again and again choose to set their kinship before all other feelings. It is rather the will itself. It is identical with the actual feeling of kinship, and not a thing deriving from that source.”

“Frith is something active, not merely leading kinsmen to spare each other, but forcing them to support one another’s cause, help and stand sponsor for one another, trust one another. … the responsibility is absolute, because kinsmen are literally the doers of one another’s deeds.”

“Whom can I trust, when my father fails me?”

“So simple and straightforward is the idea of frith. It reckons with facts alone…”

“All must give way to frith, all obligations, all considerations of self, everything down to the regard for one’s own personal dignity – if such a thing could be imagined as existing apart from the feeling of kinship.”

“A woman’s relationship to her husband is also a sort of frith.”

“Kinsman strengthen one another; they are not as two or more individuals  who add their respective strengths together, but they act in concert, because deep down in them all there is a thing in common which knows and thinks for them. Nay, more; they are so united that one can draw strength to himself from another.”

“what a single man has done binds all who live in the same circle of frith.”

“Frith, on the other hand, indicates something armed, protection, defense – or else a power for peace which keeps men amicably inclined.”

“And it is not only men, but also, for instance, places, strongholds, which can furnish those in need of frith.”

“Gladness was an essential feature of humanity, and thus a quality of frith. The connection between joy and friendly feeling is so intimate that the two cannot be found apart.”

Orange Spiced Chicken

chicken1The trees are relieved. I can hear them sighing, as if letting out a long-held nervous breath, as the first truly cool breeze since the Autumn Equinox rustles their branches with what seems an almost apologetic affection. The heat of a very late Summer has lingered here, and all have felt its oppressive weight – the unusual humidity and high temperatures make for an uncomfortable reality check. Hurricanes devastate entire countries; forest fires savage recklessly across parched, aching lands. Scientists have tried to warn us. Those of us who have been listening, we bite our lips in worry as we contemplate what possibilities there are to counteract the devastation humanity has already wrought upon the Earth. Yet, today brings about a peace I find jarring in these troubled times – a shade that cools, a sun that does not burn. Has Autumn come at last? Summer does not seem to want to let go. I know that it is not easy for many to bade farewell to the sun, and so this seems a blessing to them. Me, though – I am the blood of winter, and at this time of year, I am constantly expecting a bone-chill to settle at any moment…but now, I am finding only idle heatwaves and not a hint of frost. I feel stretched to an uncomfortable breaking point, the same sort of tension felt before rain finally falls after several days of plump, dark clouds. I desperately crave the spiced comfort of a cumin seed, but I find it hard not to desire the refreshing tartness of a citrus fruit as I sweat through my shirt. How do I quench this double-edged thirst? How do we remember to care for ourselves, when the world around us seems foreign and unpredictable?

Ingredients*

8 Chicken Drumsticks**

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 large scallions, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preparation

  1. Stir together the orange juice, olive oil, scallions, garlic, cumin seeds, vinegar, salt, and pepper to create a marinade
  2. Place the chicken into a large, seal-able plastic bag, then pour the marinade over the chicken, seal tightly, shake to thoroughly coat all drumsticks, and then stick in the refrigerator
  3. Marinate the chicken, chilled, turning the bag once or twice, for at least 4 hours. I recommend doing this in the morning before a work or school day so that it sits for 6-8 hours. I personally left mine for 8 hours

Cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2. Remove the chicken drumsticks from the plastic bag and place in a single layer in a roasting pan (two pans may be needed). I like to pour any remaining marinade over the chicken, but to do so is optional
  3. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Baste the chicken with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so. Do this for about 90 minutes, until the juices are running clear and the chicken is cooked through at the thickest section – 165 degrees F (74 degrees C)

This dish goes well with garlic-roasted sweet potatoes and/or boiled sweet corn.

chicken2

May the Lady Frige bless this meal.

 

*This recipe’s marinade was adapted from a recipe featured in Ian Knauer’s cookbook The Farm.

**Humanely raised chicken from a local Pennsylvania farm