Friday, February 27, 2015

Lost Youth





Years ago there was a violation
It caused the young heart and soul to ache
The child put the time behind her
Tried to forgive
Tried to forget.

Years passed and yet his face stared
She wanted to look away
But could not
The guilt she thought was her’s.


Adult mouths told her she was to blame
Little did they know
Of the pain 
they caused the woman 
who had not grown past ten.

For years she carried the shame
                                                    thinking red lips and painted nails
Short skirts and developing breasts
“asked for it”

 Thirty years later
Swollen eyes red from crying
Unafraid of the last breath -
unafraid of dying.

Finally she awakens
To see the truth unfold
She was not to blame.
At forty she is innocent
She is beautiful, she is strong enough

to forgive!

                                                                                  © Natala Orobello

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Marsala Alla Michael



Honestly, I think this is the best Chicken Marsala I have ever tasted. Michael made it for me last Tuesday and I asked him to make it again this past Sunday. We invited guests because we wanted to share the experience. I literally savored each peace I put in my mouth. The chicken is tender, the mushrooms crisp yet cooked, the gravy sweet and buttery.

Ingredients:
4 tbs. butter or margarine
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced thin and pounded
½ small red onion (soaked and chopped)
½ lb. white button mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup dry marsala
½ cup flour
Salt & pepper
½ chicken stock
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:
Dust sliced and thinned chicken breast in ½ cup flour which has been flavored with salt and pepper. In skillet add butter or marjorine; when heated, add chicken and sauté till lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan. Place the mushrooms and red onion (chopped) in skillet and cook till tender, add marsala and bring gravy to a boil – scrape the pan and combine within gravy. Add chicken stock and lemon juice. Return chicken to the pan and cook for at least ten more minutes.
You may serve with buttered egg noodles, rice, or penne.
© Natala Orobello

Monday, February 23, 2015

Remind Me When


Today I was talking to someone I would call a close acquaintance. I’ve known her for a few years, so we’re comfortable talking, and one conversation led to another and suddenly we were talking about trust. Who can you trust?
Remind me when human beings were able to trust implicitly. Was there ever a time? Even I who try to be very trustworthy have let people down, I’m sure I’ve done so many times. So, why do we think others cannot fall from grace every once in a while?
This acquaintance of mine said she finally had an awakening when she realized the problem wasn’t with others but with her. She expected or had high expectations of everyone. Invariably people will fall off the pedestal on which we have placed them. Lots to think about.
We have faults? I have faults? You’re kidding? Aren’t I perfect? No, dam it I’m not perfect – far from it. I know this. Really, I do, but it’s so hard to remember my imperfections.  I try to be honest – honest. I try to be on time all the time, really I do. I try to be dependable – but sometimes I overextend myself and forget. I try… That’s the point. I try. We try. But, we are human; we have faults. Everyone of us.

So, who do we trust? When was there ever a time when humans could trust one another? Never. Ever. This is not me being a cynic. This is me being a realist. 

© Natala Orobello

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Circle





A nestling sways 
perched delicately on branch
trying hard to survive
the gusts of winter wind.

Barren Hickory heavy with snow
another blizzard approaches
with more white weight
already blanketing the earth.

Mama flies into distant lands
fluttering fitfully with breezes
searching in dismal futility
sustenance to survive.

Loud chirping clips the silence
and high above an eagle soars
he too empty belly seeks to fill
and chirping slips to silence.

© Natala Orobello

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scrumptious Coffee Crumb Cake


New Yorkers love coffee crumb cake for Sunday breakfast. I truly did enjoy the one from Glen Cove Bakery, but I have made some revisions because I like a very moist cake with extra crunchy crumbs. I always have the ingredients in house, so I can mix up a tray in no time at all for company coming over or to bring when I visit.

Ingredients for cake portion:
1 pkg. Lemon cake
Prepare according to box directions. Bake for 15 minutes or until top is somewhat baked but soft. 

Ingredients for crumb topping:
2 sticks of butter (softened)
2 ¼ cups of all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Directions: 
Combine ingredients with fingertips, leaving chunks of crumb.  It is best to refrigerate crumbs till cake is ready.  
Then add the crumb mixture on top of cake and continue baking for at least 10 more minutes.
A word of warning, if the cake is definitely done, yet the crumbs appear to still be very light in color, place oven on broil for a minute in order to attain the golden color you want. DO NOT leave in for longer or it will be too brown.

 © Natala Orobello

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Passage Rug



The complex rug is nearly complete.

There’s a corner not yet done
Weavers have not reached that spot
It may take months or years to darn.

The colors were chosen by someone other than me
But I’ve tried very hard to manipulate the design
Altering roads, trespasses, adventures, and faces
I’ve wanted the scenery and the characters to be mine.

Beneath the beauty of the glorious vision
Threads hang in dismal disarray
Having no beginning nor conclusion
Tangled in confusion of night or day.

Soon the corner will be started
New threads will be woven in
And when the scene is finally done
And the passage rug is complete ~
Eternal life can begin.


© Natala Orobello

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dreaming



Dreams of tulips and daffodils
running streams with clean, clear waters.
I drink deeply and fill my soul
my arms are wings waving
gracefully in the air, in flight.
i sense my Lord lifting me
toward the fulfillment of 
my destiny.
© Natala Orobello

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Remembering Salisbury Steak


The other day I asked my husband, "Do you remember how delicious Salisbury Steak was? When was the last time we had it?"
"I think it was probably thirty years ago, at least," he replied.
It's true, Salisbury Steak with brown mushroom sauce is an old fashioned recipe, but it's a recipe that should not be forgotten, for it absolutely too darn good!
So, we made it, or should I say he made it, and it tasted just like it did thirty years ago, delicious!!

Ingredients for four servings:
1    lb. very lean chopped meat
2    tbsp. butter
2    tbsp. olive oil
1    lb. white mushrooms - fresh
1    onion
4    cloves of garlic
1    egg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Regiano
1/2 cup bread crumb - Italian seasoned
1   .87oz. pkg. Brown Gravy (buy the reduced sodium)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey = Two Steps Back



The women’s liberation movement wanted women to think of themselves as individuals with a brain not just breasts. Women have been fighting for equality for over one hundred years, yet one book, one movie will bring us back to the days of being at the beck and call of our Lord and Master, i.e., our husbands or lovers. I am saddened that it is not men who are flocking to read or see this story, but women who are at the edge of their seats with the “romance” of this fictional piece of trash. After decades of teaching my students that love does not mean pain or abuse, E.L. James brings us back to the story of “O” when men got their thrill from whipping a woman and using her for their own needs.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chicken Piccata


There are many versions to this dish, and I happen to enjoy each one. Be creative with your additions like adding lemon slices on top or including mushrooms, celery, carrots, peas, etc. to enhance your experience. True cooks are never afraid to experiment - just know which flavors go well together (marry well).

Ingredients:

1          chicken breast
1          cloves of garlic, sliced
¼    cup of butter
1     tsp. capers (optional)
1           tbs. olive oil
1 ½ cups white wine
1     cup water
2     chicken bullion
1           small package mushrooms, sliced in quarters (optional)
1           stalk of celery, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Braise garlic in oil and butter mixture.  Dust chicken breast in flour and brown on both sides. When chicken is ready, add wine and cover for one minute.  Add water, bullions, mushrooms and celery or any other delectable.  Cook on simmer for at least one hour.  Keep an eye on it because some water will evaporate.  You may need to alternate between extra water and extra wine.  Go easy on both. Add capers, if you like, a few minutes before serving.

You may serve with rice or a nice plate of pasta aglio e olio (you can find the recipe on my blog under pasta dishes).











© Natala Orobello

Monday, February 2, 2015

Making Memories


A close friend of mine recently discovered she has cancer. I was shocked, upset, and then depressed. She takes very good care of herself, exercises, eats well, keeps busy and is in a loving relationship. So, how did this horrible disease happen to her? I now think about my own demise because we won’t live forever. I won’t live forever, even though I believe I will live for a very long time. We just don’t know.
For the past two months, I have thought about her health and her treatment (chemo), and how much her life has changed. I think about what her next five months will be like as she undergoes treatment. I think back at the things she wanted to do, and how she will have to postpone it all. I've thought about how I keep putting off things I want to do, places I want to go, and people I want to surround myself with, but have done little to change my lifestyle. Then again, I think I want to leave behind a legacy for the future generation in my family. This thought has brought me to a new and more profound discovery.