Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner - Italian Style


17-18 lb. turkey
Defrost in refrigerator the morning before (24 hours).
Clean exterior with salt and lemon, rubbing the two ingredients into turkey skin.  
Remove all gizzards (can be used in gravy later and don't forget to check beneath neck flap), and clean inside of turkey as well with salt and lemon. 
Rinse with ice cold water.  Drain thoroughly and continue to drain overnight in a deep bowl which has a small soup bowl at bottom. This will catch excess water. Keep refrigerated!


2          cups rice
1          package mushrooms chopped, cooked, and drained
1          small package baby peas
1/2       cup grated cheese
2          stalks celery deveined, and chopped fine
1          large onion chopped fine
3          cloves of garlic chopped
2          sprigs of parsley - chopped
salt & pepper to taste

2          tbs. olive oil
1          small onion
3          cloves garlic
½         cup grated cheese
2          sprigs parsley - chopped
1          loaf Italian bread (3 days old), soaked, squeezed, and broken into bite size chunks
salt & pepper to taste

Rice Mixture:
In large skillet warm  2 tbs. olive oil , when warm and soft, add celery and slowly cook till soft, then add onion; when slightly soft, add chopped garlic.  Add mushrooms, peas, parsley, salt & pepper. 
Cook rice.  When rice is cooked, add to mixture from skillet, which has been placed in a very large bowl.  

Bread Mixture:
Begin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet you used for rice portion. Add more chopped onion & garlic.  Once these are translucent, add the bread, which has been soaked, squeezed dry and broken into bite size chunks, till it ABSORBS the olive oil and mixes well with ingredients, add cheese at end.  

Then mix all ingredients together (rice and bread mixtures). Stuff both cavities of the turkey. Bake according to turkey directions.
© Natala Orobello

Happy Thanksgiving

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let's put aside all differences, prejudices, bias, and arguments. It is true that there is much that needs change, and the change must begin with the individual. A friend of mine spends all year long being kind, generous, and loving. She treats everyone with respect and expemplifies the true model of a good neighbor.

This morning, as I peeked inside her office, I saw baskets stuffed with food, toys, and lots of other goodies. She was gifting them to needy families. Her generosity comes naturally; it is obvious she doesn't even think of it as something absolutely wonderful.

Her charity spreads from one person to the other because every individual around her wants to give as well. Maybe that's what we are missing in the news, more stories about people who give even when they don't have much to give. That might promote more charity, more generosity, more love.

Many of us have plenty to be thankful for. We have health (never take that for granted), a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, and loved ones who care about us. Some of us have pets who love us unconditionally, and food on our plates. Some have less and some have more, but I'm sure many have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, even if it's just the ability to walk, talk, and love.

© Natala Orobello

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Tremble

How do we rise from the abyss?
So deep the well of fear.
Violence already erupting
From sea to shining sea
Is this the America
We want to be?

Women like cattle call
Blacks denigrated in shame
Mexicans derailed regardless
How long they’ve lived this land.

Not even president and yet
He’s frightening with choices he’s made
Threatens to build a wall
Nominate justices progressively small
I tremble at our future
I tremble for us all.

© Natala Orobello

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Women in Literature

This Spring, I am offering a new course created and designed by me!! I am very excited about this course as it has always been my dream to offer a course where women can discuss the trials and tribulations, the joys and elations of being a woman.

FSW State College, where I teach, is offering this course online. I believe it will be interesting, challenging, and motivating.
Join me as we travel the historical road from Mary Wollstonecraft to the smasher and crasher of that proverbial "Glass Ceiling," Hillary Clinton (regardless of whether she becomes president or not).

Registration has begun, but there is still time!!

   © Natala Orobello

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer


When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

I recall teaching this particular poem by Walt Whitman to my tenth grade students. I stayed late the day before, so I could stick stars on the classroom ceiling. The next day, as my students filed in, they noticed my black robe and my Astrological map (onto which I had attached the poem), but they did not see the stars. After they were finally seated, I introduced Whitman and then read his poem, and at the very end, I shut the lights. All the stars twinkled and shined!! There were "ohhs" and "ahhs."
Yes, some poems can be inspiring, entertaining, and witty.

Here is one I wrote that commemorates a similar experience.

Ode to the Poet

She spoke from the interior

Of a warm library

Where a roaring fire glowed.

She spoke of yellow daffodils

And dogwood trees

Yet she never touched its folds.

She was a poet of old

Viewing through the looking glass

I swear that listening to her

Was truly a pain in the Ass.

I left the interior prison

Stepped on the dew kissed grass

I breathed the great outdoors

At last.
© Natala Orobello