Whew (and a recipe, too)

It was an extremely busy week and I'm glad it's over. I was working on an RFP for a customer who decided that, although BI has always done an amazing job for them, they needed to knock us down on our pricing so they put our program out to bid. That means a lot of work jumping through hoops and trying to please them, and ultimately charging even less than we usually do for our services. I don't quite understand why customers who squeeze their customers for every little dime turn around and demand their suppliers give them everything at cost, and I really don't understand why management even considers going along with this. Have some self-esteem and charge what you're worth, for pete's sake. The week was further complicated by the fact that I was working with an unorganized client services director who was totally unavailable to review our project until the last minute, and then we had to scramble to get things done in time. Pleah. It all turned out well, though, assuming our client accepts our work since we submitted it two hours later than we thought we would.

After my busy week, I was very excited for the weekend. It's in the 60's here now, and has been pretty sunny. Yesterday I opened up the house and did a big organize/move things around, and now today I plan to clean up the garden a bit and get it ready for planting next weekend. Since I have a four-day holiday and haven't planned the trip to Prague I'd hoped for, I think I'll stay here and get the yard fixed up.

I made a totally kickin' soup last night, and I'm very proud of myself because I created this recipe from instinct. Big thanks go to Kimmy for bringing me Penzey's Hot Curry Powder when she visited...it's the primary spice used. (Non-midwesterners....you may not yet have discovered the joy that is Penzeys. I dream of opening a shop in Pike Place Market and making this my semi-retirement plan. Go check it out...you can order online. Foxpoint Seasoning is an absolute kitchen staple.)

If you care for something spicy, here's the recipe.

Red Lentil and Chicken Stew

Take 9 oz of red lentils, 2.5 pints of water with some dry stock/bouillon tossed in, a chopped onion, about an inch of grated ginger, one pulverized garlic clove, one chopped up chili, a couple of dashes of Worcestershire and two tablespoons of hot curry powder, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add three small chicken breasts (whole for now), one chopped up green pepper, and a can of chickpeas you've rinsed off. Continue to simmer for another 1/2 hour, or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken, shred, and return to pot. Toss in a can of chopped tomatoes, cook another 10 - 15 minutes. Add salt to taste, juice of one lemon, and about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of garam masala. Taste it, and if it's not bright enough you can add a bit more salt or even a pinch of sugar to bring it into a full-mouth balance.

Fine by itself, but would rock with brown rice or ww pita, too.


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