January Justification & Seared Ahi Tuna

love new calendars!

I was having a troubling dream last night. I was attempting to reconcile a relationship (very badly). In my dream I asked “George” (not his real name) to tell me what it was that I had done, so we could clear the air. The things he brought up to me from my past (20-30 yrs ago) were astonishing.. and with each accusation he brought up, I tried to justify – “Wow George! seriously?? You know I was 24 yrs old when I said that, and do you have any idea what I was going through at the time?” He then brought up my attitude when I was in a wheelchair (which I actually was for a short time 21 yrs ago) and made it sound like this was my MO for years.. again.. I cried… ‘do you know how long I was in a wheel chair? 2 weeks! and you saw me ONCE during that time – not nearly long enough to make such a grand sweeping accusation on my character!! plus my dad was dying… again, do you have any idea what my life was like? I was making the best of awful situations…’ the conversation kept going, and I kept right on justifying. I actually woke up a few times it was so intense, but forced myself back into the dream because i needed to FIX it. I’m guessing I’m not the only one that does this… or maybe i’m a weirdo, you tell me. Sometimes the dream is a good one you don’t want to leave.. but most often, i go back in because i need to fix something.

An hour after I woke and my head was more clear.. I reflected back on the troubling dream. In real life – I do have a strained relationship with ‘George’.. and I don’t think it will be ever fixed – but I also know it doesn’t have anything to do with me, sadly, all of George’s relationships are strained. I pray he lets go of preconceived notions he has about the people in his life that love him, and hurts he has held on to for many years. George needs restoration and healing.. he needs forgiveness and new life.

But beyond George.. I had to look within me. Why did i fight him, and feel this innate need for justification? I could never undo the things he thought I had done, or maybe actually had.

This quote from Joni’s book has been resonating with me this week. (part of my term 2 studies)

I let out a big sigh of released tension realizing that i AM justified through Christ. He doesn’t keep bringing up my old sins. His blood has washed me clean, and I don’t need to carry those old guilts (whether real or not) around me for choices I made, words I uttered in pain or anger, hurtful things I did, wrongful attitudes.. But I need to confess and keep short accounts. Not to regain my eternal salvation – ’cause I know I can’t lose it – He will NEVER forsake me .. but so I can be unburdened, wear his yoke and be effective. I struggle with confession, I’ll be honest. I don’t do it often enough or soon enough. So i feel the list grow and the pile grow higher. Maybe that’s why George visited me in my dream last night.. to tell me it was time to get on my knees.

BUT.. you came here to find out what’s going on in my kitchen.. not in my heart.. right? First a little update on us and where we’re at… we’re still puzzling, having family zooms and I’m juicing again.

the field behind us is seeing the beginnings of construction.. the beautiful top soil stripped off ready for excavation of 47 new homes. 😦

We’ve been having a mild-ish winter here in Southern Ontario. In Celcius, most of January we’ve been hovering between -2 and +2. Mostly grey and heavy clouded days.. with very few bright and wonderful sunshiny in between, when I run outside as quick as I can to soak in the sun –

like this day a week ago when I hung laundry and Guillermo barbequed.

A couple of good snowfalls, one in early December, and one on Christmas Eve that gave us a glorious white Christmas.

Guillermo is still working at Nanticoke (1 hr 10 min drive most days one way) He had 2.5 weeks off at Christmas – long story short, he was hoping for 3 at least, lost a week because the project kept having issues – then the morning he was to go back to work (Jan 4) he was fighting headaches, stuffy nose, fatigue and body aches. He is required to fill & email a Covid checklist each morning before work, symptoms, who he’s been in contact with etc – and this particular morning there were more than a couple boxes he was checking off so it meant a Covid test and negative result + no symptoms before he could return to work.

The extra 2 days were bittersweet, because he really did need the time off, but he is on contract, meaning if he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid. Couple that with me no longer working and bringing home a paycheque.. thankfully he was able to get a Covid test at 1030 pm that night, and his negative result came in 13 hours later. This week he’s back to 6 days (hopefully not 7)!! Since a winter getaway on a sunny beach is not possible this year, I’ve taken to greeting him at the back door with a rolled hot soapy washcloth when he comes home – just like the staff at Dreams Punta Cana, and he kinda likes it. And i kinda like a clean face to kiss.

I finished my first course in Biblical Care & Counselling with a grade of 89.8% – not bad for my first few months of post secondary education in 32 yrs. (this note & grade was from my prof on my last paper, best grade of all!) The first prof we had was amazing, a real shepherd and very encouraging. Jan 4th I began study for the 2nd course – Typical Problems in Counselling – and so far the reading is fabulous, but we don’t actually “meet” our prof until one month in.. so we’re struggling a bit with expectations in the work.

December 23rd was my last official day at work, and I left the office with a box of personal possessions, a lot of orange items (surprise surprise!) and favourite photos that brightened my desk area. It was a surreal day. 14.5 yrs working for the same company that went through a lot of growth and changes.. and my very last day i just … left. No party, flowers, no handshake or hugs all around, no recognition. I will say that I was given a very handsome and generous bonus on my last day – but Covid certainly has left a lot of life’s transitions and moments just …flat. I empathize with those that graduated without ceremonies and parties. It makes closure and transition just a wee bit harder. All that to say.. I really don’t love parties or crowds, I can buy my own flowers, my husband gives the best hugs, and i’m seriously LOVING being home, enjoying my new routines of waking earlyish to go for a brisk walk, listening to podcasts, taking time to eat a good breakfast and do my devotions before starting my schoolwork. Having the time to take care of friends, write letters, plan and cook good meals for us.. speaking of which…

We hosted a small family Christmas breakfast the day before Ontario went into full lockdown.

baked salmon with black rice and roasted kalettes with fresh squeezed lemon.

I’ve been doing too many casseroles lately, and craving fish, so one night this week we had baked salmon and then last night i planned seared ahi tuna. I picked up some beautiful baby bok choy, cremini and shittake mushrooms to go along with this beautiful fish. Unfortunately.. i overcooked the tuna, it was well done, not med rare as it should have been, but still very yummy. I’ll know better for next time.. which will be soon!

Tuna was frozen, so I thawed overnight, then marinated for one hour in low sodium soy sauce, sesame seed oil, ginger, and fresh cracked pepper. It’s also good to bring tuna out of the fridge an hour before to come up to room temp. When ready to cook, you want a hot non stick pan, or well oiled, and then sear 2-3 min a side (no more – it cooks FAST!) – remove from heat, and top with a bit of fresh squeezed lemon & toasted sesame seeds. Simple. 6 min or less.

searing the tuna

For the stir fry veg: wash and halve baby bok choy and mushrooms. heat a dry pan, and toast sesame seeds, after removing seeds, heat Olive Oil, and add grated garlic and ginger for about 1 min, add mushrooms for ~2 min, then baby bok choy for ~3 min. (did you add those minutes? 6.. just like the tuna – a perfect pairing) Remove from heat, toss with a couple tsps of soy sauce and fresh lemon juice, top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions (I harvested green onion from my garden yesterday!) And voila! a wonderful tasty fresh meal in less than 10 min with very little prep.

As we look ahead to Spring, I ordered my Summer garden on line, and can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt for some gardening therapy. I ordered more flowers, a WHOLE lot more lettuce so i can plant in stages (didn’t order nearly enough last year) and have saved seed from beans, and already planted the kale, onion and garlic. I look forward to sharing with you their growth in the months ahead.

Buying from Ontario Seed Company in Waterloo (a little over 1 hr away) was the closest to shopping local i got, but the seedlings I buy later (tomatoes, peppers) will be local.

How’s your winter? What are your Spring plans? Hope you are thriving through this lockdown, staying safe, healthy and productive.

Blessings.. and warmest regards..


Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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