What is God’s gender?

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When a friend responded to one of my posts on social media, “What if God is a ‘she’ and not a ‘he’?” I decided to write this blog.

Pronouns assigned to God has traditionally been masculine, perhaps drawn in the same vein of patriarchal language used in older societies. Books, laws, national anthems use the masculine gender for inclusivity. The term “man” covered men, women, boys and girls. It could be argued that the masculine gender is word-efficient and makes for easier reading (or singing).

God is a spirit as declared in the Bible in John 4:24. Merriam Webster dictionary defines spirit as “a supernatural being or essence.” This is non-physical, and as such, gender cannot be ascribed to spirits. Yet gender helps us understand the abstract concept of spirit. We have to refer to God as something and one cannot altogether avoid using pronouns in smooth conversation or writing. The gender “it” that is used to denote gender neutrality seems demeaning as a reference for God. Perhaps if there had been neuter gender, male gender, female gender and spirit gender, the confusion would have never arisen.

Our natural minds cannot conceptualize the supernatural in its entirety. Our vocabulary do not contain words for the “Spirit gender”, so at best, we describe spirit as He, in terms that are concrete as they help us understand what is abstract. Spiritual “eyes” are what’s needed to see God in His spiritual capacity.

In the Old Testament, God appeared as men to Abraham (Genesis 18). John 4:24 states, “God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” (Note the word “him”.) Three times in the New Testament Jesus refers to God as Father, as maleness. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology identifies over 165 references to God as Father in direct and metaphorical references.

The Bible is the lens through which I interpret God. The Bible is God’s inspired word and it uses masculine pronouns and words in describing God. This helps me understand the “person” of God but at the end of the day, God is a Spirit whom I refer to as He.

On hot topics like God’s gender, people can’t be told anything if they’ve already made up their minds. I am not offended if someone refers to God as anything but male. Instead, I am happy they’re thinking of God, for to be open to God means He can yet reveal Himself and help them secure Eternity.

Susan Harris has been touched by Eternity and desires that all will inherit it.

Two Injunctions

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Today is my birthday and I will not be on social media. Unlike birthdays gone, I want it simple. Quiet. For the first time my timeline on Facebook is closed.

When I chose the theme of God’s Direct Words for my 1-Minute Prayer page, https://www.facebook.com/1-Minute-Prayer-368981386624849/ I could not have foreseen what would be posted today. I started on January 1, 2017, from Genesis. While Jesus’ words are easily identifiable in red letters in the New Testament, God’s words are not identified. I had an overwhelming desire to read what God has said and thus “God’s Direct Words” came into being. As I read I trembled with the people, bowed in worship and relived revival in my soul. After all, I had heard His voice speak to me literally during on my first visit to Heaven in 1998, and that voice reverberates when I read His speech.

The words of Almighty God in today’s post are, “Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.” Leviticus 6:11-13 (NIV, author italics added.)

The injunction seared in my spirit: The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out.

Not once but twice the reminder is given to keep the fire burning. There is an urgency that it must not go out.

Why such an urgency? What happens in the interim between it going out and being relit? It is difficult to rekindle the fire? Is it impossible to rekindle once it goes out?

Questions run through my mind but I don’t need to know why. I am prepared to be obedient.

Trips, gifts, restaurants are not on my birthday agenda. My theme for this year is heaven-minded. My purpose changed on June 24th after seeing Heaven for the fourth time. I want instead for men and women, boys and girls to make it to Eternity. I want to normalize conversations about the afterlife, encourage the sick and assure those afraid of dying.

To do this I must keep the fire on the altar of my heart burning on the first day of my upcoming year, set a strong flame so it will not go out. Just me and God.

I’ll catch up with you tomorrow.

Susan Harris’ upcoming book, Touched by Eternity, details her trips to Heaven, encounters with angels, visions and miraculous healings. 

Visit 1 Minute Prayer at https://www.facebook.com/1-Minute-Prayer-368981386624849/

(this blog was pre-scheduled on Oct 2)

The Shadow

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“You need Home Care.” My OB/GYN’s tone was urgent and he picked up the phone to arrange for a nurse to come to our address. He explained the reason for his call to the person who answered, and was placed on hold. Suddenly the call was disconnected but immediately he redialed, again explaining the urgency of the situation. One more time the call was disconnected, perhaps in an attempt to transfer it. I was struck by his empathy of my condition and his determination to get a nurse to attend to me at home. For a third time this wonderful doctor redialed the number but I never knew if he got hold of the department. For that moment I slumped forward on his desk.

Simultaneously with my memory of slumping on the desk is that I am walking on soft green grass going uphill. The place is bright as if the sun is full out and it is daytime. On my right, a huge person strides and I walk in his shadow. The shadow encompasses me in a circle similar to the way the midday sun casts a shadow around a person (as opposed to the evening when shadows are long.) I feel as if I know him, this person. I know where I am. I am in Heaven in the Shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1.)

(snippet from my manuscript Touched by Eternity)

NDE Research of Dr. M. Sabom

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Ever since my near-death experience (NDE) on June 24, 2017, I have been devouring literature on NDE. In particular, I want to show that the after life in Heaven is directly linked to a relationship with Jesus Christ, through the acceptance of His death on the cross for the sin of all mankind. Dr. Michael Sabom has done some research and I share a link his findings below. I credit the intoroduction below to Dr. Micheal Sabom.

***

Dr. Micheal Sabom is a cardiologist whose first book, Recollections of Death, is considered to be a landmark in the field of near-death research. He is a leading authority with over twenty years in the field. In 1994, he founded the Atlanta Study which is the first comprehensive investigation of its kind into NDEs. Its purpose was to document the life-and-death dramas played out in operating rooms and hospital beds – and the simultaneous events unseen by medical personnel but reported with astonishing clarity and conviction by nearly 50 individuals who returned from death’s door. Dr. Sabom’s latest book, Light and Death, shares with the world his findings from the Atlanta Study. Sabom, also a born-again Christian, scrutinizes NDEs in light of what the Bible has to say about death and dying, the realities of light and darkness, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Click on the link below for the findings from Sabom’s Atlanta Study:

http://www.near-death.com/science/experts/michael-sabom.html

September 7, 2017

With Love to Dalip Khadaroo, “Chaser Brother”

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February 7, 1943- June 17, 2017
Christened Dalip Khadaroo, my cousin was best known by his nickname, Chaser. To us and the Putkoo children, “brother” was added, and colloquially the names morphed into Chaser Brother. This affectionate title was derived from his younger sister, Roselyn, who called him Brother, and since she was our hero(ine) growing up, all the cousins followed her lead.

Chaser Brother chased life, and finally found it in Jesus, and today he gazes into the face of the One who also calls him Brother, for both he and Jesus have the same Father – God. And to the church, his name was transposed as is customary in churches in Trinidad, to Brother Chaser.

Even before he came to Christ, Chaser Brother was respectful and kind to us younger cousins. He was an adult when I was a kid, and I can say honestly I never heard him direct a harsh word towards us. They lived mid way down the hill when I was growing up, but later moved to the top of the hill. We’d often stop in at their houses to lime with the girls there. His wife, Aunty Molly, was fondly called Bhaujii (pronounced bough-jee), a word from the Hindi language. Family relations are specific to the speaker in the Hindi language, and Roselyn correctly called Aunty Molly “Bhaujii” which is used of the elder brother’s wife, and copiously, we too (incorrectly) called her that. Bhaujii’s youngest sister was my sister’s friend at school, so whenever Shawn visited Chaser Brother’s house, we went over more frequently. And as is customary in the hospitable way of living, we were fed with Bhaujii’s good cooking. Few surpassed them in the culinary department.

Chaser Brother was a skilled carpenter, a natural at wood work and construction. He remained slim and tall throughout his life, passing on good looks to the offspring. It’s over twenty years since I left, and therefore have not seen him, but I have so many memories. One that stands out was when I was pregnant and craving good ol’ Trinidad-style soup. We brainstormed all the cooks and the request for my soup went to Chaser Brother and Bhaujii’s house, with the warning that there must be no pepper in the soup. I drooled while I waited. When the food arrived and was set before me, the smell was out-of this world, that divine aroma of hot congo pepper that I feel certain must run in the genes of the Khadaroos by now. The taste verified this, to my sisters’ delight, as they feasted on the fare. A second request to prepare soup with NO PEPPER was issued. Bhaujii was appalled when the reason was explained because they “had not put any pepper in the soup”. The next day a bowl of the most delicious soup arrived for me, with the message no one in Chaser Brother’s house could eat the tasteless food that Susie wanted. That was the last time I had such good soup.

Aunty Molly, Bhaujii, I hope you will carry on making soup. Like Pat Schwiebert’s character Grandy in Tear Soup, may you blend the memories of your life with your husband as seasonings to carry on, the good times and the bad times, the silly times and the sad times, the praying times together. May you never forget even one precious memory of the 56 years you shared together. May Jesus be your joy and hope, for in these you will find strength.

Roselyn, dear cousin, like the waves that crash on the shores of the Atlantic that separates me from you all, so too the turbulence of the loss of this beloved older brother bounce in your heart. Your soft heart for the lonely, the abandoned, the forsaken, people and animals alike, which propels you to adopt, take in, care for. Mourn your loss, and during the mourning, hold on to the hope that joy will come in the morning. For you know Jesus in an intimate way.

Kenny (and Jenny), Geeta and husband, Rollie (and Penny), Wayne (and Renuka), Shirley (and husband), Anil (and wife), Dave (and wife), Sherry (and husband), in this twist of becoming fatherless on Father’s Day, may you feel the everlasting arms of Father God carrying you. When you look back and wonder how life went on when you could not go on, may you see the footprints on the sand, and know that the One with print in His hands protects you. I know all of you have attended church and invited Jesus into your hearts, and this turning point today, this dying which cannot defy true living, is where you pick up the baton to ensure the legacy of your father is there for the next generation. Go on and grieve, for you grieve because you love, but know that your grief will find a resting place because of whom you believe.

The next generation, Chaser Brother’s grandchildren, the ones he loved so dearly – Shirlini, Tracy, Shain, Kerry, Kalisa, Karina, Lilyanna, Aliyah, Anil, Sry Annily, Ravi. You are third-generation Christians and called to show the grace of your legacy on the platforms your Papa could not share. You are educated and this made him so-o-o-o proud. You hold prestigious jobs. You live in luxury that he did not have access to. I urge you to be good stewards of what the Lord has blessed you with, so that when you too shall behold glory, you would hear Well done. In spite of your sorrow you can do it.

The sweet little great grandchildren, Shivana, Shaylee and Ayan are too young to understand, but will point to pictures and look among the adults for their Papa. Seat them on chairs and tell them the story of Jesus and the mansion in the sky where Papa waits for them. Put Heaven in their hearts from young.

Putkoo family, Rosa, Vikash, Cintra and kids, Sumatee, Ramdass and family, Teddy, Balliram, Steve, Sunil. My family in Trinidad. Kenny & Jenny. You/we are the ones who lived in closest proximity to Chaser Brother, and especially for those of you who still live there, your sorrow is deeper. Each time you glance at the house on the hill top your eyes will well, and your hearts will swell and you will go back in time. But even while you do, may there rise up a ray that will signal a new day. All of us abroad join you in prayers and tears to say farewell to the clay that we, too, will surrender in due time. We will not forget you in the aftermath. I will not forget.

And so as it written that is appointed unto man once to die but after death comes the judgement, Brother Chaser has died. Now he is in heaven awaiting his crowns, and waiting for you. Don’t harden those hearts that are now tender because of the sobering reality of death, but determine to change and live for eternity so that you will reunite with him.

May everyone who is impacted by this loss by the loss of Chaser Brother be comforted with the knowledge that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And may the blessings and peace of God eternal fill your hearts and minds until the coming of Jesus Christ.

Remembering Asha

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Asha Dhanraj-Ramdhan.
Childhood friend, playfellow, classmate.
Living four houses down from mine, we spent the early growing years walking, talking, eating chow and other similar important things. Those idyllic hours spent in the river, baking in the golden sun, and cooling off in a splash are gems that twinkle in the light of time. What a good swimmer you were, a water baby. When the grass was cut in the dry season, from “our” section of the river near Seeta’s house we could look downstream and see you if you chanced to be there.

You were so beautiful, yet so unspoiled by it. Looks did not change the kindness of heart or who you hung out with. One of our teachers nicknamed you Baby Doll. I called you Blue Eyes, based on the bluish hue the white of your eyes took on in your light complexioned face, contrasting against translucent brown pupils. The group of us (you, Seeta, Margaret, Minnoutie and I) would walk to school, and back, on the joy-filled hilly roads of Small Trace. You were shy and didn’t claim the spotlight, yet you’d be the one to suggest we “stone down a mango” and was very skilled at that task. Skilled at so many things in the domestic and outdoors. Your strong arm made you good at cricket and sports in general.

You were always beautifully dressed, a result of two of your older sisters being seamstresses, but mainly because you were so attractive and had a great figure. You’d looked good in a rice bag if you wore one.

After high school sent us separate ways, you spent more time with Seeta. I caught up intermittently as occasions and timetable permitted. You once hosted a party for your birthday which I attended, and was awed to learn you had cooked the food by yourself. A true servant heart. So hospitable and kind.

Accent perfume was the new rage when you got married, and our gift to you was a lavish set. You knew us so well that you predicted we’d bring a gift of scent. Yet the bottled fragrance faded in the glory of you gowned in white, your personality and womanliness exuding only what your Maker could create. My sister, Marilyn, was the MC for your wedding.

You attended open air services with us, meetings at our house, and once our church showed a film in the yard of your family home which had the hugest yard in the neighbourhood. As usual, there was a call for salvation at the end. I know that when you invited Jesus into your heart in your early years, your name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That day you belonged to Jesus and have since belonged, and now you are in His presence.

When your cousin, Mala, and I got to know each other in A’Levels, our relationship rekindled. We lost touch after our paths took us to separate locations on this glorious earth. A few times I visited Standard, but your home was elsewhere. Thanks to Facebook, I’ve caught up a bit over the last couple of years

Mother. Called this revered name by Tracy Ann, Stacy Ann and Shelly Ann. Young ladies I’ve never met but whose genes carry the kindness and grace of the friend of my elementary years. Grieve this day. Grieve your loss. Grieve the way you know best how to. Tomorrow and always, as often as you need. But live in such a way that you will be reunited in the appointed time.

Husband. Roy. Called by the one whose voice no more whispers his name, but his heart will everlastingly hear it. Grieve the wife of your youth and live in such a way that you will be reunited at the appointed time.

Daughter. Called this by Mrs. Dhanraj, “Tanty”, now in her very senior years and whose pain is unfathomable.

Sister. Called this by Shamella, Usha, Molly, Shiann, Sandra, Dolly, Golly, Samdaye, Shawn, Sookdeo, Persad, Deodath and Russell. Grieve your loss. The family gatherings will never be the same but I urge you to live in such a way that you will be reunited at the appointed time.

Aunt. Called by Kimberly, Kelly Ann, Lisa, Mukesh, Brian, Barry, Indira, and scores of nieces and nephews whom I do not know. Make the time count. Revisit the memories and laugh. Grieve, and be thankful for the years you shared, and live in such a way that you will be reunited at the appointed time.

Neighbours, friends, acquaintances, all tottering by the void of a world with Asha-no-more – may you find peace in the face of mortality.

May Jesus be the comfort of all, the hope for the days ahead, and the promise for seeing in eternity the one you love so dearly. Rest in heavenly peace, Asha.

Dear Radiance

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Dear Radiance,

Your name means light. Brilliance.
Charisma, your name means “gift of grace”, and “gifts of the Holy Spirit”.

You are meant for more than this world. You are made for eternity.
I’ve loved you forever, before you were born until now.
And into Eternity where perfect love will be the only expression known.

You belong only to God, created by Him for Him.
Entrusted to me to bear and nurture for a few years. To train you in His ways.
Those years have now expired.
You belong to God.

You have all you need:
JESUS
In one word you have the reassurance, the answer to everything.

When fear grips and crisis looms, call Jesus.
When need presents itself, call Jesus.
When the lure of friends overpowers, call Jesus.
When all is well, and joy abounds, thank Jesus.
Make Jesus your hope, as He has been my hope.

Choose God’s standard. Always.
Covet what matters – things eternal.
Let God be your guide, your North Star, your compass.Let the Holy Spirit be your mentor.
Call on Christ to make you strong when you are weak.

I remember the details of your life.
Many are in scrapbooks, travel memorabilia. Photographs by thousands.
Boxes labelled by grade. Cards and drawings. A red suitcase with baby clothes.
All are in memory.

I gave you my best. Dropped jobs to chase French education in new locations.
Dance, music, gymnastics, sports, themed birthdays, career paths.
Parliament. Every opportunity was explored.

I pray you look past my flaws and find charisma that covers all shortcomings.
When the no’s came they were the result of foresight.
To preserve you for the years you have now embarked on as an adult.
God is good. And when He’ll say no, trust Him, for He is still good.
When the contradictions surge, when the world shouts and friends beckon, discern His voice and go after Him.
Even if it means going alone.
He will never let you down. Your protector, your provider, henceforth.

May God’s pull be stronger than peer pressure.
Don’t be a crowd pleaser. Don’t strive for acceptance through sin. Say no.
Don’t lose your life following friends. Waste not on social media.

Watch your company for you become as those you hang out with.
God can set you free from the influences of those who do not live by His Word.
Be careful who advises you, for their standards may not be God’s though they call themselves Christian.

You were made to stand out, unique and beautiful individual.
For higher and nobler. Born for greatness.

Popularity tempts, but it is temporary.
Only God is constant.
Choose His way. Choose wisely. Choose carefully.
Choose attuned to the Spirit for whose gifts you are named.
Sear the Word on your heart. Read it. Memorize it. Live by it.

I spent my life protecting you in an uncertain world. A lone family in a strange land.
I gave you every comfort and luxury within my means.
I made sacrifices you’ll never know about.
And when it’s your turn, know that you can do it through Christ.Anywhere. You are able.

My daughter, you’ve outgrown your dependence on me. You can find your own answers and for this I am satisfied.
But never outgrow your reliance on God. Seek His help.
Now that you’re an adult, the consequences of your actions will be yours to confront. Seek God, and seek more.
He will be with you until mortality gives in to immortality. He has all the answers.

Become the best in your chosen field. Aim for excellence.
Dream big. Do good.
Be compassionate.

My peace comes from entrusting you to God’s care.
The only one who truly understands you.
He who can fix every broken, every difficult, formed you.
He updated the count of the strands on your head just now.
You are my child, and You are His child. We are both His children, and He makes it good for each of us.

Guard your mind. Guard your heart.
Guard your purity. Guard your faith. Covet a gentle spirit.
Be contented.

Radiance, may you never be without the presence of the Holy Spirit.
May you always be at peace.
May the desire for holiness trump any other longings.
This you can do through the grace Jesus extends.
May you live up to your names.
And may your light so shine that many will be drawn to God.

I love you today and always,
Mom

Copyright Susan Harris 2017
From ” New Kind of Mother’s Day” by Susan Harris

Honouring Smokey

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The maxim drummed in my ear, a refrain that was indefensible. Over and over it revved in my brain, Once is a mistake. Twice is a pattern. Three times is a habit. And over and over I wondered why I never thought of it it until this week.Smokey little

Why didn’t I include Smokey’s picture in my farm books?

The last sentence of the last page of each book reads, “She got the idea for this book while playing with her kitten, Smokey, who was also born on the farm.” And below the line is a picture of my other picture book, Little Copper Pennies for Kids. Not of Smokey. Once.C

In the English edition of Alphabet on The Farm, K is for Kitten. Instead of the orange kitten, I could have used Smokey’s picture. Twice.

Search Quotes (dot com) was relentless. “You can’t make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice.  Deal with the consequences!”

That was in 2104. When the French edition, L’alphabet à la ferme, was released this year, the last sentence of the last page was the same, except in French. Three times.

In the French edition, the letter C first featured Chevre (goat) but I immediately thought that a kitten should be there and so “C comme Chaton” replaced the Chevre and the little orange kitten smiled out of the page. Wretched me. Why wasn’t the chaton Smokey? Four.

English Stack (dot com) further conspired against me, ably using the second language to underscore my faux pas.  “In French, there is the expression “jamais deux sans trois” (literally: “never twice without a third [time]”).”
Smokey groomed 1
Except I had eleven times to my credit if I considered the proofs. Oh la la! I did not  possess the stop-before-the-habit-is-formed gene so now I had to face the consequences.

My feeble attempt to redeem my error to immortalize my cat in publishing is the fact that on June 17, he appeared on CTV at the Yorkton station and I hope to embed the clip on YouTube.  Another endeavor is a poster ordered from Vistaprint which I will hang on a prominent wall in our house. On June 21 he will attend the book launch of L’alphabet à la ferme at St. Henry’s Elementary School in Melville, a French Immersion school. I’ve been invited to share at the Christian Club’s ladies meeting in August and was asked to bring him along.

French posterI love my cat and I’m indebted to him for the inspiration he has been literally in getting three works published in two languages. I honour you, Smokey, and you will live on.

Once is a mistake. Twice is a pattern. Three times is a habit. Eleven must be for redemption.

Read how Smokey became a pet and inspired my writing in a free download at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RNV3P10 . The chapter is entitled How Not to Kidnap a Cat in the book  10½ Sketches: Insights on Being Successful Right Where You Are. Smokey has also been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?  August 2014 edition. The Cat Did What_front cover
Alphabet Profile Pic for Facebook 2

Is Wait a Heavy Load?

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Usually when a person waits for another it implies that he/she is at standstill. At rest. She ceases to move for the other individual is the one in action. He lingers while the other catches up. May 1.16

The familiar, often-quoted verse in Isaiah 40:31 covenants – “those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;” (NASB)

What could your body do with fresh strength?  What would happen to your mind and spirit if you literally waited on the Lord?

Often our waiting is contaminated with doubt and wondering, complaining and groaning, which does nothing good for us. But we can make the decision to wait with expectancy. To literally wait for the Lord as He strides to meet us. As He exerts the energy and we conserve ours. He may have to backtrack or He may have to go forward, but either way He will bring us to the place we are supposed to be at – a place of balance and peace.

When we wait in the natural, such as for an exam result, we do not study during the interim. Instead we pack away the notes, close the text books, and wait. The principle in waiting is that we do not consider other options, or move with new ideas. So too, as we  wait for Jesus, for His directions, instructions and companionship, it is best that we stay put. To not go anywhere. He is coming. Our “do-it-now” is to stick around and watch. A paradox in this crazy, busy world which operates opposite to the Kingdom. Our environment has programmed us to jet set in action, noise and chaos, and  waiting has become a negative akin to laziness. But our God gives us permission to shrug off the opinions, concerns and worry, and wait. To hope in Him. To remain where we are, reading His Word and  drawing from its refreshing. Praying. Giving thanks. Hoping in what He is bringing for us. Trusting in where He is taking us. Finding new strength and life as we wait for Him. On Him. Scooping up peace in the very place we don’t care to be. Being perfected in the place we deem imperfect.

Our Lord never gets tired, and He does not want us to be tired either. It’s our ideal equilibrium. And when we accept His gift to rest, we find that waiting is no longer a heavy load.

Sautéed Kale, Anyone?

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When the graphic designer of my new picture book, L’alphabet à la ferme, sent me pictures to choose Kale 1for the k word, I honestly did not know which picture of kale was  more suitable. I had zero knowledge of kale. I could not identify it, had certainly never bought it, nor ever expressed an interest in the vegetable.  That day the lethargy evaporated. If kale was going to be in my book, I vowed that I would become as close to an expert as I could on the subject. Fortunately this post has a word limit which debars a thesis on kale, so you will be spared the gushing of the kale-enthusiast I’ve morphed into, but I will share a few facts that changed the obscure leafy vegetable to a coveted daily dish. And I’ll share my recipe too.

ALPHABET FR FRONT 13-MAR-2016Low on the glycemic index, kale belongs to the Brassica family with vegetables such as  cabbage, broccoli, and collards. Kale is laden with nutrients that puts it high on the list of the world’s healthiest foods, packed with vitamins A, C and K, and calcium. Thus including kale in one’s diet provides nutrients that support healthy skin, hair and bones, as well as healthy digestion and a reduced risk of heart disease. Other health benefits include improving blood glucose control in diabetics, lowering the risk of cancer, lowering blood pressure and lowering the risk of developing asthma. (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270435.phpApril 16, 2016)

Which writer does not need a healthy body or lovely hair for the camera?

My first attempt on the power food bandwagon was to try making kale chips. This was Kale 2quickly abandoned as the only beneficiary was the trash can. I also did not care for raw kale. Then a simple recipe from my childhood got me eating this super green 5-7 times a week. Because kale appeared similar to choraiya bhagi, aka aramanth leaves, that grew in Trinidad, I thought of sautéing the kale the same way as we did the choraiya. This proved to be the winner.

A serving of kale equals 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked, and one cup of raw kale has only 35 calories. My recipe, however, is based on what I eat at one meal. Because seriously, how do you measure a cup of unruly, curly kale? Anyway, I hope you enjoy this dish.

Recipe for Sauteed Kale

Cooking time – 6 minutes Kale 4 ingredients

Ingredients:

3 stalks kale

1 tsp olive oil (or any cooking oil)

¼ small onion thinly sliced

1 clove garlic crushed  (or 2 cloves if you like)

1 tsp cracked pepper (optional)

½ tsp salt (or to taste)

 

Method: Kale 3

 

1. Wash kale and pat dry. Trim off the woody stem leaving only the leafy part.

2. Cut leaves into small pieces.

3. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a non-stick skillet (or 2 tsp if using an iron pot).

4. Drop onions in oil and sauté on medium heat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. When onions becomes soft, turn down heat between medium and low. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. (Note – garlic burns easily so be sure to lower the heat and turn mixture often.)

5. Add kale and salt to onion-garlic in skillet and sauté for one minute uncovered. Kale should begin to wilt and turn bright green.

6. Cover skillet with lid and let kale steam in its juices for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat.

The website https://www.caloriecount.com indicates the calorie count of the ingredients as:

40 calories per tsp of olive oil

zero calories in the salt

5 calories in the cracked pepper

24 calories in the onion

4 calories in one clove of garlic

Kale 5 cookedKale can be eaten as a side dish with any meal or as a filling in a pita wrap.  Delicious. In Trinidad we ate the choraiya bhagi with roti, or as a side dish to split peas and rice. Yummm.

Just rambling – I tried to slice the onions as best as I can but I realize I do not have onion slicing skills for good photography. I also use a small iron pot I brought from Trinidad to cook my kale. The quarter tsp measure is available in stores.

K is for kale. Who knew writing a children’s picture book would spin off such rewards?

SUSAN HARRIS is the author of eight books. Her newest release is L’alphabet à la ferme Alphabet Profile Pic for Facebook 2from Borealis Press and the first of her books to be translated in French. The English version, Alphabet on The Farm has 50% different pictures from the French edition. 

 

 

 

ALPHABET FR FRONT 13-MAR-2016