Caramelized Butternut Squash and Onion with Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Lemon!

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This simple and really delicious and healthy squash recipe is really a variation on “all things aglio e olio.” I had this for dinner this evening as as side to moudardara. Often when I cook squash or potatoes like this I add a few cumin and coriander seeds along with the hot pepper to give it a Near East flavor (but had neither in the house this evening). Nonetheless, this is really easy and delicious, and it can be made using many other hard winter vegetables.

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Onion with Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Lemon

Serves 2-4, depending on the size of the squash

4 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced thinly

1 small onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper

¼ teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet that is large enough to hold the sliced squash in a single layer. When the oil is hot add the squash and saute it for a few minutes. Then add the onion and saute a few more minutes. When the squash and onion just begin to brown add the garlic, hot pepper, and salt; saute another minute or two. Stir in the lemon and remove from the heat.

Urban Simplicity.

A not-so-crazy man with a message….

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Ok, so I dare you to try and not smile while watching this 4 minute video. While he may appear to be a crazy street person, he’s not. His name is Matthew Silver and is a street performer. He’s also a man with a message. In this short video he’s going from store to store in New York’s Union Square beating a drum, dancing, and chanting the mantra, “Love is the answer, stop buying stuff.” Just in time for Grey Thursday and Black Friday. Okay, maybe he is crazy, but this is still great. Anyhow, if you want to be cheered up a bit, this’ll surly do the trick.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#612), some studs, and a couple other things…

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So first of all before I say anything about the snow I have to say that my heart and prayers go out to those who may be still stranded, and especially to the families that have lost loved ones in this storm.

Though I have moved away a few times I have always found my way back to my hometown of Buffalo and have weathered many storms in my 53 years, including the Blizzard of ’77 when I was a teenager. But this storm was different. The path it cut was more like a tornado snow storm, this is why people are referring to it as the “knife.” It’s path was somewhat narrow and direct. And the thunder and lightening it produced was really eerie. The media keeps saying that Buffalo is buried in snow but truth be told only one area of the city is actually buried (South Buffalo). From what I can tell most of the brunt of the storm hit south and east of the city. The most that we (most of the city) received was 10″ or less. In some places it was just a dusting. But a few miles away the snow was and is life threatening (to date ten people have perished). Two of my sisters live east of the city where there is more than five feet of snow…not drifting because of the wind but just simply five feet deep of snow! (and I rarely use exclamation points.) There is no way to push it out of the way–because of it’s mass–in the traditional snow plow way, it has to be scooped into trucks and hauled away.

My heart and prayers go out to those still stranded. And what is even more worrisome is that the temperatures are supposed to rise, which will cause flooding. And the weight of wet snow is also a concern for roofs collapsing (some have already collapsed, including that of a nursing home which resulted in two deaths) .

Pictured above is my bike as I went grocery shopping last evening; I had just put on the steel studded snow tires. But it seems too trite to even talk about this with the devastation happening just a few miles from where I type these words. If you believe in prayer I ask you to pray for the people south and east of this city, and if you don’t please just send kind and healing thoughts (which of course is a type of prayer in itself).

Peace, and thank you.

Urban Simplicity.

Advice on writing from Charles Bukowski…

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Image found here.

So you want to be a writer…

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,

don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your

heart and your mind and your mouth

and your gut,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit for hours

staring at your computer screen

or hunched over your


searching for words,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or


don’t do it.

if you’re doing it because you want

women in your bed,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit there and

rewrite it again and again,

don’t do it.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,

don’t do it.

if you’re trying to write like somebody

else, forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of

you,then wait patiently.

if it never does roar out of you,

do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife

or your girlfriend or your boyfriend

or your parents or to anybody at all,

you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,

don’t be like so many thousands of

people who call themselves writers,

don’t be dull and boring and

pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-


the libraries of the world have

yawned themselves to


over your kind.

don’t add to that.

don’t do it.

unless it comes out of

your soul like a rocket,

unless being still would

drive you to madness or

suicide or murder,

don’t do it.

unless the sun inside you is

burning your gut,

don’t do it.

when it is truly time,

and if you have been chosen,

it will do it by

itself and it will keep on doing it

until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

A few things I saw while walking around Greenwich Village this past weekend…

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Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#611), a quick note, and a few other things…

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On the bike…a case of red wine and about $25 in groceries. The photo directly below is something I saw while riding…sparrows flying in the first of the season’s snow. And the broccoli pictured is growing in what remains of my front-yard garden. Also I just wanted to mention that I will be away from my computer for a few days so I likely will not post again until Tuesday or so. Hopefully you will still be here when I return, thanks for sticking with me and my idiosyncrasies. Until the, peace.

Urban Simplicity.

A few things I saw while riding my bike recently….

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Urban Simplicity.

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