Completing A Puzzle

Picture Puzzle Piece

One picture puzzle piece

Lyin’ on the sidewalk.

One picture puzzle piece

Soakin’ in the rain.

It might be a button of blue

On the coat of the woman

Who lived in a shoe.

It might be a magical bean,

Or a fold of the red

Velvet robe or a queen.

It might be the one little bite

Of the apple her stepmother

Gave to Snow White.

It might be the veil of a bride

Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.

It might be a small tuft of hair

On the big bouncy belly

Of Bobo the Bear.

It might be a bit of the cloak

Of the Witch of the West

As she melted to smoke.

It might be a shadowy trace

Of a tear that runs down an angel’s face.

Nothing has more possibilities

Than an old wet picture puzzle piece.

 — Shel Silverstein

The possibilities are indeed endless, it all depends on what it is exactly you’re trying to build, but at the end, no matter how simple or complicated the puzzle is, all pieces are just supposed to fit together in a perfect union. Jamming in or pretending a piece will “just do” is not going to complete the task, you’re bound to either constantly rub against the sharp edges or simply fall apart at a slight touch because no real connection was holding it together.

Often though it’s hard to know where exactly you belong to and what your connecting pieces are as you’re not even sure what the theme of your puzzle is. You could, in fact, be a piece of a queen’s robe and trying to portray a mighty kingdom and a fairytale life. Or you could be a small tear on an angel’s face exhausted from completing all the good deeds needed for that day (yes, even angels get frustrated and tired). Or maybe you’re just a big white in-between piece that doesn’t show anything but is still holding an important job of being a connecting link between the neighboring pictures. If you don’t know the name of your story, you’ll never find where exactly you belong to.

And yet again sometimes you have no ways to find out the theme of your puzzle or you can’t see the big picture from the prospective of a tiny puzzle piece, or maybe you just want to create a completely new story even if you still have all the same parts.  Those are all valid possibilities, but none are possible to see any end if everything around you is already rigid and set in place. The only way becomes to completely break down the whole puzzle, shake up the pieces, maybe even sit in a rubble and grieve over “what could’ve been” and ponder the reasons why certain roads could not be taken. There is no shame in breaking down, if you need a new theme, you’ll also need a new foundation, and that could only be reached if you dig deep inside.

And if you sit in a wreckage and have no idea how to connect any pieces together and what the whole picture should be, reach for the core, those are usually the biggest and brightest pieces, this is where the puzzle starts and what makes it unique. Then look for more pieces that complete, safeguard and nurture the core, without those, the core can’t be more than just a lump of colors and images. And even if you don’t know how to proceed beyond that point, and you do realize it may take you a long time to see the finished product, your puzzle is already alive, pulsating, like an embryo, with a vital energy and a loving light from within.

What’s Cooking This Week

Speaking of the core and finding the connecting pieces. Sometimes when you want to introduce some new ingredients, you need to “bridge” them with something more familiar and versatile. I love, love brussel sprouts, but they are the unfortunate step-child among other vegetables, hated by many, often camouflaged and served as punishment to misbehaving little children. It’s time to make them a true Cinderella and let them shine on their own 🙂

Roasted Chicken With Mushrooms And Brussels

8 pieces of chicken, any part you like, skin and bone-in   

1 small container of whole mushrooms (I used baby Bella)

1/2 container/bag of brussels

salt, pepper

dry herbs (I used Italian blend, celery seeds and cumin)

chopped fresh herbs (I used curly parsley)

olive oil spray

The recipe is quiet simple, everybody knows how to roast a chicken, I think it’s all about the herbs and spices that you use so choose the ones you like, I do like a combo of cumin and celery seeds to compliment the subtle bitterness of the brussels.

Cut the brussels in half and remove outer leaves and stems. Wash and dry chicken pieces, brussels and whole mushrooms. Spray a deep baking dish with olive oil spray. Place chicken and veggies in and season both sides with all the desired herbs and spices, arrange them in a single layer and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clean and brussels are soft but not over-cooked. Garnish with fresh herbs. For a complete healthy meal, have some brown rice on a side. Enjoy!