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Against All Odds

(by Dian Azorlibu)

Mommy Dearest,

This is a letter of gratitude

For your blunt sense of humor

Straightforward one way attitude

My protector, queen in shining armor

Of all the years we were separated

Those were the worst

With limited time we communicated

I longed for your presence to quench my nurturing thirst

Time and time again, I failed you

Hated you and didn’t understand you

But such life taught me a bitter lesson

You are the light, source of hope, my God-given blessing

It is only in times of sorrow we

Are aware of those who truly care

About our internal pain and struggle

To be the best against all odds

That we may face today and tomorrow

Loss of food is equivalent to loss

Of love, joy, peace, and laughter

All encapsulated with the appeal

To make what others view as unreal

She reminds me of better days

When I fail to love myself or

Am led astray to trust God and know

Everything will surely be okay

The pandemic took place, she told me

To pray and that God has a plan

To not doubt or question

Something I will never understand

I am the daughter of a woman who

Knows me from inside out

Better than I even claim to

I am the daughter of a woman

Who knows the essence of food

Of having a meal and of being

Fortunate to be blessed, an

Acknowledgement to be grateful

I am the daughter of a mother

Who refused to give up on me

Her smell and presence bring me peace

She saw in me what many did not believe

Never for once lost hope or gave up on who she knows I will one day be.

For that, words are too few

To give my indebted thanks and appreciation to you.


Dian Azorlibu can be found at and on Instagram.

Ghanaian Kabobs

(our favorite food, adapted from African Bites)

1 T. garlic powder

1 T. onion powder

1 1/2 t. smoked paprika

1 T. white pepper

2 - 3 T. cayenne

optional: 2 - 3 T. hot ground pepper

1 T. chicken bouillon powder

1/4 c. roasted almonds/peanuts, removed from shells but with skin

2 lb. boneless sirloin steak, chuck roast, or rib-eye

2 T. vegetable oil

salt, to taste

Soak skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

In a medium bowl, mix garlic powder, onion power, smoked paprika, white pepper, cayenne pepper, hot ground pepper, and bouillon. Set aside.

Grind peanuts in a coffee grinder until finely crushed, but not pureed.

Add the ground peanuts into spice mixture.

Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, and slice medium-thin on the diagonal.

Thread the steak onto skewers, about 4 pieces per skewer.

Rub the meat with spice mixture on both sides.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Place skewers on sheet, drizzle with oil, and salt to taste.

Bake 12 minutes.

Place skewers under broiler for 3 minutes.


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