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Bite this.

Bad day? Overseas sales not what they used to be? Everyone around you ripping themselves and each other apart? (Business as usual, then.) Why not seek solace in something hot and steamy? (In a bowl, not a skirt, you dog.)

2 pounds ground turkey

4 tablespoons oil

15 ounces cactus paddles

15 ounces red beans

8 ounces water

8 ounces tomato sauce

1 teaspoon each - coriander, cloves, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 cups cooked rice

salt, to taste

1 tablespoon ham, chopped

1 tablespoon pineapple, chopped

1/4 cup sour cream

Silly me. Edited to add:

- In a large pot, brown the meat in the oil

- Dump everything else in except for the rice, ham, pineapple, and sour cream

- Let simmer, add the rice, and stir well to incorporate

- In a separate pan, saute the ham until it's crispy, set aside, and saute the pineapple

- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of ham and pineapple on top.

I estimate 8 servings here. Edit complete.

I've listed all the spices at a teaspoon each, but that's an estimate - I sprinkled them in until things smelled right. (Heads up - the analyzer doesn't have a listing for cloves.) The cactus came in a jar, seasoned with hot pepper, onion, and cilantro. I read up on other cactus recipes to get an idea of what to expect - its flavor is compared to bell pepper (an assessment I agree with and a flavor I don't like) but it's got a firmer texture than peppers. That, along with the vinegar and the seasonings, makes the cactus pretty tasty in my view. Topping it with ham and pineapple was an experiment on my part - frying up the ham until it was crispy made it a more palatable texture. In combination with the pineapple, it tasted good alongside the sourness of the vinegar and sour cream, and with the spices in the meat.

When it seems that those you reach out to are not with you, it'll take a lot more than food to make things right. But these irritations aren't worth the drastic chemical or physical alternatives, so bring on the fat and salt.

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