Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Tuesday ramblings . . .
"Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else."
I have always felt this to be very wise counsel. When my oldest son was a teen, he went through a stage of trying to emulate some of the rap singers he admired. It didn't quite come off though . . . for one thing he wasn't black, and emulating their way of speaking just sounded stupid, and for another, as I lovingly explained to him, he didn't have the same background or upbringing as they had had and so by trying to behave in the same manner as they did, he ended up looking insincere, and well, to be perfectly honest, a bit of a dork!! What he was doing was nothing new though . . . millions of young people every day look to their pop idols and try to emulate their dress, their speech, their habits, their lifestyle . . .
And are we as adults really any different . . . when we look to our friends or neighbours and try to keep up with them, in dress, manner or speech? Or when we tell ourselves that we just have to have the latest in fashion, or housewares or . . . well . . . I am sure you get the picture. We often live beyond our means and our needs in trying to keep up with the latest and newest things that we fool ourselves into thinking we just have to have . . .
I truly believe that this is a trap set for us by the great master of lies and king of deceit . . . satan, himself. He wants us to feel inadequate with who we are. He wants us to feel deprived, and to seek after things which ultimately can never bring us true joy. He wants us to fall into the trap of living beyond our means and having to walk upon the treadmill of debt . . . and to wear it's burden. He wants to steal our joy . . . and he is very subtle and crafty in the methods that he employs to do so . . .
When I look at the happiest people in life, it is clear to see that they are those that are humble and contented in whatever circumstances they find themselves in. They seek to be none other than the best "me" that they know how to be, and they look to the Saviour as their great exemplar, striving only to be more like Him in thought, word and deed. They have learned the art of being content and finding joy just where they are, and with who they are. It is in simple values and simple needs . . . it is in simply striving to be none other than the best person that they, themselves, have the ability to be and none other . . . it is in cherishing home, family and faith, in upholding simple values such as honesty, integrity and virtue, in loving others the way we would love ourselves and above all, in loving God and putting Him at the head of their lives, their homes, their families . . .
"Rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope that you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know how. If you do so you will witness miracles come to pass."
~ Gordon B Hinckley
These are just my thoughts on this very chilly November morning, I hope you don't mind me sharing them with you . . .
I just have to tell you about this wonderful giveaway this morning as well. My friend Julie is having a fantastic giveaway over on her blog, Circle Cliff Views. I just love visiting her page whenever she posts, probably because we share many of the same values and we share the same faith. In any case, I always find what she writes to be interesting and fascinating! Do go and give her a nod, and you never know, you could be the lucky winner! It truly is the best giveaway I have ever seen on the net!
Chilly days call for chilly measures . . . and that usually means soup in this house!!! This is one of our favourites!
*Farmhouse Cheddar Soup*
This soup is delicious. I use a combination of different cheeses in it, but you can leave out the blue cheese if you wish, without too many problems. I happen to really enjoy the slight tang it gives. You can reserve a few florets of the cauliflower as well, and saute them in a bit of butter until browned for a garnish as well. It does look very pretty, but so do toasted bread croutons, especially if you cut them out with a special cutter!
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups chopped, peeled potato
1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups shredded strong cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried dill tops
1/4 tsp dried English Mustard powder
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
3/4 cup whole milk
Combine the stock, potatoes, cauliflower, onions, carrots and garlic in a large pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. If you have a stick blender, use it to puree the soup until it is smooth. If you don't, you will have to use either your food processor or a standing blender to do it in small batches. Proceed with care though as you can get a nasty burn if you are not careful. The heat of the soup creates an expansion of air and it can blow the lid right off your blender! If I am using this method I always put a towel over the top of the blender and hold it down tightly!
Return the pureed soup to the pan and whisk in the milk, 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese, the blue cheese if using, dill, dry mustard and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Cook, stirring until all the cheese is melted and the soup is smooth and hot.
Serve in heated bowls with the rest of the cheese sprinkled on top. I like to make some little buttered croutons to float on top. I just cut out shapes of bread with a tiny cookie cutter and brush them with a little butter, then I toast them in a hot oven until they are nicely browned. A delicious touch and very pretty to look at as well!
I'm getting all spicy over on The English Kitchen this morning!!