Sunday, 24 October 2010
Bloom . . .
“And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
For years I resisted change because I was afraid that growth was always a painful process. I guess it had seemed that most of the lessons I had learned in life, and my opportunities to grow had always been accompanied with a lot of agro and misery. It suddenly occurred to me though that in resisting change and growth, I was also wasting a lot of time, creative energy and emotion. Things that could be better spent on other things.
Why does change come with such difficulty? Why do we allow ourselves to become stuck in ruts? I think the greatest stumbling block to freeing ourselves from these chains is fear. Fear of change, fear of stepping out into the unknown, fear of judgement, fear of failure . . . In giving in to our fear, I think we fail ourselves. I think we prevent ourselves from becoming and being the best that we can be. The whole reason for our presence here on earth is to grow and stretch, and to become the best that we can be. We cannot do that without expanding our boundaries.
There is a scripture that says that in our weakness we are made strong. Who has not heard the story of the old man and the butterfly. An old man was once watching a butterfly struggle to emerge from it’s cocoon. As he watched it struggle frantically in it’s cocoon to free itself, he began to feel sorry for it. It was working so hard, and seemingly getting nowhere. He thought to help it a bit by taking a pair of scissors and cutting it free. When he had done, so the butterfly lay there limp and unable to fly. In his eagerness to help, the man had missed the great secret to a butterfly’s strength, for it is in the struggle to free itself from the cocoon that the butterfly strengthens it’s wings enough to be able to actually fly.
And so it is with life. It is through the struggles and the agonies we suffer that we too are made strong and beautiful. It is in the growth that we learn and evolve and become what we were truly sent here to become. Change is not always bad. We need to exercise our wings and break free from our cocoons. It truly is a good thing.
I know it is late in the year, but, if you can, try to find one perfect rosebud in your garden or at a flower shop if need be. Pick it and place it in a small vase on your desk or night table. Watch it bloom. “Each blade of grass has it’s Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”’ We are likewise blessed. Let us listen to it’s voice and bloom where we are planted.
I always have a few tins of salmon or tuna in my larder. They always come in handy when I feel uninspired and have to come up with a quick meal on the spur of the moment. This is one of our long time favourites.
This is a wonderful recipe I have been making throughout all of my cooking life. It was my mother’s recipe and most likely my grandmother’s as well. I expect it probably came from off of a tin of salmon at one time. It’s delicious. I like to serve it with a cucumber sauce. (see below)
1 large tin of salmon
½ cup milk
3 cups soft bread crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup of the juice from the salmon tin
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 TBS finely chopped onion
The juice of one small lemon
½ tsp hot pepper sauce
½ tsp of salt
A good grinding of black pepper
1 tsp dill weed
3 egg whites, beaten stiff
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 5. Grease a loaf tin really well and set aside.
Drain the salmon, reserving the liquid. Remove as much skin and bone from the salmon as you can and then mash it really well.Scald the milk and add the breadcrumbs. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the salmon liquid and beat smooth. Stir in the beaten egg yolks, minced onion, lemon juice, black pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce and dillweed. Mix it all in thoroughly. Fold in the egg whites.
Spread into the greased loaf pan. Bake in the heated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until firm to the touch and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before loosening from the pan and cutting into slices to serve.
Serve with the cucumber sauce below or creamed peas if you wish.
Makes 2 cups
This is a lovely sauce that goes very well with fish of all kinds.
¼ cup butter
¼ cup plain flour
2 cups milk
1 ½ cups grated unpeeled Englishcucumber
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp dill weed
Put the grated cucumber into a colander and drain it while you make the rest of the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for about one minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Stir constantly until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Stir in the salt, cayenne and dill weed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the grated cucumber, blending it in well. Serve.
And in The English Kitchen today, scrummy Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Muffins