Thursday, 11 November 2010
Last night Todd and I both had meetings to go to at the church. Afterwards, when we got home, we decided to chill out with Mitzie, and watch an episode of "Leave It To Beaver" together before we went to bed. For those of you who don’t know, it is an old American sitcom from the late 1950’s, about a little boy named Theodore Cleaver and his family. When his older brother Wally was really young he could not pronounce the name Theodore, it came out sounding like Beaver, and so the nick name has stuck.
It’s a delightful show, and we find it very entertaining. A great example of what the “ideal” life of a family in North America would have been like in the 1950’s. I love watching it, because it portrays good wholesome values and it always makes me feel good inside. We have the whole first four series on DVD, and there are several more in the series, but they will have to wait until we are better off!!
In last night’s episode Wally had won a trophy for some sport he was playing at school, and Beaver was a bit jealous of all the attention Wally had been getting because of that. To make a long story short, Beaver has a friend over, and in the process of looking at it, they accidentally end up breaking the trophy. They then compound the crime of touching Wally’s things when they shouldn’t have, by trying to hide their crime and gluing it back together, which, of course, comes out all wrong. There is no possible way that Beaver can hide what he has done. The truth comes out, Beaver gets in trouble, and Beaver decides that he wants to find a new family, a nicer one . . . one that will let him touch his brother’s things and do whatever he wants . . . one that's not quite so mean. His father says to him that if he thinks he can find a better family, then he is welcome to do just that.
Beaver ends up taking himself to an adoption agency and asking to adopt a family. The agency listens to him, then calls his parents without letting him know. His parents rush down to pick him up, but in the mean time Beaver is sitting there and looking at the pictures on the wall and starts to regret just a little bit the rashness of his actions, and begins to miss his family just a little bit.
The agency tells Beaver they have found the perfect family for him. Cue in reunion of parents and Beaver . . . hugs and kisses all around, family lives happily ever after. In truth, it was a delightful little story and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I have seen these episodes a thousand times I am sure, but each time I watch them again they delight me. Todd is really seeing them for the first time and he loves them as well!
It reminded me about an episode in my own life, which happened when I was about 9 years old, probably about the same age that Beaver was in the show last night. I can’t quite remember why, or how, but I was quite annoyed with my parents for some reason, and I decided that I was going to run away. I had an old cardboard box with handles, that my skates had come in at Christmas, and a black patent leather Barbie case that I kept all my Barbie clothes in, which I decided that I would use for suitcases. I would run away from home, and live in the top of our garage. I’d be able to sneak into the house nights, when everyone else was asleep, and find food to eat. In my child’s mind, nobody would ever discover me and I’d be happy and able to do whatever I wanted to do. Ohhhh, but hey’d be sorry!!! After a few days, they would be missing me so much, that I would be able to come home. I’d be treated like a Queen forevermore, they’d be so happy to have me back!!!
I got my two cases ready, packing into them all my worldly treasures, and a few articles of clothing as well. This took most of the afternoon, and it was beginning to get dark by the time I had finished. I went out into the utility room to get my coat and shoes on so that I could leave. My mother came into the room, and asked me what I was doing. I told her . . . the whole time I was speaking, that little voice in my head was telling me how sorry she was going to be for having made me angry, and how much she was going to miss me, when I had gone . . .
My mother patiently listened to what I had to say, and then she very quietly said that she was sorry that I felt that way, but it was getting dark outside now and why didn’t I wait until morning to be on my way, when I could see better and be a bit safer. That was very smart on her part. She didn’t take away from the way I was feeling, or tell me that I was unjustified in wanting to go, she only showed me a safer alternative. Of course, by the time morning rolled around the problems of the day before were all forgotten, and I no longer wished to run away from home anyways! But, I had been allowed to have my fantasy for that one night, and been able to make up my own mind that it was not really what I wanted to do anyways. And . . . with a good nights sleep under my belt and a night to think it over . . . I was able to look at whatever it was that had upset me in the first place with a fresh perspective and eyes unclouded with anger, frusrtration or tears.
Sometimes life gets you down so much, that you just want to pack your bags and run away . . . escape. Lots of people do escape in the only ways they know how, through drugs, or alcohol or various other means. This only compounds the problems they are having, because . . . as you know . . . the problems don’t go away and are, in fact, compounded by drug and alcohol addiction. You cannot escape life or problems. Sticking your head in the sand just does not work. When you lift your head up to peek, you will find the problems are still there staring you in the face. The only way to meet them is head on.
I have found that the best way that I can cope with things in my life that I find difficult or hard to cope with, is to work my way through them . . . one small step at a time. I am very lucky, in that I have my faith to help carry me through all the lumps and bumps in the road . . . and carry me it does. I have come to realize in life, that there is always light at the end of every tunnel and . . . no matter how mired in the muck I might seem at the time, there is always a way out and things can always improve and will improve. Problems never go away by ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist, and hiding in a bottle never helps. Prayer does.
The simple act of sharing whatever it is that is bogging me down with someone who knows better than me . . . and cares, is all it takes in many instances to help to make me feel better and set me on the right pathway to fixing whatever it is that is wrong. If you are not a praying person, then talking to a friend, or member of the family, or an independent counsellor can be just as helpful. Burdens were meant to be shared, and nobody need go through anything alone. There is always help out there for you , no matter the problem or sorrow. There is no need to run away. Someone ALWAYS cares. The greatest step to righting the things that are wrong in our lives is reaching out and grasping the hand that is always waiting to pull us through and help us. That may take a lot of courage sometimes, but trust me when I say, it is the right thing to do. As the words say in that song from the Annie musical, "The Sun will come out tommorrow!"
This may be the best sausage sandwich you have ever eaten. I would never lie to you! This is a knife and fork job!!! Yummo!!
*Sausage, Mushroom and Melted Cheese Sarnies*
Why go out for a meal, when you can have something tasty and delicious on the table in just a few minutes. This is real comfort food and so very yummy, and even better if you make your own sausages!
2 good quality chicken, veal or beef sausages
(see below for a tasty recipe to make your own)
1 strip of streaky bacon, cut into small strips
2 TBS butter
1 shallot, finely minced
5 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 TBS crème fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS grated strong cheddar cheese
½ TBS coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or chives
A coarse grainy mustard with lots of flavour
2 crusty rolls
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Place the sausages into an oven proof dish and place them into the heated oven to bake. Cook them until cooked all the way through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside, keeping them warm until you are ready to use them.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon in it until it is crisp and all of the fat has been rendered out. Add the shallots and cook them for a few minutes until soft. Tip in the butter and the mushrooms and sauté them until golden brown, giving them a stir every few minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the crème fraiche along with a pinch of sea salt and a few grindings of pepper. Simmer for 1 minute. Sprinkle the cheese over top and turn the burner off. Cover with a lid and wait a few minutes for the cheese to melt.
Cut the rolls in half and spread one half with the mustard. Slice the sausages in half and lay them on top of the mustard. Remove the lid from the skillet and spoon a generous dollop of the mushrooms and cheese over top of the sausages. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and serve.
It is so easy to make your own sausages at home. Try taking a pound of ground pork, lamb, beef or other meat and mixing it with finely chopped onion, a chopped garlic clove, a pinch of salt and pepper and a beaten egg. Add a variety of seasonings to finish.
Ground Pork: crushed fennel seeds, chopped sage and finely grated lemon zest
Ground Beef: chopped thyme leaves, grated horseradish and Worcestershire sauce
Ground lamb: finely grated orange zest, chopped chilli and ground cumin
Using your hands shape the meat into sausage shapes. Cook as you would any other sausage.
If you want to make your own sausage meat to use in this recipe, just make as above and then crumble and brown it off in a pan. When done, just divide the cooked meat between the buns and proceed as per the recipe.
In The English Kitchen today, a delicious dessert called Spanish Cream.