Sunday, 20 February 2011
Sunday thoughts . . .
“Do not indulge in put-downs, in pessimism, in self-recrimination. Never make fun at the expense of another. Look for virtue in the lives of all with whom you associate.” ~President Gordon B Hinckley
“Tolerance is the charitable expression of intelligence.” ~Jules LeMaitre
Tolerance is giving other people the right to “be”, to have their own ideas, customs and beliefs, to like whatever reflects their own tastes and to think and live differently than me.
I think I’ve always been a fairly tolerant person, and I believe that I was taught to be a tolerant person in the core of society . . . in the family, in my home. Tolerance begins with parents who watch their wee ones taking their very first steps and who patiently share their knowledge and their life experience with their children. It begins with parents who encourage their children and teach them to be perseverant. Children need time to learn and understand things that are being taught to them. knowledge and wisdom is something that is acquired gradually. The things that we say to them and teach them will come back to bite us, as children remember precisely what we say . . . and how we say it. It’s an awesome responsibility as a parent to do and to say the right things, and to be good examples to our children . . . to admit we have been wrong when we have been wrong. Just think of the hatred that is passed down from generation to generation in some cases . . . it's really so very sad.
As I write this, I am reminded of the father of one of my youngest son’s friends. He was a terrible racist. He could not drive or walk by a person who was a different colour than himself, without making a disparaging remark, often doing so in a car full of young impressionable men, who would laugh at what he had said, thinking it very funny. What chance does his son have of growing up to be a tolerant and giving individual, an individual with compassion and understanding for his fellow man? It’s sad really. I did put my son straight on that and I hope that he knows the difference between right and wrong, between what’s funny and what is not. The pull of the crowd is very strong when we are talking about impressionable young men and women. I hope that I gave my son enough self worth and self respect when he was growing up, that he would not indulge in making fun of or laughing at other people quite simply for being whoever or whatever they are and can‘t help being.
I have come to learn in life, that . . . I am the sum of all my experiences . . . for they are what has taught me various lessons in life that I have learned. Experience has helped to shape who I am, and what I am. I like to think that it is the same for everyone else in the world. When I knew better . . . I did better, and so it is with them. If they are ignorant, or hard to get along with, selfish, etc. then it is because they have not been able to learn how not to be . . . just yet. When they know better, they, too, will do better. I find that when I look at others like that, in the same way that I would like to be judged by them, then I am far more tolerant of their shortcomings and failures. I know that we are all small fish in a very big pond . . . and are all, each one of us, swimming as best as we know how to swim. Some of us are dog-paddling, while other’s are doing the breast stroke, and still yet others are treading water and hanging on for dear life. We will all get stronger and better as we go along.
The next time you are tempted to look at another, and judge them by your own standards of what is right or what is wrong, try to remember that all that most people are doing is the very best that they know how to do according to their life’s experience, teachings and abilities. Accept their best for what it is, and then gently try to steer them in a better way if they are going down the wrong path, always understanding and accepting that they have a right to do things in their own way. Let us celebrate our differences and enjoy them for all that they are. As Christ said “Love one another.” It’s the right thing to do.
I am a real lover of Chinese food. Can you believe I never had any the whole time I was growing up. I had not even heard of it! I never had pizza either until I was almost grown. OH what a sheltered and narrow culinary life I led. Good thing I am making up for it now! You can make this dish with an equal amount of lean pork if you wish. It will taste just as good!
*Sweet and Sour Chicken*
This delicious dish seem a bit fiddly, but trust me when I say the end result is totally delicious and worth all the pain. I find that if you get all the ingredients assembled for the most part ahead of time it really goes together quite quickly and I can have mine on the table in about half an hour . . . really! Why go out when you can have something equally as tasty at home in half the time? I like to serve this with some steamed basmati rice.
For the chicken:
2 to 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 400g/14 oz in weight)
1 TBS soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
Sunflower oil for frying
For the vegetable stir fry part:
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh gingerroot
For the sauce:
3 TBS of soy sauce
3 TBS white wine vinegar
3 TBS of sherry or apple juice
1 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
For the tempura batter:
3 oz of plain flour (a scant 3/4 cup)
1 TBS cornflour (cornstarch)
½ tsp salt
7 fluid ounces of sparkling ice cold spring water
Cut the chicken into small chunks and mix with the soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside.
Cut the vegetables up and set them aside on a plate, along with the ginger and garlic.
Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small jug and set aside.
Heat some oil in a large skillet, about half an inch deep, over medium heat until it is quite hot. While it is heating, make the tempura batter.
Mix the flour, cornflour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sparkling water until the batter is somewhat smooth. It doesn’t matter if there are still a few lumps. Dip the chicken pieces into this a few at a time and then carefully placed them in the hot oil, using tongs or a slotted spoon. Don’t crowd the pan. You will need to do it in batches. Fry the chicken pieces until they are crisp and golden brown on both sides. Remove them out to a plate lined with paper towelling as they are cooked and browned. Once they are all cooked, turn off the heat and set the chicken into a slow oven to keep warm while you make the vegetables and sauce.
Heat another large skillet to hot and add about 3 TBS of oil. Stir fry the vegetables with the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes, stirring and tossing them together as they cook. Give the sauce ingredients another stir and then add them to the skillet, stirring and mixing as it cooks to a light and glossy sauce. Allow to cook and bubble for one minute.
Place the chicken onto a serving plate and then spoon the sauce over and serve.
You'll find a delicious Orange and Coconut Crisp over in The English Kitchen today! Deliciously different!