Monday 8 November 2010

Five things to teach your children . . .

“When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still.”
~William Blake, “Nurse’s Song.”

I sure wish that when my children were growing up, I’d had the knowledge then, that I have now. There’s so many things I could have taught them, things that might now save them a lot of grief in their own lives. But maybe life isn't supposed to go that way. Maybe we aren’t meant to know everything when we are starting out (even though we may think we already do know everything, just ask any parent of a teen) Maybe the falling down and picking ourselves up, is a part of the journey, and an important one at that. Lessons learned the hard way are often lessons never forgotten.

I found this meme about five things you want your children to know before they grow up. Mine are already grown, so it is a bit late for me, but I can still list five things I want my children to know now, and here I go . . .

1. Life is too short to spend it being unhappy. If you don’t like your job, find one you do like, even if it means re-training. If you are carrying the burdens of the past, and they are spoiling your todays, get help. If you are unhappy in your marriage, get help now . . . Before it’s too late.

2. God loves you. You are important to him. He cares about everything you do, everything you feel and who you are. You matter to Him and He is there for you, any time, any day, any place. You don’t even have to ask, but it’s nice if you do.

3. There is nothing you can do or say that would make me stop loving you. I loved you before you were born. From the instant I knew you were there, my heart became so entwined in yours that they became inseparable and will always be so, no matter how distant or how much time passes. You may disappoint me from time to time, as I may disappoint you, but my love for you is constant. It never changes, same yesterday, today and tomorrow, forever will be.

4. Don’t worry about things you can’t change. Make amends and move on. Don’t let the clouds of yesterday steal your sunshine today. You are only given one life here on this earth. Don’t waste it worrying about things that have already passed you by or even worrying about things that might never be. Just do the best you can for now and leave it at that.

5. Never bear a grudge. Doing so never harms the person you are bearing it against but really hurts you. It can colour your life in ways unimaginable and steal your joy. It can get in the way of progress, your progress. It can stop you from becoming the person you were meant to be. Nine times out of ten the person you are bearing resentment against or holding a grudge against doesn’t even know that you are, and if they did, probably couldn’t care less. Don’t let your bad feelings about others get in the way of enjoying your own life.

6. (because it’s my meme and I can do what I like) Never lose sight of your dreams. If you want something bad enough, it can be yours, even if it takes a whole lifetime to realize it.

I love the autumn. It’s really my favourite time of year. You get the nice sunny days, without all that blasted humid heat of the summer and you get cooler and more comfortable nights. That’s when our urge to eat comfort food starts to kick in, and we want to break away from the lightness of what we eat in the warmer months, and move on to the stodgy warmth of what we eat in the cooler months. Autumn food is what comes in between . . .

*Sausage and Butternut Mash on a Tray*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Who doesn’t love sausage and mash! This is a delicious version that will have them all coming back for more. I am guessing it will become a fast family favourite. Roasting the squash along with the sausages helps to bring out a depth of hidden flavours in both ingredients. Best part of all it’s cooked on one tray so there’s less washing up!

1 large family pack of pork sausages (use a well flavoured one like Cumberland or something similar. In North America I think a Maple sausage would work very well)
1 large butternut squash
2 TBS olive oil
4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed a bit
Several sprigs, each, of fresh rosemary and thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 205*C/400*F. Spread the sausages out on a large oven tray with at least 1 inch sides. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife cut the squash in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. (of if you are like me rinse them off, allow them to dry and then put them in an envelope to plant out next spring for a fresh crop of lovely butternut squashes all your own. They grow like weeds)

Peel with a sharp vegetable peeler and then cut into 1 inch chunks. Place the squash onto the baking tray along with the sausages. Add the prepared garlic cloves and toss it all together with the olive oil. Pat everything out so that it is in a single layer. Scatter the rosemary and thyme springs over top. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake in the heated oven for about twenty five minutes. Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 250*C/approx 450*F. Give everything a good stir and then bang it back into the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and beginning to colour.

Remove the cooked squash, garlic, and any pan juices with a slotted spoon to a bowl, discarding the stems to the herbs. Return the sausages to the oven for a further five minutes or so, until they are nicely browned the way you like them. In the meantime, mash the squash with a potato masher until smooth. Season to taste and set aside, keeping it warm.

When the sausages are browned enough to your taste remove them from the oven. Serve them hot with the mash and lashings of oven gravy, if you are so inclined. We like to have a steamed green vegetable with this. The purple sprouting broccoli is coming back into season right about now and would go perfectly.

In The English Kitchen today, easy peasy Lemon Drizzle Fairy Cakes!


  1. Life has become a long list of lessons for me and for most of us I think. Sometimes I've had to learn something more than once too. Parents are a child's primary teachers and I think that the important things like love, caring, sharing, kindness are all taught before the age of 5. The basics are always there with them, but sometimes it takes time for them to remember those things and how they apply to their everyday lives. It has been very cold here this past weekend and my oven is being used more for sure. I hope your Monday is a wonderful one.

  2. These are terrific lessons for us at any age, Marie! Great words to begin the week by. My hubby would love your meal here today--he loves bangers & mash. Just dropping by quick to say hello, on my way out here. Will send you and email. :o) Happy Week, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. I've always thought that if we could only have the wisdom in youth that we gain with age life would be much easier......and very boring!

  4. What an insightful and beautifully written list. I agree with every word. I am going to copy it and use it when I get a chance as a church talk or lesson. I will give you the credit of course.
    Have a great week dear friend. I have so much on my plate this week I may not get back to blogging for a bit worries... my thoughts and love are always with you...blogging or not.

  5. Well done, Marie, hope you are feeling better!

    Hugs, B

  6. Some great points here, loved them and the recipes! We couldn't know everything AS WE RAISED OUR CHILDREN BECAUSE WE WERE LEARNING RIGHT ALONG WITH THEM. The knowing it all comes at the grandma stage! LOL


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