Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Finding balance . . .
Do you have a favourite artist? How about a favourite piece of music which you like to listen to? I am sure you must have a favourite kind of flower. (Mine are Sweet Peas) Do you like to go on woodland walks? When was the last time you went picking wild flowers? Attended a concert? Walked on the beach with your beloved? Skipped rocks on the surface of a lake or pond? Sat on a chair and did . . . nothing but admire your surroundings and ponder on your blessings?
We lead such busy lives it seems and we fill our hours with chores and work. Sometimes though . . . taking a few minutes or hours to unplug ourselves from our routines, losing ourselves in life's art, can be the most healing thing we can do for our overstretched selves.
This is why good therapists recommend using handcrafts in recovery programs, and Doctors recommend Vacations . . . why a great number of people escape for a few weeks a year into tents and cabins, up into the mountains, onto boats and off to camps, armed with sketchpads, cameras and journals. They seem instinctively to understand the human need to be creative and to express themselves with art, words . . . photographs.
We seem to know instinctively that if we can sit for a few hours on a pier with a fishing line in the water that we may be able to snag a little balance in our lives. Or if we spend an evening sleeping under the stars . . . we'll be able to air out our crowded and stuffed up minds. That if we allow ourselves the time to float across the calm waters of a beautiful bay, we'll be able to step back on the land afterwards much calmer and better prepared to handle whatever storms may come our way.
There is a human need to work . . . but we also have a need to play and ponder on all that is good and beautiful, and praiseworthy in our lives. It needn't take a lot of money . . . or even a lot of time. It needn't be a full blown holiday. Sometimes my most relaxing moments are the ones I spend simply in our back garden, on my own . . . watching the fish in our pond and listening to the bumble bees buzz around the flowers. Little getaways that give me balance in my life between work and play and help me to be able to appreciate and reflect on just how very much I have been blessed . . .
Just my thoughts this morning.
We were glued to the television off and on for most of yesterday watching all the events that have unfolded over the past few days with the riots and looting . . . it was so very sad to see and impossible to understand, and difficult to watch. This is a country I love. Sure we have problems . . . just like anywhere. I fail to be able to see how destroying the communities you live in and destroying people's livelihoods . . . how taking things which are not yours to take . . . etc. can solve any problems at all. Doesn't this just add to the misery? We consider ourselves, because of our intelligence, to be above animals . . . but in truth, an animal would never behave in such a way . . . I have not turned the television on this morning, nor read any news reports, so I don't know how last night went. I can only hope and pray that this needless and insane behaviour has come to an end. Please keep our country in your prayers. This is what happens when a people remove God from the equation . . . you end up with a people that are filled with hopelessness . . . lacking in respect for themselves and for others, without honour or care . . . without standards or morals . . . without barriers . . . lives lived without meaning or purpose. It's all so very sad.
I had my tooth removed yesterday afternoon and was in quite a bit of pain last night, but it seems to have calmed down somewhat this morning. I was sad to see it go but in looking at the x-ray of the tooth it was obvious that there was no saving it. It had been causing me a great deal of pain and problems over the past several years, so it was time to say goodbye. I worked through my pain however, in creating something very new to show you. I'm not quite ready yet, but once it is finished . . . well, I just can't wait to show it to you!
This recipe here today is something that is very family friendly and very easy to make. I hope that you enjoy and I hope that wherever you are, whatever you are doing . . . your Wednesday is the very best that it can possibly be!
*Taco Bubble Pizza*
A casserole style pizza, which is very easy to do. Rounds of biscuit dough are baked in a meaty taco sauce for a real family pleaser, and then topped with your favourite taco toppings to serve.
For the Biscuit Dough:
2 cups of plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
2/3 cup milk
For the Casserole:
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 package of Taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
1 tin of condensed tomato soup
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups of greated strong cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of thick and chunky tomato salsa
1 (2 1/4 oz) tin of sliced ripe olives, drained
1 (8 oz) container of sour cream
3 spring onions, sliced
First make your biscuit dough. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut in the shortening untiul the mixture resembles coarse meal, using two round bladed knives or a pastry blender. Stir in the milk with a fork, to form a soft dough, working quickly. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 14 times, then pat out to a rectangle that is 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 16 rounds, using a 2 inch biscuit cutter. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 1290*C/375*F/gas mark 5. Cook the beef in a large skillet that you have sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Add the taco seasoning mix, water and soup, mixing all together well. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Pour the taco mixture into a 13 by 9 inch ungreased baking pan. Add the biscuit rounds, turning them over and coating them in the taco mixture, and spreading them out to fill the pan.
Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve.
To serve, cut the pizza into 8 squares. Top each serving with toppings as desired.
Note: This recipe has been adapted from one which uses prepared refrigerated biscuits. You are free to use those if you wish. I prefer to make my own.
Cooking in The English Kitchen today a Pork and Roasted Roots Tray Bake with an Apple Relish. Delicious!