Sunday, October 11, 2015


Life is not always a matter of having good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.                                               Jack London
 All of us failed to match our dreams perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.      William Faulkner
You know, when I was younger I always thought I didn't like writers like Jack London and William Faulkner, but as I read these quotes, I thought that perhaps I should give them a second chance. These quotes reminded me of some of the lessons my mom tried to teach me. Like London and Faulkner My mom was a good survival teacher. 

When she was still alive I would call her and whine into the phone, "I have no money and nothing to make for dinner". She would not open her purse to me (although there were times when she did that), but instead she would calmly say, "Look in your cupboard and tell me what you have. Now look in your fridge and tell me what you have." I would recite the ingredients that before seemed random, not worth anything much less the ingredients for a meal. But through her wise eyes she helped me to see that most times I had enough for a small feast - sometimes as much as three more meals.

Today was one of those days when a pocket full of money would have been nice, but like many other folks I find myself without money more than I find myself with money. This isn't because I don't work, but just because there doesn't ever seem to be enough money to go around. I am four days till payday, and it's Sunday and I was mouning to myself that I had nothing to eat for a nice meal.

So after I finished feeling sorry for myself, I looked in my cupboard and I looked in my fridge and freezer and found that not only did I have some food, I had enough to make a lovely meal.

I found a frozen container of corn chowder a friend gave me a few weeks ago, when I had lots of food to eat. I froze it for later. Then next to the corn chowder I found a bag of frozen blueberries. I always freeze blueberries in the summer when they are plentiful because I love muffins and pancakes with blueberries. As I'm writing this post, I'm waiting for my corn chowder to finish warming, for a pan of corn bread (filled with blueberries) to come out of the oven. In the meantime I'm sipping a cup of tea with milk and local honey.

Soon  I'll be eating my delicious meal and feeling full and thankful.

I'm thankful that my mother taught me to cook, but beyond just know how to cook, I'm very very very thankful she taught me to be resourceful. I'm thankful that I don't equate expensive things with feeling grateful - my corn chowder and cornbread with blueberries made simple feast for me today.

I will leave you with a couple of thoughts: First, with very few ingredients it is possible to make just about anything from scratch. This is an old fashioned sounding word, but honestly it is possible. If you keep flour, eggs, butter, milk, and somethings set aside in your freezer and pantry you will always have the ingredients to make something hot and nourishing. For example, there is no need for a mix to make cornbread. It is just flour, corn meal, milk, a little sugar if you like, an egg, some baking soda, and salt. Mix it all together , pop it in the oven and in about 25 minutes you will have a pan of delicious, satisfying cornbread.  

Also, don't underestimate the calming, nourishing, feeling you can get from a nice cup of tea. Cheaper than coffee, I always have a box or two in my cupboard. I might not drink it every day, but when I'm looking for a hot drink on a cold day, I'm glad I have a few boxes of tea in my cupboard. I make a nice tea drink from warm milk, vanilla, honey (or sugar) and Earl Grey tea. It's an imitation of a $5 drink at my local coffee house. Yummy and comforting on a rainy day.

I'm sharing my cornbread recipe here. Have a nice Sunday, everyone!

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