Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mumsey’s Lemon Cheese Muffins

The other day I went to visit a friend. She had sent me an email, that I really wanted to talk about in person rather than just click on a reply. Sometimes I like to see a person to chat.
We had a hot cuppa and chatted and then by the time I went home I was blessed with lemons, mandarins, silver beet and sage all grown at her place not to mention the fresh duck eggs, cow’s milk and homemade cream cheese.
Straight away a put some of the ingredients (duck egg, cow’s milk, cream cheese and lemons) together with this recipe I invented from something I had tasted at a café once.

Mumsey’s Lemon Cheese Muffins 
2 cups of self-raising flour
¾ cup sugar
1 large or 2 small lemons (Grate rind and juice lemons)
Milk to make up to 1 cup (see recipe)
1 egg
80 grs butter
100gr cream cheese

Well grease a 12 muffin tray or place paper muffin cases in the tins.
Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and add the grated rind from the lemon(s).
Juice the lemon(s) and pour the juice into a 1 cup measure.
Top with milk to make 1 cup of liquid. This will become lumpy which is fine.
Melt the butter and add the egg beating well.
Add the milk mix to the butter and egg, mix together and then pour into the dry ingredients.
Fold liquids into the dry ingredients about 14 times until just mixed.
Some little bits of flour can still be seen.
Fill the tin muffin tins to about 1 centimeter depth and then make a bit of a well in the middle. I use my fingers to gently form the hollow so I can ‘feel’ that the mixture isn’t getting squashed.
Add a dollop of cream cheese (about a heaped teaspoon full) in the middle and then top with more mixture trying to cover all the cream cheese and using up the muffin mix.
Bake at 200ºC for 15 to 20 mins.
Check as you just want the tops to be slightly browned.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tomato and Ham Pasta

This is an adaptation to one of Alison Holst's recipe for Friday Night Pasta that we have had over the years.
The original recipe calls for bacon but I don't buy it much and we always have ham as Harry uses it for sandwiches, so I use this instead.

1 tsp olive oil 
1 onion diced
50g sandwich ham
1 tsp flour

Mixed herbs (dried about 1/2 tsp; fresh about 1 dsp) 
440gr diced tomatoes in juice
Cream cheese 100gr
Pasta spirals

Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Heat a large frying pan.
Once the water in the pot is simmering add pasta and salt to taste.
Add a few drops of oil to the pasta when you add it to the water so it doesn't stick.
Cook while making sauce.
Add olive oil to the pan and soften the onion in it.
Add diced ham and cook a little.
Sprinkle in flour and brown. (about 5 mins)
Stir in tinned tomatoes and mixed herbs and bring to boil.
Turn off the heat and add the cream cheese and squash into sauce but don't allow to cook.
Drain pasta and add to sauce.
Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley 

Serving Size: makes 4; 1 1/2 cup servings
Nutritional Info
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 363.2
  • Total Fat: 11.1 g
  • Sodium: 312.0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 54.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 11.8 g

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Way

Today at the Lay Ministry training day I went to we saw the movie The Way.I didn't realise it was on at the movie theaters at the moment and I would recommend you go and see it as it is a most inspiring film.

Martin Sheen plays Thomas Avery (Tom) who is an American ophthalmologist who goes to France following the death of his adult son, Daniel (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, a Catholic pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, also known as the Way of St. James. Tom's purpose is initially to retrieve his son's body and return home. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, Tom decides to take the historical journey on this path of pilgrims and so to walk the same ancient spiritual trail where his son had died and honor his son's desire to finish the journey.

What Tom doesn't plan on is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his "California Bubble Life". Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers, while walking the Camino, that he will not be alone on this journey. On his journey, Tom meets other pilgrims (three in particular), from around the world, all broken, each with their own issues and looking for greater meaning in their lives. Along The Way, Tom discovers the meaning of one of the last things his son said (in a flashback) to his father. “You don’t choose a life Dad, you live one.” He reluctantly falls in with three other pilgrims in particular. Joost (Yorick van Wageningen) is an overweight man from Amsterdam who says he is walking the route to lose weight to get ready for his brother's wedding and so that his wife will desire him again. He is a warm extrovert who is the first to start walking with Tom. Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) is a Canadian fleeing an abusive husband, who says she is walking the pilgrimage to quit smoking. Jack (James Nesbitt) is an Irish travel writer who when younger had desires to be a great author like Yeats or Joyce but never wrote the novel he dreamed of. He is the last to join the quartet and has been suffering from "writer's block." As the pilgrims travel the Camino, they occasionally meet and talk with other pilgrims — two Frenchmen, a young Italian and an elderly priest from New York named Father Jack.
From the unexpected and, oftentimes, amusing experiences along the way, this unlikely quartet of misfits creates an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through Tom's unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between "the life we live and the life we choose"

The Way is a 2010 American drama film. It is a collaboration between Martin Sheen and his real-life son Emilio Estevez to honour the Camino de Santiago and promote the traditional pilgrimage. Saying he didn't want the film to appeal to only one demographic, Emilio Estevez called the film "pro-people, pro-life, not anti-anything."

"The Way" is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fit To Be Tied – Making Marriage Last a Lifetime

I have just finished reading a book that took ages but was really quite short. “Fit To Be Tied – Making Marriage Last a Lifetime” written by husband and wife team Bill and Lynne Hybels in 1991 It is only 271 pages but the print was big. It seemed to take long because I’ve been so busy but each new aspect had me thinking. It is like a hand book for those who are going to become engaged but also for those already married and perhaps going through a rocky time.

I found in particular some of the last chapters very interesting and one in particular struck a bell with me.

In Part 2 chapter 12 “Getting Lost Along the Way” Lynne specially talked about what was happening to her as she was trying to support her husband in what he was doing. In one section “Crossed Boundaries”, they wrote:

"Excessive caretakers, or people with weak boundaries, often look extremely responsible – and they are – for other people. But they don’t take responsibility for themselves. They tend to worry more about how others feel than how they feel, solve other people’s problems instead of their own, yield to other people’s desires and deny their own, and live with the consequences of other people’s choices and fail to choose for themselves. They frequently take what others think more seriously than what they think, and often facilitate the development of other people’s skills and abilities and neglect the development of their own. In short, they assume the responsibility for other people’s success, welfare, and happiness, and fail to assume that same responsibility for themselves….they often believe that such behaviour is right and necessary, perhaps even their Christian duty. But regardless of their motivation, they end up in the same unhappy condition: frustrated, angry and resentful. 
Excessive caretaking appears to be a loving thing to do. But it isn’t. It actually produces what Melody Beattie calls a “triangle of hate”. People rescue others in unhealthy ways. Later they get mad at those they have rescued because they felt forced to do things they didn’t want to do, Then they feel used and sorry for themselves. This pattern fosters self-hate, and generates negative feelings toward other people."

I realised this was what had happened to me over the years of looking after Harry with his mental illness.
It then went on to say in “Taking Care of Me”:

"Many relationships are laced with the anger of crossed boundaries. Many people resent the fact that their parent or child or spouse always gets his or her way. They resent feeling that they have to rescue people. They resent never having the time or freedom to live their own life. But that can change. There is a way to move out of resentment. 
It is called personal empowerment. It means that people start taking care of themselves. They reclaim the responsibility for their lives, for their happiness, and for their future. They own their plight. They quit focusing on what someone else has done to them and start thinking about what they need to do for themselves. They start behaving as adults and making choices they can live with. They give themselves permission to feel their feelings. They start doing what they want to do. They admit their needs, and when appropriate, ask other people to help meet their needs. They quit calling themselves victims – and quit acting like victims. Many of these victims really were true victims at one point in their lives: victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, or some other situation against which they truly were helpless to protect themselves. But many people perpetuate their victimization, or even create it, by allowing other people to take advantage of them. Part of their healing process is to acknowledge their part in their victimization. If they helped get themselves into the situation they are in it follows that they have the power to get themselves out. 
Another part of the healing process is for victims to forgive those who have truly caused hurt or offense, or who have taken advantage of them. Most people who feel victimized have tried forgiveness – time and time again. But each time the anger and resentment return, they realise that their attempt to forgive didn’t work. Obviously, they assume, they weren’t sincere or caring or godly enough; so on top of their other troubles they heap loads of guilt. Often, however, the real reason their forgiveness doesn’t “work” is that they are still allowing the other person to hurt them, or take advantage of them, or overpower them. Only when they begin taking responsibility for their lives, and crawl out from under the burden of another person’s problem, can they really forgive. Melody Beattie says,’ Forgiveness comes in time – in its own time – if we are striving to take care of ourselves … If we are taking care of us, we will understand what to forgive and when it’s time to do that’. 
When we start acting like adults and taking responsibility for our lives, we force other people to act like adults too, and to face the consequences of their actions. This is better for us, and it ends up being better for them too."

I felt this was all so real to me and I realised that even though I have been down the path of forgiving and trying to let go new things arise and that feeling of forgiveness was lost. So then I was “still allowing the other person to hurt me, or take advantage of me, or overpower me.” Its time to “take responsibility for my life, and crawl out from under the burden of another person’s problem, (so I) can really forgive”

I feel I have been trying to do this but not taking a strong hold when the hurts come back.
I feel like I have had a breakthrough in this whole process so I can forgive, be healed and move on victorious instead of a victim.

I have posted this here not just for you to read but for me to come back to and be reminded of what I need to do if it all heaps up on me again. 

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

(All scripture is from New International Version 1984)