Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hiking and Hollandaise

When we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves or try to fulfill the fantasy expectations others have of us, it causes intense stress that puts us out of sync with our real lives. To really understand what we are truly capable of, we have to get to know ourselves deeply. In order to do this we must learn to see life around us a little more deeply and understand our connection to it.
And we must allow ourselves to be an individual, to be different, and to acknowledge our own aspirations, desires and dreams.

We went hiking on Wednesday with Ursula, Dee Dee, and Nancy up to Pine Creek Lake.
Both the hike and the lake were spectacular. I’ve put photos at the end of this post, but photos, as usual, don’t even begin to show the beauty. This world is such an amazing place if we just get out and see it.
And the hollandaise? It was exactly the opposite.
Let me explain. Ben and I watched the movie Julie and Julia. It was a really fun movie. I never really knew much about Julia Child. Mom wasn’t a good cook, so I wasn’t a good cook, so cooking was a mystery. I wasn’t interested in cooking, because food just wasn’t that great. Before I met Ben, who IS a really good cook, eating was an obligation. Eating really good food was an expensive restaurant experience. Ben changed all that. Still, I believed I couldn’t cook. There were a few things I could do well enough, but if it wasn’t on the grill, you weren’t in for a treat if I cooked.
I was motivated by the movie and ordered Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Wonderful book. If you really read it, that is. I already knew how to make white sauce, from watching Ben, so I moved on to hollandaise sauce. I’m a little ADD (That’s Attention Deficit Disorder with an emphasis on deficit). I looked at the pictures and read the captions and tried to make hollandaise sauce. Doesn’t work. You have to read the fine print. Actually it’s not fine print at all if you’re not ADD.
So I went back to that fine print and read what I was supposed to do. There was a lot left out of the captions below the pictures.
You see, Ben is such a good cook that if we want something good to eat, he has to cook. All the time. I have made a mental conviction to learn how to add to our menu. And I’m determined. When I recall the years we’ve lived on Muddy Creek, I remember all the great food Ben has cooked. And all I have done in that vein is grill steaks and burgers. Good food, yes, but extremely limited. So I’m going to learn how to cook with Julia for the next year, then I’ll move on to other cookbooks. I’m going to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks (like reading the fine print in a cookbook).
There’s another aspect to this challenge. As we get older, Ben and I don’t burn off the fat as easily as we used to. One of my favorite lines from the movie was a quote from Julia:  “Everything is better with butter!“ (Meryl Streep is amazing in that role). Up to now, butter is something Ben and I have used in our diets on only a very limited basis.
So here’s our challenge: have a meal once a week from what I learn (really learn this time, by reading the text and not just the pictures Smile with tongue out) and exercise enough to still trim our waistlines.
Wish us luck. I’ll be reporting our menu choices and any recipes we concoct, and I’ll be honest and let you all know how we’re doing with the waistline/weight factor.










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