Sunday, June 02, 2013
We all have them, of that there is no doubt. However, there are some who feel, for whatever silly, uninformed reasons, too guilty to own up to having enjoyable pleasures because they feel guilty about partaking in pleasurable activities; or, even non-activities for that matter. We all have moments or a day, or longer, even, when we feel unmotivated; but that’s okay…just go with the flow, guiltlessly. There’s nothing in the rule book that says we have to be “up-and-go” at all times. In actual fact, there probably isn’t even a rule book!
It’s my belief the sense of guilt some feel is born out of fear what others might think if they, the “others”, became aware of what pleasures one personally enjoys! But who gives a damn about what others think? It is no one else’s business if you devour a whole block of dark chocolate in one sitting. If you enjoyed it free of guilt, your pleasure is heightened! Continue doing so with no guilty pangs. It’s nobody else’s business but your own.
You can bet London to a brick, as the late Aussie horse race-caller Ken Howard said often, everyone has his/her own so-called “guilty pleasures”. You don’t need bookmaker Tom Waterhouse’s assistance to place your bets, either!
A “brick”, by the way, was Aussie slang for a ₤10 note.
If something gives you pleasure, go for broke, I say! To hell with all the detractors!
Enjoy the feelings that your pleasures bring minus the guilt and remorse that others gain morbid pleasure from throwing in your direction. There are some amongst us, unfortunately, who think it’s their right to dump upon others. Pitifully, there are those who hate to see others happy, if even from the most innocent, simplest of pleasures.
How can a pleasure be classified as a “guilty pleasure”? If our pleasures make us happy I can’t understand why anyone would feel guilty about doing what pleasures them.
Just to clarify my meaning – I’m not talking about illegal or sordidly twisted pleasures. I refer to the harmless, innocuous pleasures of life.
Personally I enjoy many pleasures; some of which probably wouldn’t be of interest to others; but they are my pleasures and that’s what is important – to me.
I give no excuses; I offer no apologies.
For years because of work commitments, I watched very little television. Often, in the various jobs I had, I worked 24/7 or similar hours. My free time was limited; and, more often than not, any spare time I did have, was spent catching up on sleep rather than enjoying pleasures; guilty or otherwise.
Nowadays, I have many favourite TV shows. I watch them without guilt.
For example, I get pleasure watching “Dexter”. I love dear old Dex, and the show’s dark humour.
The silliness of “Mrs Brown’s Boys” makes me laugh out loud. There’s nothing hidden about Agnes Brown’s comedy. It's as blatant as humour can get. At first, I didn’t think I’d fall under Agnes’ spell, but she caught me; and reeled me in, hook, line and sinker!
Ryan Murphy’s “Glee” and its talented cast give me much pleasure, too. As do talent shows such as “The Voice”, “Idol”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “The X Factor” etc., etc., et al.
And I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever admitting these weaknesses in my character!
Okay! I’ll lay it on the line. I’ll admit that I do enjoy “Celebrity Apprentice”, if only to drool over the drool-worthy Mark Bouris, I wouldn’t mind being Mr. Bouris’ apprentice.
And, while on the subject of “The Voice”… I also get a great deal of guiltless pleasure watching Seal.
Of course, there are many shows that give me no pleasure whatsoever, so I don’t watch them. It is my choice whether to, or not to; but I feel no guilt watching the ones from which I gain pleasure. Documentaries, reality, crime dramas, rom-coms, comedies, sport...whatever takes my fancy - I'm guilty!
I alone have sole control of the remotes. My two furry, four-legged rascals haven’t worked out how to use them yet…and the status quo shall remain so – if only to keep the peace in this small household.
If some programmes I enjoy are of the non-intellectual kind, it matters not to me; and it shouldn’t bother anyone else. I’m the one watching them. Sometimes the pleasure received from blanking out from the real world for a while is necessary and is what counts. I call it “dumbing down”. Of late there are many times I get so fed up with all the horrible things that go on in our world, here in this country and elsewhere. “Dumbing down” allows me much guilt-free pleasure. And I’ll grab that pleasure whenever I can; and as much as I'm able.
Reading gives me great pleasure. I have no feelings of guilt when my head is buried in a book.
I felt no guilt reading “The Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy. I’m a big girl now; been there; done that, paddles and whips aside, of course! Christian and Ana’s exploits caused me no embarrassment, nor did I feel any guilt from peeping in on their exploits. Like yesterday’s news, both have been forgotten these days; having become today’s fish and chips’ wrapping, as it were.
Readers have moved onto other pleasures; perhaps some gained from reading the trilogy.
As a teenager I was introduced to Anais Nin, the Marquis de Sade,Edgar Allan Poe, D.H. Lawrence amongst many others. I wasn't corrupted by reading anything that they wrote; nor was I corrupted by reading Enid Blyton when I was a child!
Swimming naked in the ocean or in a pool (preferably the ocean) is a pleasure I used to enjoy, guilt-free. Dancing beneath warm tropical downpours sans clothing was also a joy I more than once relished – once upon a time; and not once did I feel guilt when enjoying such pleasures.
No one should ever be made feel guilty when enjoying freedom; the freedom to be.
So…keep all those pleasures you enjoy…and toss all the guilt out with the dishwater, along with those who look upon you down the slope of their judgmental noses!
Slow-Cooker Rich & Creamy Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate – (For When Time Is of the Essence and You Have Other Things To Attend To in the Meantime): To your slow-cooker (if you have one) toss in 1-1/2c heavy cream, 1x14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 6 cups of milk, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vanilla; stir and cook on low for at least 2 hours; stir occasionally. Serve hot with fresh whipped cream or lots of marshmallows (add a shot of peppermint schnapps before serving/drinking if the mood fits)! I don’t see why you can’t do all of this in a regular pot; cook up for about 20-25 minutes, I’d say. If it doesn’t work out the first time, just keep trying until you get it right! And don’t feel guilty about regular taste-testing!
Mocha Chocolate-Crepe Torte: Sauce: Place 90g dark cooking chocolate, roughly-chopped and 225ml thickened cream in saucepan; stir over low heat, 2 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in 1-1/2tspns Tia Maria. Transfer to heatproof jug; set aside at room temperature for 1-1/2 hours; the sauce will thicken slightly. Crepes: Sift 1-1/4 cups plain flour and 1-1/2tbs cocoa powder together in large bowl. Stir in 2tsp caster sugar; make well in centre. Place 1/3 cup milk in saucepan; heat over med-heat for 30 seconds or until lukewarm. Add 1tbs instant espresso coffee granules; stir until dissolved. Combine coffee mixture, remaining milk and 3 room-temperature eggs, slightly whisked, in measuring jug; whisk with a fork. Pour about ½ cup of milk mixture into flour; use a wooden spoon to gradually incorporate some of the flour. Continue to gradually add mixture until all flour is incorporated and a thin batter forms. Add 2tsp melted butter; using a balloon whisk, lightly whisk until smooth. Cover with wrap; set aside at room temperature for 30mins. Meanwhile place 600g fresh ricotta, 200g mascarpone, ¼ cup caster sugar and 1-1/2tbls Tia Maria in bowl. Beat with electric beater, 3-4 minutes. Cover; chill. The crepe batter should be the consistency of thin cream after standing; if it’s too thick, add a little extra milk, about 1tbls. Measure 2tbls batter into small cup; heat crepe pan over med-low heat, 1 minute. Rub a little butter over pan. Pour measured batter into centre of pan while quickly tilting pan in a circular motion to evenly cover base. Cook for 1 minute or until crepe edges curl up slightly. Use a metal spatula to lift edge to check crepe is light golden and lacy underneath. Use spatula to loosen crepe from pan; turn over. Cook for a further 1 minute or until light golden underneath. Slide crepe onto lined tray, lacy-side up. Continue to cook remaining batter, rubbing extra butter lightly over pan as required. Stack cooked crepes, making small stacks on tray. Cover loosely with greaseproof paper. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cooled completely. To assemble, place a crepe, lacy-side up, on a plate and spread with 2-1/2tbls of ricotta mixture to completely cover (spread a little thicker on outside edge). Drizzle with 2 tsp of rich chocolate sauce, then top with another crepe. Continue to layer, spreading with filling, and drizzling every second crepe with sauce, finishing with a crepe. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. To serve, use a large sharp knife to cut torte into 8 portions and place on serving plates. Drizzle with a little of remaining chocolate sauce; serve remaining sauce separately.