Sunday, October 14, 2012


Life is awash with contradictions! Constantly we’re force-fed contradictions. Consciously or not, there are even times when we readily we accept more!

On the one hand we’re told not to laugh at our own jokes; and then on the other we’re told to laugh at ourselves!

We’re advised to keep a stiff upper lip; then we’re told to release our emotions! “Let it all go…let it flow!” (I've tried and tried to stiffen my upper lip, but I've not been able to find a lotion or cream that stiffens said lip. A tick latched onto it once; that little blighter not only caused my lip to stiffen, but to swell to triple its normal size, as well. I supposed I could try Botox - but then it would be better to stiffen both lips, wouldn't it?)! Is there no end to this train of thought?

It’s written: “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”. Why, then, do we spend our lives studying, learning, observing, researching and absorbing in an effort to gain wisdom in all things? If, at the end of a life spent expending such effort nothing is achieved, why bother?

Napoleon Bonaparte advised: “The best way to keep your word is not give it”! Was he trying to confuse his enemies? He not only confused his enemies, but his mates, as well.

Mark Twain told us to never put off until tomorrow what we can do the day after tomorrow just as well! By taking his advice that could make the day after tomorrow very busy!

Who was the illogical idiot who, in an unguarded moment, uttered out loud this thought - “Sometimes you have to let go of the one you love to find out if there is really something there”? I note that whoever wrote or said these words chose to remain anonymous. That was a logical decision!

It’s understandable why Confucius was named “Confucius”. He composed confused sayings! For example; “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart”. One thing of which I’m certain; my whole heart always goes with me everywhere I go! I never leave any part of it behind! It take the whole lot with me. Where would I leave said piece – in the fridge; under my pillow; on the table?

Here’s another one of Confucius’ ditties: “Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth, must wait very, very long time”! Should that be “velly, velly wong time?

Confuse-Us also said: “A cannibal is person who likes to see other people stewed”!

The world is a large cauldron full of confusion; Confucius certainly added his share of ingredients to the pot!

Voltaire wasn’t confused 300 or so years ago when he vehemently declared: “I hate women because they always know where everything is!”

How right he was! You’ll get no contradiction from me!

And then there are the current-day academics; those who get government grants to do researches - they have far too much time on their hands! A while back I read the following report:

“After much research academics found that by switching to organic produce such switching could help us live longer as well as keeping us healthier and slimmer – fruit and vegetables grown without artificial fertilizers etc., can extend one’s lifespan - by 25 days for men and 17 days for women!

My! Oh! My! That’s worth consideration!

Confused Mashed “Spuds”: Cut 1 cauliflower into pieces; cook to well done; drain well; quickly pat dry; puree hot cauli with 1tbl softened cream cheese, 1/4c grated Parmesan, ½tsp minced garlic, pinch of salt or powdered chicken stock and pepper until almost smooth; garnish with chopped chives and butter pats.

Mediterranean Lamb Stew: Chop 500g lamb, 1 onion, 1 large red capsicum and 2 small hot chillies (or crushed chillies to taste). Heat 3tbl x-virgin olive oil in casserole; add lamb; seal; remove to bowl to keep the juices. Add more oil; fry onion 2-3mins; add capsicum and chilli; cook 4mins; season. Return lamb and juices; add 2 bay leaves and a splash of Worcestershire; add 1/3-1/2 bottle dry white wine; keep heat high; reduce wine; add 1 can chopped tomatoes; cook 6mins; reduce heat; cover, simmer 1hr. Add 1 can drained chickpeas; cook 30-45mins.

Beef Stew & Dumplings: Pat 1kg beef, cut into 1-inch pieces, dry; heat pan; add oil; brown beef in batches; set aside in bowl. Fry 3 large sliced onions and 150g sliced bacon; cook 6mins; add 3 carrots, cut into chunks, 200g halved button mushrooms. Add 3tbls flour; cook 3mins, scraping bottom of pan; add 2c beef stock, 345ml beer, 2tbs tomato paste, 1 can diced tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, 2tsp mixed herbs, 1tbl brown sugar and 1tbl Worcestershire; bring to boil; cover; cook on low heat, 1-1/2hrs. Dumplings: Combine 50g melted butter, 1 egg and 50g grated cheese; add to 100g S.R. flour, 1tsp baking powder;(add some mixed herbs, if desired); add a little water if needed; roll into 8 balls; place on top of stew 15mins before end of cooking; cover; cook 15mins or so!


  1. Hi Lee,

    Seems to me that life is confusing enough without adding to it. :)


  2. Tried the dumplings in chicken soup but made half the recipie with one egg which made it kind of mushy and not chewy as I'd hoped.
    Well, keep trying. I know I made dumplings once with the chewy texture but now I don't remember when or how.

  3. Hi Janice...that is so true, but what is also true there are some amongst us who like to stir things up a bit! ;)

    Thanks for you comment.

  4. Hi Goatman...try the recipe here. You don't have to add the cheese to it if you don't want cheese in the dumplings. I always like the mixed herbs in them when they accompany beef stew.

    Nice to see you, Goatman. Take care. Here are a couple of dumpling recipes for you to try next time you make chicken soup.

    2 cups flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 egg, beaten
    2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
    3/4-1 cup milk
    snipped fresh parsley, optional

    Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
    Stir in egg, butter and enough milk to make a moist stiff batter.
    Drop by teaspoonfuls into soup.
    Cover and cook (don't peek) for 18-20 minutes.
    Sprinkle with parsley if desired.


    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup milk (1%, 2% or whole)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

    Whisk together flour, chives, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl to break up any lumps. Stir in milk and butter until dough just comes together (it will be very thick).

    When the chicken soup is almost cooked -
    Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough at a time into soup and repeat until all dough has been used. Cover and cook until dumplings are fluffy and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

    Happy Dumplings!

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