Tamborine Mountain Hang Gliding...around the corner and along a bit from where I live Spice of Life Cafe...on the corner opposite the Post Office and Tamborine Mountain Library
|Eagle Heights Hotel-Resort where I was employed as chef/cook when I first came to the mountain|
|Eastern view to the Gold Coast in distance from grounds of the Eagle Heights Hotel|
|Bambi, Thumper and Friends...an acrylic painting I did a few years ago|
Persistently we are surrounded and engulfed by horrific actions perpetrated by evil-doers and megalomaniacs the world over. Every day within our own beloved country heinous crimes occur. A never-ending deluge of hatred, violence, hostility, prejudices, injustices, greed, horror, disrespect, natural disasters and destruction continue relentlessly, ad infinitum. Sanity and order no longer prevail in our world. My question is...have they ever?
Far too often pessimism overshadows optimism; positivity is smothered by negativity. I hope and I wish optimism and positivity win out…sooner rather than later. To some, criticism is easier than praise. Whining becomes second nature.
Another question I frequently ask is…what is the secret to happiness?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer.
The company of my two furry best mates gives me happiness…much happiness. Their non-judgmental love is a joyful constant in my life. They do make sure I don’t hog too much space on “their” bed, though. Over the years, to keep the peace, I’ve learned to give into their demands. After all, it is their bed. Being the dumb human I am it took me a long time to come to the realisation that was the case. Thankfully, the dilemma was solved; peace reigns.
They do nag me at times. To be honest, I do give back as good as I get.
When I was a child many important lessons were taught to me by my mother and grandmother, three of which were to respect one’s own self, respect others, and the property of others. My furry besties ensure I never forget, demanding my respect at all times.
Naturally, in this household mealtimes are communal affairs. In fact, each time I venture into the kitchen my furry master and mistress believe it’s mealtime. Maybe they think I’m operating a “McDonalds”, and I’m Ronald; or it’s an Aussie restaurant chain, “Red Rooster”. They’ve never seen a live, crowing, cocky rooster of any colour, their preference being IGA’s bbq chickens.
A short while ago the kindness and goodness of others shone through and tapped me on the shoulder. Correction…thumped me on my back, making me sit up and take notice. Here on our mountain we are lucky to be surrounded by good people…kind people.
For their kindness and goodwill I extended my gratitude…my thanks to Michelle and her emissary, Linda. Also, my thanks extended to Paula and Kathy for their generosity of spirit and deeds. Out of the kindness of their hearts, without hesitation, these considerate people helped me out in a time of need. Unfailingly, Chris and Lee generously share their smiles and kindness. I realise readers of this post have no idea who these people are…but that matters not…what matters is you know they are all good, kind-hearted folk.
Once more, the wise advice given to Thumper by his mother comes to mind; advice impressed upon him earlier by his father…”If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing (sic) at all!” The sage counsel could continue with; “And, if you can’t do something nice for others, maybe it’s time to change your ways.”
I may be a drip, but I’m not an expert, under pressure or otherwise. However, I do believe our world…which is constantly swamped by heartache, loss, hate, violence, fear…would be a better place if each individual everywhere lived by the moral adage known as “Thumper’s Rule”. Perhaps, if that was the case, the universe would be a better cosmos in which to live. A world where peace, order, love, respect, kindness and good prevailed…
We are surrounded by good, kind people. Too often we lose sight of the fact. One must ensure he or she is a member of such a worthy clan. Being kind to others is being kind to one’s own self. It’s a two-way street. Being respectful to others is being respectful to one’s own self. Spreading and sharing happiness, kindness, and goodwill are sustenance for one’s soul.
A benevolent society is far better than a malevolent society.
Push the kindness button; ring the happiness bell. Let it ring loudly. Make Quasimodo proud…
Cannellini Beans Spinach and Sage: Soak 1/2c dried cannellini beans overnight. Drain; put in saucepan with 1 halved, crosswise garlic head, 3 sage leaves, 3tbs x-olive oil and 6c water; bring to boil; reduce heat; add salt; simmer gently until beans are creamy all the way through, but skins still intact, 35-45mins; cool. Heat 3tsp oil in pan over med-heat; cook 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1/2tsp crushed red pepper flakes; stir until garlic is golden, about 1min. Working in batches, add 2 bunches trimmed spinach, letting it wilt slightly before adding more; cook, tossing until all has wilted; season. With slotted spoon, add beans to spinach; warm through; add 1tbs finely grated lemon zest, 2tbs lemon juice and 1/4c bean cooking liquid; toss gently; don’t cook too long. Serve drizzled with oil.
Chicken Breasts with Fresh Sage: Marinate for 30mins, 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 3tbs lemon juice, 28 sage leaves and 3tbs x-virgin olive oil for 30mins. Remove chicken; pat dry. Strain marinade; put aside. Reserve sage leaves separately; put aside. In pan, melt 3tbs butter and 2tbs olive oil until hot and bubbly; add chicken breasts smooth side down; cook until evenly brown, about 5mins. Turn breasts over; season. Tuck reserved sage leaves around chicken; cook until chicken is browned on bottom, but still juicy, 5-10 mins more. Don’t scorch sage. Remove chicken to platter; season second side. Scatter sage on top; also add lemon wedges. Cover loosely with foil. Discard any fat from pan; add reserved lemon marinade to pan on high heat. Reduce to a glaze; add 1tbs butter; pour over chicken; serve immediately.