Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Make Mine Lumpy!

Drat! The pea soup that simmered all day in the slow cooker was devoid of lumps after I blended it with my handy dandy candy apple red immersion blender (if you read my previous entry you would know how special that immersion blender was in my kitchen arsenal! see it here: http://christinagracedonato.blogspot.com/2010/02/immersion.html). But, I did not gauge the amount of water I had added to the lentils at the beginning of the slow cooker process, so now I had perfectly pureed lentil soup!!!

By now you may be scratching your head wondering why I would not want lumps in my pea soup. After all, this perfectly blended pea soup would be divine in a formal setting, in white bone china soup bowls on a Frenchman's table for four. Yes, it would be the perfect accompaniment with a croustade or a mushroom crostini plank.

However, I had aimed at lumpy pea soup because I love lumps in my soup. My mother makes the most homey, smell-good comforting pea soup this side of Heaven! And it seems every time I try to emulate her recipe, I get fancy no lump soup and it frustrates me to no end.

Speaking of taking your lumps (or not) - my husband Vinnie will not eat my mashed potatoes any more because of the lumps that I have tried for ten years to eliminate. I mash and I mash and I mash some more. But no matter how hard I try - homemade mashed potatoes Christina-style are never lumpless. Well that was until I started buying Betty Crocker boxed variety. He loves the boxed mash! Not a lump in the box.

Forget about it when we go to my Mom and Dad's for dinner. No one has to ask if she will be serving Vinnie's favorite lumpless mashed potatoes! Of course they are homemade sans lumps.

And so, knowing my wonderful husband will not eat a bean unless it is hidden in a meatball - today I once again tried to recreate my Mom's pea soup. For me. For me alone. I confess I selfishly made a whole crockpot full of pea soup for the three of us - me, myself and I.

Lumps. You try to eliminate them and you get them. You try to keep them and you come up short.

And I got to thinking. Yes, God-style. What is that phrase? "Like it or lump it?" So of course I looked it up! Click here for some explanations http://wordoriginsorg.yuku.com/topic/7684/t/Like-it-or-lump-it.html
Apparently Charles Dickens said in 1864,  'If you don't like it, it's open to you to lump it.'

(Then my brain which often goes in bunny trails) I remember receiving the Desiderata Poem from someone once. I cut it and tucked it into a book. I found it one day in my bookcase recently and I smiled. Because it is really is all about taking the "lumps" in life in stride! I hope you like it!

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

by Max Ehrmann
©1927 by Max Ehrmann, all rights reserved. © renewed 1954 by Bertha Ehrmann.
Reprinted by permission Robert L. Bell.

And as God is always right there telling me what I need to hear, I remember His small, still strong voice talking to me the other day. I had just walked in the front door and as I hung my key on the peg, I heard him say to me, "Just love people. Love them."

Unmistakably God. Unmistakably His message to me that day. And so, today I dedicate this blog entry to all of you out there who are not liking it but lumping it - or taking your lumps in stride - or trying to make lumps out of something smooth - whatever your mission in life today I pray you are successful most of all in making the God of the Universe smile. I pray you are at peace. I pray you take a step closer to the Lord Jesus Christ who did everything perfectly (Deuteronomy 32:4)- so you and I don't have to....

Excuse me now, I need to call my Mom and get her recipe - er...recipes....lumpy pea soup and lumpless mashed potatoes. Make mine lumpy - lumpless for my hubby....

Lots of lumps, less lumps. No matter - make sure all you do is made with love.
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