Eat Dessert First, Smell the Flowers, Eat Dessert Again! The Hell With It!

Wow, things just seem to go by faster and faster each day.  I have three recipes from the Wedding Recipe book to offer up today.  Plus a little something extra…a message for all of us.

A couple of weeks ago, while travelling, I read an article in the USA Today. Craig Wilson (cwilson@usatoday.com) has a column in the Life section…and it is very appropriate to be there.  This is one of those you happen to stumble across and if you decide to read, you find it to be pretty enjoyable.  As a matter of fact, you might read five of his columns, and one of them may hit home with you, but it is that one column that kicks you in the…well, let’s just say that you remember it very well.  And you enjoyed it enough to check the column again and again…

This particular day, (6/30/2010),  Craig’s column was about him being hit by a car and laid up for a while because his knee was shattered…and that can slow you down to the speed of the checkout lane at the grocery store on the day the Social Security checks come in the mail!   And he talks about things taken for granted, being anxious to get back to his busy life and stopping to smell the roses.  And today I got a similar email from a dear friend…with a similar message about life.  He is one of those special individuals whom we would all like to be like, but very few of us are really like him.  Not assuming, usually thinks of others and the good in others, and likes to enjoy a good pint of Guinness (is there a BAD pint?).  Anyway, here is the email he sent:

One day I  had lunch with some friends. Jim, a short, balding golfer type about 80       years old, came along with them—all in all, a pleasant bunch.  When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, “ice-cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate.

I wasn’t sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. “Along with heated apple pie,” Jim added, completely unabashed.  We tried to act quite nonchalant, as  if people did this all the time… but when our orders were brought out, I       didn’t enjoy mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off Jim as his pie a-la-mode went down. The other guys couldn’t believe it. They ate their lunches silently and grinned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Jim. I lunched on white meat tuna. He ordered a  parfait.

I smiled. He asked if he amused me.  I answered, “Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible? He laughed and said “I’m tasting all that  is possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good.”

“This year I realized how old I was.   (He grinned) I haven’t been this old before.” “So, before I  die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven’t  smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven’t  fished. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of  sporting events and potato chips and cokes.  I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most.  I haven’t cried at all the movies yet,  or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. I want to be in love again.” “So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I  die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on  nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired.”

With that, I called the waitress over. “I’ve changed my mind,” I said. “I want what he is having, only add some more whipped  cream!”

Corny?  oh yeah, of course it is…but it does make you think.  So while we are talking about enjoying something good in our life and perhaps having seconds…and having dessert first…here is an easy recipe from one of the guests that will make your guests think you really worked hard in a French Pastry kitchen all day:

Simply Delicious Cheesecake Squares
Ingredients:
2 – 8oz blocks of softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar           1 tsp vanilla
2 packages of regular crescent rolls
skaker of cinnamon and sugar

Preheat over to 350
Unroll one pkg crescent rolls into bottom of (ungreased) 13 X 9 pan.
Pinch together seams and press into bottom of pan,
Mix together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
Spread mixture into pan.
Unroll other pkg of crescent roll on to a piece of wax paper.
Pinch seams and press flat.  Carefully flip onto mixture (as top crust).
Bake 20 min at 350, Remove pan from oven.  Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Cool, and cut into squares.  Store in refrigerator then serve cold.

Rhonda Armstrong

And while we are on the topic of good stuff that may not be good for you…and you really don’t care because it really is that good!..here is another family favorite that Diana’s Mom, G-Ma, used to make and passed on this recipe to Diana for eternity…or however long we keep making it, eating it and passing on to others…yeah, that would probably be eternity.  (Blake, this is the recipe Grandma used to make when you were growing up!)

PEACH COBBLER

1 stick margarine or butter       1 cup flour

1 cup sugar                                        1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt                                          2/3 cup milk

3 cups sliced peaches (blueberries or blackberries work well also)

Melt margarine or butter in an 8 inch square pan. Tilt pan to cover sides with butter. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Then add milk to dry mixture. Spread this on top of butter in pan. Place fruit on top. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I did mention that Yvonne is from Norway, right?  Okay, so we invited her family to submit some recipes also.  The following recipe is not a joke…in the joking sense.  It really is a recipe from Norway.  One of those cultural exchanges.  I can not speak to the flavor of this unique dish, as I have not tried this one myself.  But I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a go…then you can tell me if it is good…he-he.  It is from Yvonne’s poppa, Tor.  And we all appreciate some of the specific instructions, such as “How to Eat Smalahove”,  “distinguishing between the skinned and unskinned” (call me a beginner…I prefer my food skinned usually) and that a mashed swede is not a drunk from Sweden, but a vegetable similar to a turnip!

Smalahove

Estimate 1 / 2 smoked smalahove per person.

Prepare: The Smalahove should be watered out for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.  Smalahove can either draw in hot water or steam on a grid of sticks such as pinnekjött. Steam is absolutely the best. Place some wooden sticks in layers in the bottom of the kettle and fill up with water until you nearly cover them. When using this method you must check once in a while so it does not dry up, refill with boiling water if necessary. The traditional approach is to steam it on a grid of sticks for approximately 4 – 5 hours, but more recent recipe’s suggest that 2 – 2 1 / 2 hours is enough to get a good result.

It is important that we do not use too strong heat. High temperatures kill many flavors.  There is the skinned and un-skinned smalahove available in the stores. Skinned hove is for “beginners”, while un-skinned hove is for the severe smalahove lovers.

Smalahove is normally served with freshly boiled potatoes, juice/stock from the steaming of the hove and mashed swedes or also known as turnips. But it can also be served with green peas and bacon fat. The Vossakorv (special sausage from the Voss area) is also traditional in the smalahove meal.

How to eat smalahove:

The regular way is to start at the ear. Here’s we have a lot of fat, therefore it is important to eat it while it is hot. The same applies to the eye.

You start at the front part of the head and cut back between the teeth and in over and under the jaw, break out the jaw, then you will easily get hold of the eye. Carefully cut up the eye and scrape out the eyeball. What then is left is the eye-muscle which many find as the best in the whole sheep head. But it must be eaten while it’s hot. Another delicacy for many is the tongue.

Then eat yourself downwards, in the area around the jaw you will find the meat that has least fat.   Enjoy!  Tor

So, we have a couple of recipes that I can vouch for…the first two (note we had dessert first)…and we have a unique treat from Norway that you can always make and take to the next family get together…just be sure everyone knows that the best way to eat it is to eat it while it is warm and start from the, ugh, ear.

I guess I also should mention the recipe from my good friend Dan.  The recipe that tells us it is okay to eat dessert first, and sometime last, and perhaps even in the middle.  Thanks Dan for reminding me.  By the way eating dessert first is a great way to enjoy life…each day.

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Published in: on July 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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