Friends, permit me to indulge in sharing something that I hold close to my heart.
Today is the day after an important presidential election in Venezuela. There are many who are happy with the outcome and then there are those who after making an incredible effort to vote, had their hopes shattered once the winner was announced to be for the fourth time, Hugo Chavez. I would like to remind those who voted that the very essence of a Democracy is that someone will win and someone will lose. It is not the end of the world nor the promise of a perfect future, but it is the reflection of what decisions had been taken in the past and an indication of what steps should be taken in the future. Capriles has it right as he encourages the uniting of the country rather than the dividing. He is also correct when he stresses how important it is that Chavez himself recognizes that there are two thoughts to be considered as well shown by the polls of voters. No one is the owner of the truth but each holds a thread of the truth. My hopes are that they find the road to sit down and share thoughts and strategies to make Venezuela the strong proud country I know it can be and with the efforts of all will deserve to be. I hope to see that those with the resources that can reach the largest amount of population will now dedicate their time and effort to teach the basic rights of any society verses those moral obligations to be ethically honest hardworking citizens that all societies need to reach those common goals aspired by all. Those of peace, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. May I add that it is equally important not to confuse the moral obligation of a society with the religious teachings that vary from person to person.
President elect Hugo Chavez, you have the incredible platform and historical opportunity to end up being the most important president in the history of Venezuela. May it be for the good of all and not just the half that this time won.
Take responsibility and begin the change in yourselves what you would like to see in others!
I visited Venezuela this month, and while there I was asked by my husband’s family if I would prepare a Thanksgiving type dinner for my mother-in-law to celebrate her 92nd birthday. I was able to offer a beautiful meal to share with my husband and his family in celebration. It was a wonderful feeling to to be able to bring the family a dinner made with much care and love and feel that it was so very much enjoyed. My goal was only to bring joy and delight to our family. Mission accomplished!
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
Hello everyone! What a beautiful day wandering the Pinecrest Gardens Green Market. It made me feel good all over to see how so much beautiful and healthy produce was right at our door step. Both Tiza and I had to control ourselves because it was all so tempting. I bought loads of veggies which I cooked as soon as I got home. I would like to share how I cooked them so that those of you who have little time to spend in the kitchen will also be able to enjoy these delights not only fresh on the day you buy them, but also on other days, just by storing them in a tight containers in the refrigerator. They keep perfectly for an entire week! You will find these good to accompany any meat or on their own as a healthy snack with crackers or bread.
2 large sweet onions sliced in half and then sliced again thickly
4 medium size carrots sliced in half
4 medium sized beets sliced in nice round thick pieces
4 large bell peppers sliced in 6 pieces length wise. If too large cut in half width wise first (you can use either green or red)
3 sweet potatoes cut in large chunks
half of a large butternut squash also cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper
On a large sheet pan spread out like veggies. Salt all vegetables liberally then add a light shake of pepper. Lastly pour a very light stream of olive oil over all little by little making certain that all the veggies have their due amount.
Put in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. They will brown bringing out their natural, wonderful sweetness. Take out and put in containers to store in the refrigerator. These are delicious to eat at room temperature but if you prefer, heat them very little, using the re-heat option on your microwave oven.
My hopes are that my easy and quick recipe will help those with limited time to eat healthy and take advantage of the fresh selections at their local markets.
One of my great joys in life is food! Yes, food! I am one of those people that loves to curl up with a great cookbook and read it as if it was the greatest of novels. I love to cook a meal and then sit and taste each delicate ingredient. I love to make a meal and share it with friends and family or to make a meal to celebrate anything.
Today, I would like to share a recipe for a fantastic Ragu spaghetti sauce, alongside a wonderful friend who, through the many years we have known each other, has generously and lovingly taught me among other things a few of her wonderful Italian secrets for a yummy quick sauce. With pictures and directions you too will be able to celebrate with those you love a great meal for children and adults alike.
This recipe is as my friend gave it to me. It is a close measurement but not exact as she seldom measures. We had a wonderful day together, laughing as I tried to quickly measure her ingredients while she rolled her eyes as if to say, just watch and add a bit of this and a bit of that. It is all so easy!
For these moments I am grateful. Thank you Giuditta!
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward
Here we go…
RAGU SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Pork neck bones: 1.27 lbs.
Beef shank for soup: 1.99 lbs.
Lamb neck for stew: 1.58 lbs.
6 large cans of crushed tomatoes
One onion with cloves stuck in various places
4 or so stocks of celery (leaves welcomed)
Half of a large green pepper
More or less 10 baby carrots
2 ounces butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Let meat cook until tender
Put cans of tomato in a large pan with salt and a bit more of olive oil
Add all the now cooked meat with vegetables
Add a bit of freshly grated nutmeg
Add another 1/8 cup of olive oil
Cook slowly at a very low heat for the next 2 1/2 hours
Add Basil leaves toward end of cooking of the sauce
While cooking sauce, put clean jars without tops into a 250 degree oven and let heat for 20 minutes as shown. Then, put complete tops into a pan with water at a low boil for 15 minutes
Once all is heated and sterilized and the sauce is fully cooked, take out the pieces of meat and vegetables and set aside to be enjoyed and eaten at another time with whatever accompaniment desired
With oven mitt take out the first jar from the oven and carefully fill with the prepared boiling sauce filling it almost to the top, leaving a minimum of space. Then, take the tops from the water and carefully screw on and tighten as much as you can. Repeat this process one jar at a time. (It is important to maintain everything hot as it is this that will finish the sealing process of each jar as they are each tightly closed.) You will know the process was completed correctly when you hear the popping of each jar as they complete their sealing process
Once sealed, these may be kept in any available space. Refrigeration is not necessary which is really great!
Now enjoy and with any luck this recipe will bring you great memories too.
As school begins for my four beautiful grandchildren, I sit back and contemplate what that means. For them It means they are growing, they are not who they were last year. They, with each experience hopefully, have become more intelligent, all rounded human beings. With each day they have learned to make more decisions in their own lives, becoming more their own person. Life is teaching them about the consequences of right and wrong. They are beginning to understand that growth comes from experiences and mistakes. So many changes occur in only one year of their life.
As it is with children, it is with us adults. One year can bring incredible changes both physically, mentally and intellectually. As I have aged I have witnessed this continuous change. Each event in my life has molded and formed me into this person I am today. I, as are my grandchildren, am changing, learning and growing, trying to keep up with this always changing world. As I see it, the advantage we adults have over our children is that we already know that we can change. We know that our decisions will have consequences and that with any luck will make our life better. We also know that in the process of living we will make mistakes and it is from those mistakes we learn. We know that nothing in life is permanent, it is forever changing and it is with this knowledge we can teach our children to not fear living life to their fullest potential. We can by example also teach them how important it is to not watch life pass them by but rather be a participant. At any age it’s all about challenges that require us to make constant decisions. Some will be bad and perhaps bring us anger or tears while others will be successes that will bring us the greatest of joys.
So, I am reminded of a quote that says,
“We regret more about the things we didn’t do than the things we did do. Get out of yourself and just do it.”
That’s good for any age to remember, don’t you think?
One of my great enjoyments in life is reading. There is nothing like being able to curl up with a good book in a comfortable chair while sipping a good wine. Reading is so special for me that I plan those days where I can do just that. I find it is important to have these quiet “me” times, as I feel It recharges my batteries after days of being busy. Let me tell you about the latest book that I have read. It is called “One Thousand White Women” by Jim Fergus. A fascinating read based on true events that took place in 1875 but is related through fictional diaries. An inspirational book to sit with and contemplate the strength of our pioneer sisters. They fought to be themselves and often were humiliated and tortured because they refused to be anything else but themselves. A great read to be able to appreciate those who came before us and at great sacrifice, helped us all to get where we are today.
My daughter said to me, “Mom, don’t leave the posting until the last minute”. As I assured her that I wouldn’t, I deep down knew I hadn’t taken the time to write anything as yet. Not because I was lazy or even procrastinating but because I have company and the reality is that spending time with my dear friend held precedent over my blogging. My posting was always in my mind but these two weeks I have been blessed with a long over-due visit by my friend. We have filled our days with lots of remembering, giving her a tour of the sights of our great city of Miami, we read and shared our opinions on whatever we were reading, whether it be a book, newspaper or magazine. We talked about politics, love, getting old, grandchildren, our children. We were up late like two teenagers looking for goodies to munch on…..oh yes, there was lots of eating, and lots of laughing.
As I sit to write this, I have come to understand that one of the great things about aging is that you realize first things first. Ann came first! Now here I am sharing these thoughts with you all. Reminding everyone that with all the wonderful techy stuff that fills our world right now, there is nothing more valuable than life itself. There is nothing more important than sharing a hug, smile, and laughter with those you love. The older one gets the easier it is to step back and see the big picture.
Speaking of the big picture, Ann introduced me to the most delicious candy. The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory candy. For me the enormous slabs of chocolate smothered and almond covered toffee are to die for and Ann equally loved the bear paw sized milk chocolate pecan bears. Well, our diets will have to start tomorrow…
I am beginning to see how much I have to learn to be able to master this blogging/posting business. My daughters calmly have introduced to me to multiple things that are important for me to remember. I am learning those things to be able to organize my future posts, edit, review and set up time schedules as well as to make them pretty. Of course, I can’t forget those most important tips as to how to make them interesting. Therefore, my main focus and energy for now will be on just mastering those things that will help me make postings more organized and interesting. Not an easy feat for me, as there are so many things to read, understand and implement that just learning to focus is quite a challenge.
I am delighted that I am able to do this today without either of my daughters present. It certainly has not been a quick process for me but I am proud I am getting out this posting on time. They say that learning new things will keep you young…..well, I am an excited 20 year old living in a 64 year young body!
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
Whew!!! Here I am attempting my first posting for the blog of Miami Fun Family, lagging behind my daughters by just a few days. Not bad considering all the new stuff that is being thrown my way at the rate of flying bullets.
My first thought on aging gracefully has to do with keeping up (or not) with my two daughters. I believe that I must ACCEPT the fact that learning to blog will be a bit slower and more difficult for me than it is for them. I use the computer and am not completely computer illiterate but by no means do I use it at the level they do on a daily basis. I admire their tenacity as they set up this blog site.(I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea how to begin.) They have spent hours to get the blog up and running (while I am waiting to have it done and just join the fun after the fact.) Thank you girls!
Though this is new territory for me, the lesson is: Give new things a try. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Take advantage of those around you who are willing to teach you the new “techy” stuff to keep you up-dated and not out-dated! If possible, take a class for the very basics so that you can at least begin to understand. Take a leap of faith by learning new things and it will not only open new doors but it will also bring back new friendships and possibly new relationships yet to be found.
So, my heart is pounding and my mouth is dry but here I am posting for the very first time. I hope you like it. Please feel free to comment and add to the discussion of the highs and lows of aging and its possible solutions.
Note: I am a lover of good quotes and as I find those I perceive to be special, I try to pass them on for others to also enjoy. While they teach me, I find they also address my momentary concerns of one thing or another so I hope you enjoy this one as I have.
When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.
- Victor Hugo