A Big Ol’ Yes

Archived | November 13, 2015 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I had the weekend to myself, with Mr. S off to Columbus, Ohio, where he is speaking on the topic of seasonal affective disorder and how one might shift gears and make winter less of an ordeal than it might be. Now, though I’m a person who loves the seasons and have lived through only a few winters that gave me a run for my money where sanity is concerned, I’m glad Mr. S can be of help to those who struggle. Life can be a rough trip, and it’s good to have guidance along the way, whether it’s a mantra or advice or the helpful wisdom of a motivational speaker.

Someone once told me I’m radically sane, and that’s a compliment I think, and I took it. I remind myself of that on occasion, by saying the words out loud. “I’m a radically sane woman,” I say to the air, and no one contests that and it feels good. I said it recently in the produce section of the grocery store where I shop, a place I hadn’t been since August before that visit, mostly because the kids were leaving and why not use what we have and we did. Somehow the first visit to the grocery store in what was about two months while still caught up in the emptiness of a child-free house sent me reeling. “I’m sane, and I’m here.” The words spilled over the acorn squash and the Sweet Vidalias and the pears, and a few tears came and on I went to fill my cart with enough for a while, things Mr. S and I like to eat, not for enormous family dinners, and it felt quite fine.

Why the tears, you ask? It’s been a ritual of mine for 22 years, people. Several-hour trips for groceries for three hungry kids. See, HAVING a ritual, big or little, will do a few things for you. It will make you happier and help you overcome grief. It can help you get past procrastination. It can make you better at what you do. Because a ritual sets you at ease, gets you to focus, and gives what I call “lack of resolve” a little punch in the butt. And to be embarrassingly honest, grocery shopping for three kids was one of the rituals that lifted me up for me for over two decades.

Of course it’s hard to let go. Of course. Of course. The blessing is that I saw it, and see it, and can set about shifting my own gears. Time for something new. I’ve been gathering up some new recipes that call for things like “lemon grass” and “red curry” and “mustard powder.” I’m taking a walk every day, and it seems I’ll land in a Yoga class along the way. And I’m back to saying something out loud each morning when I wake (been a come-and-go ritual all my born days). Something other than, “I’m radically sane.” Something more like, “I can do this,” or “Shazaam!” Or simply whispering “Yes” to the question of what the world might need today. A big ol’ Yes. Sure thing. Just give me a minute.

I’m not a huge fan of venison, but my goodness, this recipe does it up fine. The potato salad adds a nice tang on the side, and it’s all not much work at all on a fine November afternoon.

Venison Chops

venison chops
vegetable oil
flour
salt
pepper
butter
1 onion, finely minced
ketchup
½-1 cup brown sugar
basil
½ cup beef broth

Pound the chops until they are ¼ inch or so thick. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter (2 T oil to 1 T butter) over medium heat.  Place 1-2 cups flour in a bowl, adding a few shakes each of salt and pepper. Dredge the chops in the mixture and place in heated skillet. Brown on both sides. Place chops in a 9×13 cake pan, and continue until all the chops are browned, adding more oil and butter as needed. Sprinkle brown sugar over all of the browned chops, squirt a dab of ketchup on each, top with minced onion Sprinkle basil over all of it, and dot each chop with butter. Pour beef broth into the pan and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.

Hot German Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes (2 lb)
1 tsp salt
In large saucepan combine potatoes and salt in water.
Cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, let cool, and cut into thick slices.

Dressing:

6 slices bacon
salad oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
⅓ cup finely chopped green onion
2 T minced fresh parsley

In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Measure bacon drippings; add oil to make ⅓ cup and pour back into skillet. Add vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, egg and onions. Cook and stir over medium heat just until thickened. Crumble bacon and add to skillet with potatoes and 1 T parsley. Mix well and heat through. Garnish with remaining parsley.

Enjoy!