Archived | February 1, 2016 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Was cleaning up the kitchen after having a few friends over for an afternoon of conversation and snacks and something to do. There were seven of us, four women and three men, and Mr. Sundberg dialed in for a quick speakerphone “hello” from Ohio where he’s giving a talk titled, “Procrastination:  To Do or Not to Do.”

Of course, once he hung up the conversation turned (thank goodness) from politics to procrastination. Everyone weighed in, of course, each person in turn confessing to procrastination in some form, large or small, and some on a daily basis. It was fascinating, really, hearing such honesty from good friends. For Mr. Abledinger, it’s exercise. “I just don’t want to go to the gym,” he said. “I’m afraid I’ll always have a fat belly. And I don’t really want people to SEE my belly. But once I get there and get going, I feel great.” For Mrs. Hanson it’s grocery shopping. She said she feels intimidated by all the food items because she’s never cooked with half of them, and she always mispronounces the names. “Is quinoa ‘keeno’ or ‘keenwah’?” For Mr. Lund? Writing songs. “They never seem finished,” he said. There was mentioned, also, jam-making, cleaning, dance lessons. And, eventually, I gave it up to the group. “I put off writing the book I want to write. The Real Book.” Everyone stopped and looked at me. Except Mrs. Stendahl, who was busy refilling the crackers and dips and plates of bars. “Say more,” Mr. Abledinger said.

“I have a book in my head. Been there for years. And I’ve been writing, here and there, and it’s coming to something, but I’m quite honestly putting off writing the last stretch of pages. I’m not sure why.” “I know why,” Mrs. Stendahl said from the kitchen. “You know Erica Jong? Well, she said we look for every excuse to procrastinate because we’re afraid of being judged. And I think THAT’S why you haven’t finished your book.”

Well, then, all hell broke loose. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly,” Mr. Abledinger said. “My father taught me that, and he’s right.” “The only thing to fear is fear itself, eh?” said Mr. Lund. And there was encouragement, and someone said, “You said it yourself, Mrs. S. ‘Life is far too beautiful and far too short.’ So get on with it.”

We parted that afternoon each promising the others to get on it, whatever it is we are putting off doing because we are afraid of what others will say or do, because we are afraid of being judged, because we are afraid to fail. If there’s a thing you wish to accomplish, well then, there’s reason enough to do it. And, if I might suggest, tell your friends about it. Nothing like a bunch of people who love you to spur you on. And once you finish, there’s always the next thing. Sure is.

Here are two recipes you’ll find in my cookbook. You’ll love ‘em both, mostly because they’re good, but they’ll also do double duty. They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day, of course. Sweetness all ‘round. But seems there’s an important football game on next week, and why not? Just substitute “Super” for “Sweet” and you’re good to go.

Sweet Chocolate Fondue

⅔ cup light corn syrup
½ cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
Shortbread and/or assorted fruit

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine corn syrup and cream. Cover and microwave on high for 2 to 2½ minutes or until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring twice. Stir in chocolate until melted. Transfer to a fondue pot and keep warm. Serve with cookies and/or fruit.

Makes about 2 cups.

Sweet Almond Popcorn

2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped
2 cups white chocolate chips, melted
1 5 oz bag dried cranberries
1 2 oz bag sliced almonds

Combine popcorn, dried cranberries and almonds.
Pour melted chocolate over, and stir well.
Spread over a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cool.
Break into bite-sized pieces. Store in airtight container.