Sunday, November 20, 2011

Aunt Gussie's Salmon Croquettes

The stars were aligned yesterday because I had one of those Saturdays where I actually accomplished everything I set out to do.  There was grocery shopping, cleaning, leaf blowing and raking, a woman's AA meeting and then a great dinner with some really good friends.  It was definitely one of those days that I would never have had back when I was imbibing because I would have been too hungover to accomplish most of that.  I may have gotten the dinner cooked, but I would have probably screwed up the recipe somewhere along the way.

A while back I made salmon croquettes for some friends from a recipe that my Great-Aunt Gussie has passed down, and they have been screaming (pleasantly) for me to make another batch.  I was only too happy to do so yesterday, because, selfishly, it makes me feel really good to make or do something for other folks when they enjoy it.  Without further ado, I offer you Aunt Gussie's Salmon Croquettes.

1 can of wild salmon
salt & pepper to taste
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
 Vegetable oil

Add vegetable oil to an iron skillet about half way up.  Heat on medium heat. 

With mixer on low speed, mix the salmon, salt & pepper and eggs.  Add your buttermilk.  Sift the flour and banking soda together and then add to salmon mixture. 

Now check to see if your oil is ready by flicking some water into the oil.  If it pops, then you're ready to go.  Drop batter from spoon or ice cream scoop into hot oil.  Let fry a couple of minutes and then flip patties.  Fry until they are golden brown on both sides.  I always remove mine to a plate lined with paper towel to let the grease drip off.

I usually like to make cheese grits to go with my croquettes.  I hope that's Southern enough for y'all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Break Out and Dance

Sometimes I really wonder what is wrong with me.  Today I kept getting the urge to break out and do the Running Man while I was in the office.  What in the hell?  The urge got so bad that I finally had to tell somebody.  So, I decided to tell the receptionist as I was heading to the kitchen to grab my daily La Croix. 

Me:  "Roxana, what's up?"
Roxana: "Nothing much.  How are you?"
Me:  "Great, except I keep having the urge to do the Running Man."
Roxana:  ::crickets::
Me:  "You know, the dance move....the Running Man."  And at this point I attempt to do it in my high heals.  It had the less than desired affect.   I was missing the real fluidity needed for an impeccable Running Man.
Roxana:  Laughter.  "You should join a Flash Mob."
Me:  "That is a great idea!"

I guess my point in all of this is sometimes it's worth taking some time from your day to be silly and share in a laugh to brighten your day.  Not to mention, it can help generate great ideas.  Now, off to Google how to join a Flash Mob.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Doing more than surviving

I've been a little sad today.  Sad because someone I love very dearly is hurting, sad because I miss my Meme and so does all of my family and it is hard to watch people I love be sad and a little down because of the worries I have about my custody case that is coming up on its final hearing in a few weeks.  Over the past months, I have been able to maintain a positive attitude about most of these things, but right now I'm just having some down moments.

While I was moping around online tonight, I came across this little gem:

"Life is going to push you around, beat you up and it's going to scare you.  But, then one day, you realize you're not just a survivor, you're a warrior."

It helped to to take a step back, pause and realize this is true.  I am doing more than simply surviving and have been actually fighting back for myself, the person I want to be and know that I am and for my family.   And, I do think I am turning into a warrior of sorts.  I have learned how to keep fighting and keep moving forward even when I don't want to anymore.  I have learned to recognize and deal with my feelings instead of trying to drown them with alcohol.  I am sure that I am going to get through these times of sadness, but I also have learned that I am allowed to feel down sometimes.  Without the lows the highs aren't quite as sweet.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Positive Vibrations

This morning I've been humming Bob Marley's "Positive Vibrations" in my head non-stop.  Mostly because I really think that I am starting to buy into the idea of thinking positively, being thankful for what you have and projecting the good out into the world so you can get it back.  I seem to really be feeling it lately.  What is interesting, is that I thought I lived this way before, back when I was drinking a lot and smoking a lot of weed.  I thought that kind of being stoned and talking about being positive was sort of where it was at.  And while the beginnings of positive vibrations might have been there, the drinking and smoking were weighing me down to where I never actually took any action or made any moves to actively work these ideas into my life.  The drinking was clouding my ability to even acknowledge that I had emotional garbage to deal with so that I could get to those positive vibrations. 

Yesterday, the topic of the purpose of a gratitude list came up.  A lot of folks are told to start one when they enter AA, and when you are first getting sober, a gratitude list sort of seems like a distraction - a way to change your thinking when you are feeling down about life.  And it's true.  It helps to change the subject of your mind when you first begin to make gratitude lists.  But the other fact of it is that when we are truly grateful and appreciative of certain aspects of our lives, and we express it, we are putting ourselves out into that vibration.  We become more in line with these things that we are thankful for, and we become more available to receive even more of what we appreciate. 

Right now I'm really thankful that I'm sober, that I have 2 beautiful children, a partner who works with me and not against me, and a peaceful home full of laughter.  I seemed to have laughed a lot over the past month, and it has been so great.  There were a few years where I was doing a boat load of crying, and I don't miss that at all. 

And now, I leave you with the words of one of my all time favorite musicians - Bob Marley:

If you get down and you quarrel everyday,
You're saying prayers to the devils, I say.
Why not help one another on the way?
Make it much easier. (Just a little bit easier)

Say you just can't live that negative way,
If you know what I mean;
Make way for the positive day,
'Cause it's news - news and days -
New time, and if it's a new feelin', yeah! -
Said it's a new sign:
Oh, what a new day!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lit by Mary Karr

During the first few months of my sobriety I was strolling through Barnes & Noble searching for something good to read.  I happened up Lit by Mary Karr.  I skimmed the summary of the book, and it sounded interesting enough; so, I decided to give it a go.  As I was reading through the book, I was really amazed by all of the ways that I could identify with this woman and her story.  About a third into the book I found myself getting up to grab a pen and started underlining sentences to which I could relate.

Mary Karr reached the height of her alcoholism in her 30s, which was when my drinking began to be a problem for me.  During this time she had a wonderful little boy.  Um, hello, just like me.  I have often felt guilt for continuing to drink like I did when I had such a wonderful, young child.  Lit gave me a chance to see that I was not alone and that it was possible for a person to find their way out of alcoholism. Lit by Mary

In an NPR interview Mary Karr admits, "I didn't want to stop drinking. I didn't quit drinking because I wanted to stop drinking. I want to do all these things that aren't particularly good for me. My hells are pretty much self-constructed."  Here is another way that I can relate to Ms. Karr.  I didn't quit drinking because I particularly wanted to.  I quit drinking because it was destroying things that were precious to me - my relationships, along with my sanity.

This is a great book to read if you want to know more about how an alcoholic mind works or if you are looking for strength and hope in another person's story.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Client Attorney Privilege Pesto

Sometimes you really have to laugh at the turns life takes.  You can either do that or cry or get upset and throw a tantrum.  It turns out that I prefer to laugh.  One of the moments that helped to bring me to that realization was when I decided to make pesto last summer for the first time in awhile.  I knew I had a trust worthy recipe that a previous friend had given me, but I didn't want to use it because this previous friend was now my ex-husbands attorney.  "Bleh," I thought.  "Do I really have to make her pesto recipe?!?!"  I wasn't going to, but then I realized, it's good pesto.  Why cut off my nose just because it came from some attorney who happens to represent my ex-husband and who used to be a friend?  So, I ended up giggling about the absurdity of it all and made the pesto.  It was damn fine pesto.  I recently made another batch of it with my end of summer basil harvest.  And with that, I bring you Client Attorney Privilege Pesto.

3 packed cups of fresh basil
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of pine nuts
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of melted butter
salt to taste

Dump all of the ingredients into your blender.

And blend!

I ended up mixing mine with pasta and shrimp to make a quick and easy dinner.  And, I was planning to show you a fabulous picture of that, but I was so hungry and it was so good, I gobbled it down before snapping a picture. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Finding Peace

Over the past few days, maybe into the past week, I have noticed a sense of peace that washes over me at times that I haven't felt since........well, since ever.  I've never had this kind of peace before.  Believe me, things are not perfect.  There are bills to be paid, court dates to worry about, work to be done, but all-in-all, I am very at peace with my life right now. 

When I look back at what I've done differently over the past few weeks, I can recognize a couple of things.  The first is that I have made a huge effort to change my way of thinking.  That is, to start thinking more positively about things.  When I feel a fear or anxiety rear its ugly head - which seems to happen mostly in the car or shower for some reason - I am practicing to retrain my brain to think positive thoughts about what I know or want in life.  I really think this is helping.

I also had a huge a-ha moment last week when I realized that I did not have to act on my emotions or let my feelings rule my actions.  I think alcoholics have a huge issue with this, and  I've been hearing things along these lines for the past year, but for some reason it just clicked for me last week.  Maybe I had to become emotionally fit enough for this to click, but I am so grateful that if finally did.  This realization has made a huge difference in how I handle every day annoyances and irritants. 

So, today I am grateful for peace and the freedom that it has given me to enjoy all of the wonderful things in my life.