I've been trying several baked doughnut recipes over the past few weeks. None have come close to either a) the delicious, albeit fried, doughnuts one can purchase at the local doughnut shop, and b) the delicious, albeit fried, spiced doughnuts I made as a child. Not to mention the horrible recipe that came with the doughnut pans. Bleck. People in China obviously are missing out on the culinary beauty that is the doughnut.
Anyhoo, it was like Goldilocks was the taste-tester - too tough, too bready, too soft, too buttermilk-y. But! I think I finally found the right combination.
I've been pondering what it means to appreciate beauty. Not the geographical or altruistic kind, but the personal, appearance-based, social constructs of what makes someone beautiful. So many women hit a certain age (it varies depending on the woman, but seems to be about the age I am now) and decide to alter their appearance in some way - botox, hair color, permanent make-up, plastic surgery, liposuction, and so forth. What makes them do it? If "beauty is truth, truth beauty" as Keats said, what lies are being told in the quest for perfect body parts? Why is it so difficult to see wrinkles and freckles and tummies and the other signs of a life well-lived as beauty?
A fellow blogger has posted "5 Things I'm All About." These are 5 things "that she is so passionate about, she feels compelled to write them in capital letters. Five things that she's almost afraid to say out loud because they might be a little bit unpopular...or radical...or debate-inducing. And yet they are the rock-bottom hardcore reality of what makes her" who she is.
In other words, the passion, the deep inner knowledge, and the reality of HER.
So, as is so often the case, I'd like to take a page from her book. (see original post here.)
5 Things I'm All About 1. You are who you are, and that's OK. Gender, color, sexual orientation, ability, age, class, political affiliation, state of residence, you name it, there is someone out there who is it. And that's OK. Embrace yourself. You are all you've got. You are not perfect, but that's OK - neither am I. Accept your quirks. Get to know yourself. Change what needs changing. Love what needs loving. But know that you are special, and important. Don't let anyone, anywhere, anytime, make you feel "less than." That being said, this does not give you license or entitlement to do as you please, because: 2. We need each other. We are social beings who need the support, constructive criticism, guidance, egging-on, and acceptance of other social beings. You are who you are, but you need to be you in a group. There is wisdom and love and protection in a group. There is family and connection and a cheering section in a group. There are people to walk with, to vent on, to cling to. And that group needs you, too. And what you do affects this group, and vice versa. 3. Despite the efforts of many fanatical idiots in religions the world over, I still believe in God. I learn more about God every day, and in so doing, find myself less and less willing to put God into a box. No old man in white robes here, no angry omnipotent wielder of thunderbolts, no soft weepy New Age space-case, no muddy earthy Goddess, no irritatingly transcendant teacher. Instead, a force; an energy; a creative power; an intense love; a connective tissue weaving molecules and elements into living things. Bigger than me, but inside my heart. Smaller than can be measured, but everywhere at once. 4. This world needs more feminine energy. For too long we have lived the lie that female is evil, or wrong, or opposite of male, or less than male. Male vs. Female has become an either/or, a competition, a zero-sum game; one is stronger and one weaker, one has to be "on top," the winner. It's not so. We all have a mixture of each in us and that mixture needs to be balanced. We are people, and we all lose if part of us is denied. We need to recognize and nurture the importance of, the holiness of, the feminine. Male has dominated for several centuries, and now this world is crying out for the Female. 5. Sometimes you just gotta say, screw it, and go have some fun. Life can be pretty serious. We are all working hard on our CAREERS, our CHILDREN, our SOCIETY, our WORLD. We need a break. Take one. Go have some fun. Roll in the grass, eat a pint of ice cream, stay up all night reading a book, buy that sexy pair of red stilettos, pick wildflowers, do something FUN. Be in the moment. Enjoy this crazy life.
So I realized today that I have officially made a shift in my thinking.
Right about 11:15 or so, I was contemplating lunch, and a sweet little something for afters. Or perhaps more accurately, the lack of a sweet little something for afters. An hour later, as I pulled my lunch from the fridge at work, I noticed I had brought some leftover corn on the cob. My first thought was, "oh, now I don't need to buy any cookies."
I know. I KNOW!
The corn-on-the-cob is from our local fields, and so so sweet and crunchy and fresh. I honestly knew I would feel a satisfied sweet tooth after eating it. And I did.
Eating local, eating fresh, and eating healthy foods really does change your mind and body. I wouldn't have believed it myself a couple of years ago. (And I still love cookies, don't get me wrong!!) It has taken effort and time and practice to get to this moment, though. And the moment is as sweet as the corn.
Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!