Gratitude: good for the soul

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  -G.K. Chesterton

I love that quote.  It’s one of my favorites.
Earlier this week I was feeling a little bit tired, frustrated, and to be very honest, sorry for myself.
I realized that I needed to move to a higher plane of thought, to remind myself that it’s not about me.

So I sat down and wrote some letters of gratitude to people who have blessed my life lately.

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It felt good.   In fact, it was a great cure for the way I was feeling.
It reminded me once again that the choice to be grateful is a powerful one.
It changes our lives because it changes us.
And that’s really all that we can control.

So today, find something or someone to be grateful for and no matter how busy you are, do something about it.  Enjoy the lift that will follow your efforts.

Happy day to you!

Eggplant Parmigana

A couple of  weeks ago my husband and I had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant.

The eggplant was a disappointment.
So I had to make it for dinner to remind us how yummy it really is.

First, beat two eggs in a shallow bowl (I used a cereal bowl).

Next, place 1 cup flour into another bowl.
I added some seasonings to mine:  salt, pepper, rosemary, basil, and some bread crumbs.

Now, wash and peel your eggplant.

You can see how quickly they begin to brown.
Next, slice it into slices that are 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick.

Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg, being sure to coat both sides.

Then do the same thing in the flour.

Continue until every slice is covered with flour.

Heat some oil  and butter in a frying pan.

When the pan is hot, gently place each slice of eggplant in the pan.

Let it cook until it looks like this when you flip it over.

Mmm.

While you are cooking the eggplant, boil some water and cook a little pasta.
My husband picked fettuccine noodles this time.

In a small saucepan, I also opened some garlic and herb spaghetti sauce and began to heat it.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it.

Remove the eggplant from the heat as soon as it is cooked on both sides,
and assemble your dish.

Tonight, I first put pasta on a plate, then eggplant followed by your sauce and Italian cheese.  Garnish with Italian parsley.

Delicious!  You want some?

The thing to remember about dishes such as this is how inexpensive they are.
Because this is a meatless dish, the cost per serving is incredibly low.   I love summer barbecues, but sometimes I feel like we end up eating too much meat.   Dishes like this are nice to rotate into the mix.  It’s also a great way to take advantage of summer produce.
Try it!

Hopeful Homemaker’s Eggplant Parmigana

1 eggplant
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 Tb. dried bread crumbs
1 Tb. oil
8 ounces pasta of your choice
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
Italian parsley (for garnish, if desired)

Beat eggs in small bowl.  In separate bowl, combine flour and seasonings.
Wash, peel and slice eggplant into 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices.
Dip each slice of eggplant in to egg mixture and then into flour mixture.
In frying pan, heat 1 Tb. oil.  Gently place eggplant into pan.
Turn when golden brown, and remove from heat.
Boil pasta until it reaches desired tenderness.  Heat spaghetti sauce.
Place pasta on plate, drizzle with spaghetti squash and 2 Tb. cheese.
Place 2 slices eggplant on top of pasta, drizzle again with sauce and sprinkle with more cheese.
Garnish with Italian parsley.  Enjoy!

Turkey

I know that these guys are usually discussed only at a different time of year.
But I just have to comment on them for a minute.

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Look at the wattle on these turkeys!
Sometimes God’s love of color really catches my attention.
The blue head and red wattle are quite the combination, wouldn’t you say?

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Something about the brightness of the color combination was really beautiful to me.
I’ve always loved red, white and blue.  They’ve been my favorite colors for years,
but in the past year or two I’ve come to really like the tomato red with a lighter, brighter blue or even aqua color.

It’s not a color combination that a lot of people around me use much.  But I love it.
And here I was, staring at it on a turkey, of all things!

For the past year or so, I’ve engaged in a casual observational study that I call  Observations in God’s Use of Color.  I love to pause and look around and learn a little about how colors coexist in the natural world.
I’ve learned that nature isn’t very matchy matchy.  Sometimes it’s very understated.  Sometimes it’s anything but.  And sometimes the most average seeming things are punctuated with amazing flourishes.

I guess that’s what grabbed me about these turkeys.
We don’t think of them as beautiful creatures.  But what a colorful flourish!

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I really love color.  Since I’m on the subject of turkeys, I guess it’s ok to say that every Thanksgiving when I ponder the things I’m grateful for, color is always on my list.  I’m just so grateful that we have such a simple thing as color to enrich life so much.  Being grateful for color reminds me to give thanks that I can see, as well.  Simple gifts.  It’s a wonderful life, isn’t it?!

If you’ve had an experience when a glimpse of unexpected color stopped you in your tracks or made you catch your breath for the sheer beauty of it, please share.  If you haven’t, start watching for one.

You’ll be surprised.

Happy observing!

HH

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