Updated 2008-11-21 09:40:44 ID=189:0

© 2008 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

The Times They Are A Changing-And I don't like it!!!!

There's so much uncertainty and instability in our economy and the things that we've relied on for years are disappearing by the wayside! Change ---even not for the better, can give us an opportunity to reassess our lifestyle, buying habits and what's really important and actually make our life better in the long run.

The last couple years or so, there have been a lot of changes happening. Staples that we always relied on are being fazed out for "better" or "improved" replacements that really aren't as good. The prices on everything are rising and our dollars just don't buy what they used to. Our simple little pleasures that keep us "sane" have to be tabled until "things get better".

Plus there's the constant fear of "what's the next thing that's going to happen!"
The newspaper headlines daily scream at us how bad things are. It's getting to a point where we just want to go hide somewhere until this chaos is over.

How do we cope?

There's an old saying "the more you possess, the less you have", meaning if you spend your life trying to acquire "material things", you miss out on all the important non-material things life has to offer like love and friendship. Well-being cannot be measured only by the amount of material things we own. That's where our society has devolved. In our mindless rush to acquire more and more, it seems like we have less and less. The best thing to do is to stop what you are doing and "hit the reset button" for a "time-out."

Growing up in the fifties and sixties we generally didn't live that "high off the hog." There were no Blackberries, iPods or other trivial must-haves to waste money on. And isn't a paradox that with so many different was to communicate no one seems to have anything much to say? Life as a family-unit was simpler and (I think) easier. Not as many conveniences of course, but that made it easier to make choices.

The cohesive family unit was more of a norm. We were more or less all on the same schedule. Now because there are so many outside activities and everyone is on different schedules, you're lucky to even have a decent once a week conversation with your parents, kids and those you care about! We have evolved into an impersonal society of high expectations and nothing but "happy-talk to back them up!" So when this monster of a recession started poking its head up, giving us hints to slow down, we were too busy fulfilling our wants to pay attention!

This is definitely a time to hit the "reset button!"

How DO we cope? Well there are a number of ways. But first of all assess what is really important in your life ---it isn't the material things, they just break or fade away. What is important is family and friends.

Get to know your family members better, and you can do that no better way than having a regular daily meal together siting around the kitchen table. Just doing this will stoke-up your well-being by knowing you're a united front dealing with this down-turn.

Another way we can cope is by making simple "comfort food meals" together that are healthy, easy to digest, and less expensive. The act of cooking a meal, when done as a team, is as enjoyable as eating! Plus this gets everyone in the act so they're more conscious of what's involved and will appreciate the final product more --plus give them a sense of "ownership" since they helped. Plus some of the most fun conversations can happen with others while you cook meals together! --I should also add that ideally, you should clean-up the dishes as a team as well. --Good conversation happens then too!

Starting in December, to make it a little easier on those of us that cook but but don't have much time, we'll start having a series of inexpensive recipes that you and "your team" can make in thirty minutes or less. We already have a lot of recipes that fit that criteria on this website.

Stay tuned and check us out!

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A tip from Sue!

Sauteing whole garlic

If your recipe calls for whole garlic, it doesn't burn as easily when in larger pieces. But you do need to score your garlic cloves all over in order to release the garlic juices and fragrance .Always be careful to avoid burning the cloves. It'll make the garlic cloves bitter and ruin what you're cooking.