Things I ‘Dig’

Our inner child pipes up, will not be silenced, placated, disciplined or controlled. And you can forget about getting them to bed on time. They wants what they wants, when they wants. These moments are usually when our ‘inner child’ is enjoying their-selves, and doesn’t want to go home, to sleep or … back to work.

There are a couple of hot moments that emerge in everyone’s marriage. Married people know this. They don’t speak about it, not even to themselves interestingly enough. They mostly whistle and look away, if it comes up. Or wach the tennis, which is convenient – because Summer is a hot spot for such moments. What we we all do without the Australian Open? And for those yet to embark on this most challenging confronting and transformative journey through life – here are some headlines of what awaits you, up ahead.

So Clangers and myself have worked out a few, shall we say – risk moments? In life ‘together’, so here are the cheat notes. Pencil at the ready?

Number One – Navigating.
Absolute F*#@KING Shocker! I have no idea why the standard operating procedure is to have the woman being in charge of reading the map, discerning the hieroglyphics of directions, and the man person behind the wheel steering. Talking about ‘playing to strengths’- NOT! My brain function in this area is remedial at best and catastrophic at worst. This is the first divorce risk on holidays. Solution – swap roles. See how the other half lives. Works much better. Moving on … swiftly. Next!

Number Two – Putting Up the Tent.
OMG! Right! Too many cooks, at least three right – which is weird since there is only two people actually married. And you can forget about whatever fantasy was clad in soft screens, white silk chiffon and doused rose petals and romantic longings with promises of physical ecstasy. The old trouble that raced you to the altar in the first place. Out the Window as soon as you need to work together to set up the D@#N Tent! Clangers and I are both, what is commonly known as, impatient. Which is interesting right? Because we are impatient with ourselves, each other and about completely different things. If you ever get the chance, find yourself a comfy seat and a bucket of pop corn – enjoy the show. In brief – here’s what helps – practice. And stay with the same tent. Also do the same routine each time. Our record now is up in 25 mins, down in 40 with rain! Did I mention we can be a bit competitive.

Number Three – Coming Back from Holidays.
This is where the HOLIDAY PIE may just save you. It took us a couple of years to work this out, one year in mid stride, giving Clangers the full tilt piece of my mind about just what I … I stopped practiced a bit of mindfulness and found myself dissociated floating above the fray. I digress, to paint the picture and orient you in the drama, we would be all saddled up in the car, returning from a desperately needed break. All that impatient yearning and disappointing performances throughout the year builds up the old stress toll on the body. Antidote – go on holidays. But then you have to … return.

I realised, we always always always have an absolute divorce inspiring screaming match in the spacious comfortable and abundant atmosphere of car cabin, enclosed, windows down, packed up with kit, at the END OF OUR HOLIDAYS. One year – I stopped and said to Clangers, “Do you know what? I think we don’t wants to go home. We wants to stay on holidays!”

It’s simple life. Really? Isn’t it? We are pleasure seeking. We wants self determination and autonomous living in order to secure as much of it as we possibly can. We wants to remain whole, in touch with each moment, with ourselves and those we feel connected to – not shattered by an alien environment of technology replete with emails deluging our consciousness exponentially reinforcing perceptions of indentured servitude rather that liberated authentic self expression and self acceptance.

I realize Holy Grail and promise of the Authentic Self and Living Authentically is out there and so I invented a pie to encourage us all, when we need it most – returning from holidays to the every day world. And so, here is … the recipe for the Holiday Pie. What you do, once it is made – you eat half before you bugger off on holidays and freeze the rest. Then, when you return, on the way back – the inner child will be thinking of eating the other half of that fun fun fun pie.

Pies are good. Pies are made from Pastry. Everything is better when it is wrapped in Pastry. It lessens the blow. Greases the re-entry process and softens the landing. We arrive on pillows rather than cement. You still return but … there is Pie for dinner that night!

The Pie, could also be called Left Over Pie, but this sounds a bit poverty stricken so I changed the name. It makes excellent use of all the bits and pieces left over from Christmas Lunch. Here are Simon and Minty Marchmont, Posh Noshers, discussing the benefits of abundance left overs. They have left overs for Sunday Supper, not dinner …

“Supper is dinner with its shirt undone …”

~ Simon Marchmont, Posh Nosh

I used the old faithful pre-made and pre-rolled pastry from the shops. It is true, home-made pastry is one thousand times better but this Pie is about reducing not creating stress.

For the Pie Filling you will need …

  • Left over Chicken and Ham from Christmas Lunch
  • Milk based Roux
  • Seed Mustard
  • Rosemary
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Blind back you pastry case for about 20 mins in a moderate oven. Easy. While it is baking, get on with the filling.

Cut up the left over chicken and ham, set the bite sized pieces aside in a large bowl. Then get on with making the roux. Butter is always better. Wop in about say 2 tablespoons of butter and melt in a pan. Add the rosemary, a bit, the nutmeg, pepper and salt – to taste. Warm through as the butter melts. Then add the same volume, 2 tablespoons, of flour and mix into a paste on a low heat. Increase the heat as you become more confident. Then add milk slowly on low heat, increasing the heat in direct proportion with your comfort taking risks.

The roux will slowly thicken, keep adding milk until you reach about 1 cup. The ratio of flour to milk for roux is about 2 tablespoons of flour to 1 cup of milk. We want enough roux to cover the chicken and ham. So make as much as you need. Last but not least stir in about 1 tablespoon of seed mustard, then pour over chicken and ham.

Let pie case cool a little, as you choose. This pie is all about self determination – remember, so follow your instinct. Then when the right moment announces itself, pour the chicken, ham, roux filling in to the pie case and cover with pastry. Mold pastry to pie case, slice some air vents in to the pie lid then cook in a moderate over for at least 20 mins.

Make as many pies as there are souls to soothe.
Eat half before you go away and half when you return.
All good.

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