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The Fun Is In The Kneading.

My last message was inspired by learning a new method for me in making homemade yeast rolls and how the dough had to be punched down with the analogy of how life works. As a curious soul and a serious baker, I decided to override my intimidation of yeast and go for some yeast rolls which my family loves. I had a great experience which proved very satisfying so I will share my experience.

I love to watch other cooks and bakers’s videos and I happen to see Mountain Cooking with Missy and guess what she was making. Yes, homemade yeast rolls. To watch the video, go to her page on Facebook and look for the video for Hot Baked Rolls or a similar title. She does a great job of simply instructing us through what seemed hard to do previously. I don’t have permission to share the video on here at this time. If I get the okay, I will edit this post to include the video. She doesn’t have a written recipe so I watched a couple of times and assembled the ingredients. I paused several times and it worked for me. I am including photos.

This is so exciting to know how to make yeast rolls and I am sure that practice will make perfect or at least close to perfection. What I want to share are my personal thoughts on actually experiencing how this analogy works with some added enlightenments I experienced.

I was interested in the blooming of the yeast and it seemed to come alive (actually does become active) and I referenced it to life beginning as our bodies and minds develop, we become active and begin to “grow” as the yeast did in the glass with the sugar. It occurred to me that it needed the sugar to help it activate and in life don’t we need love or as I like to say “sugar”?

I prepped the liquid of milk and softened butter as instructed and then added the magical yeast with an egg. I stirred and stirred until it was mixed and as I did so, I thought of how we mix family, friends, school, romance, and together they work as a future rising star. I cannot express the childlike anticipation I felt peeping under the dish towel that draped the unknown yeast but as I watched (periodically checking) it grew and you can see in one of the pics, it rose and rose. It is the same in life when we strive toward a goal, relationship, and or career. It is with excitement but can include stress too. We swell with pride upon success and we will get punched down a few times or even many before we can become what we strive to be.

The kneading was the most gratifying part of the process. The feel of “my dough” under my fingertips was so much fun. I see why my friends have love to make yeast dough. It is like a potter spinning the clay and watching the art become a reality.

I can go on and on with how much insightful this experience was and will be in the future as now yeast rolls and bread making is my new friend. This is relevant in life as we should never get stale in our relationships, religion, friendships, and our careers. We should be willing and actually enjoy the kneading required for each of these. The bread of life has to be kneaded properly or it will not be flakey and delicious as it can be.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material and photos are sourced to the original author and location, if known, for credit references.

KNEADING THE BREAD OF LIFE

I have been so pleased with the response to one of my posts My Life As a Dumpling which has proven to be one of the most popular blogs. While I was watching its popularity, I was also a student of desire to accomplish making yeast rolls/breads. For someone who will keep trying with the mentality of I think I can, yeast rolls have not been a success for you…..YET!

I began researching and observing the baking/cooking groups I belong for hints, the ultra secret, the magical tip, etc. What I found was interesting so another attempt will soon be coming. As most of you know that have followed me, is I apply everything to everyday life and at 4 am one morning the enlightenment came and now it is time to share it with my readers. If any of you have not tried to make yeast “something” you should. You will see the relationship with my blog post of The Bread of Life.

I have provided a link to this recipe Courtesy of Chocolate by Grace.

When the dough has risen, punch dough down with a floured hand and shape and bake as desired.

I borrowed this instruction as the basis of my analogy of making yeast dough to life. One of the times I attempted to make yeast bread, I was so proud of the rise the yeast dough had made, I forgot this important step…In order for the final product to process and make the dough the best it can be, it has to be punched down, right, all of you best bread bakers? I thought about this and my daughter reminded me something I had said to her many times. Success is a result of many small failures. So the punching down may be a little overwhelming, it is part of the process.

In life, and in yeast bread making, some recipes require two or even three punch down tasks. Shortcuts to success are usually shortcuts to failure and it takes patience to wait for the dough to rise. Life works that way. Once in a while, we will see what appears to be instant success but if you study those successes, it was the result that seemed instant and a lot of time and patience with several punch downs taking place that gave the true success.

Now, let’s talk about another important step in making yeast dough, KNEADING. Here is another place or step that I failed. I am not a person who has a lot of patience and some would testify that I may not possess any of that beautiful talent. I want everything I do to be resolved, completed, and successful in a second or maybe two. That doesn’t work in breads. You can do the prep, the mixture, the perfect rise and yes, even the punch down and the second or third rise, but if you skip the proper kneading you won’t have the successful end result. I will provide how important the kneading is to the process.

I found a great article that is linked below with some excepts/pictures:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/kneading-dough-bread-baking-for-beginners-427562

Why We Need to Knead

The reason kneading is an important part of bread making is to create structure and strength in the dough, leaving it silky and soft with a little cushiony feel. Flour contains two proteins that combine to form gluten, which is responsible for creating the elastic texture in the dough. After the dough ingredients are mixed, the proteins are in a random pattern and knotted together. When the dough is kneaded, the proteins begin to line up in such a way that strands of gluten develop and create a structure that allows for the trapping of gases and the dough to rise.  

This is how we should see success in yeast baking. We should also see success in our lives if we are willing to do the work. If we get punched down, remember we will rise again!

I have some more thoughts about comparison of life with everyday events and processes. If we understand, some learning curve is necessary and practice makes perfect, we get life. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE TO LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES AND RISE TO THE TOP.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced to the original location and author, if known, for credit references.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

TODAY THE WORDS are HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Get the costumes out for the kiddies and for those adults who refuse to grow up and love Halloween as much or more than they did as kids. We have an average of 200 trick or treaters at our home each year. Over the years, we have had the cutest and some scary visitors. May all of the little ones be safe and have fun getting the sugar rush of the year. May all parents who will feel the effects of the sugar highs…..Patience dear parents….we used to be them!  I wanted to give us a little history which is later than the Celtic Pagan festivals for the dead. I found an excerpt from Bodie Hodge’s article for us to enjoy.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL! 

WE HAD FUN DRESSING UP OUR PETS IN FORMER YEARS AND NO PET OF OURS ENJOYED SEEING THE KIDDIES AS MUCH AS OUR WHISKERS.
HE EVEN FOLLOWED SOME OF THE KIDS ACROSS THE STREET. I THINK HE THOUGHT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TRICK OR TREAT WITH THEM.
WHISKERS in HIS HALLOWEEN COSTUME
MILLER’S HALLOWEEN 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The Name “Halloween” (Excerpt by Bodie Hodge on October 29, 2013)

Around AD 600, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints’ Day, and Pope Gregory III later moved this holiday to November 1 in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan celebration.5

Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals celebrated something of positive spiritual value—in this case honoring the saints and martyrs. With the overwhelming expansion of Christianity in Europe, All Saint’s Day became the dominant holiday.6

In fact, the current name of “Halloween” originates from the day before All Saint’s Day, which was called “All Hallow Evening”; this name was shortened to “All Hallow’s Eve” or “All Hallow’s Even.” The name changed over time and became “Hallowe’en.”

A couple hundred years later, the Roman Church made November 2 All Souls Day to honor the dead. This may well have been influenced by the continued persistence of the day of the dead by the ancient Irish, Scots, and others in Europe. Standing against this, many Protestant Christians celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day in honor of reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others who spearheaded the Reformation in the 1500s.

Now for the deeper thought…..Many people wonder if Halloween should be celebrated. As anything can be used for good or evil; remember to keep good thoughts in any holiday with reverence and kindness. For us, it is a time of fun for the the children to dress up in costumes and go to either church events and/or going around the neighborhoods for treats. It is up to the individual families to decide for themselves. We, as children, had so much fun trick or treating, I cannot see harm in it; but again choose for yourselves and enjoy your children doing something fun.

An alternative to Trick or Treat is the Trunk and Treat which a lot of churches are participating to control the risks of going home to home which has been successful.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Colossians 2:16–17 (NKJV)

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.


(c) copyright 2012- 2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission and third party material is sourced, if known, for credit reference.

SWEETS AND SWEET FAMILY TIME

I thought I would double up on the blog and share one of my recipes I created and my family time. This past weekend, we combined both and it was so sweet. Due to so many health issues, work related tasks, and also the confinement atmosphere due to the economy and the COVID reoccurrences, our family time has been limited to the extreme. After a lot of thought and contemplation, we agreed it was time for my sister, my daughter, my husband, and my sister’s great granddaughter to gather at our house and do some cooking, laughter, outings, and good ole talks. Of course GA DAWGS played and we mixed yelling and catching up at the same time.

First, all of you have learned how close my daughter is to me and her stepdad. We share a lot of weekends now that she is closer in proximity. She and I love to cook both separately and together with created dishes that we create. This weekend we took different tasks and then put them together at our house with our guests. On the first day, Saturday, we went out for lunch, seafood at a local restaurant Charles’s Seafood, been here forever but still great food. Since the DAWGS played at 3:30 pm, we chose to eat out and get back to the house to cheer them on to victory. Pizza was delivered later that day with dessert available with ice cream for anyone who had an inch left in their tummies Next, I will go over the dessert recipe I created for a fall treat (or it could be great for any time of the year)

Here is our Pecan Apple Streusel with my recipe to follow. It was a winning dessert.

Top this wonderful fall dessert with some delicious ice cream and the guests will love you even more.

Our family visit was long overdue and we made the most of it. Before they came, I invited God to join us and it seemed we were blessed with the most joy and love we could have experienced.

To add to our fun all of the fur babies including Luna who spotted our uninvited little guests who put on a show for all of us in the backyard. You will see in the next couple of pictures who they were.

You have to look close but two young frisky squirrels were above Luna and she was on point. They played, almost like they were teasing her. Quite the show!

This was a close encounter as Luna was ready and all of us worried about both the squirrel and Luna.

Now for our Sunday dinner, with Missy making her awesome fresh garlic bread and her deviled eggs. I made a chef’s salad with ham and mozzarella cheese, black olives, pickled banana peppers, iceberg lettuce, and of course Thousand Island Dressing. For the main course, I made Lemon Garlic Peppery Pasta. Here is a summary of how it was made:

Our Sunday lunch which as my sister said was Better than Good!

Lemon Garlic Peppery Pasta

1 pkg. Spaghetti or other type of preferred pasta cooked in large pot with oil and salt

1 cup Pasta water (save from spaghetti pot)

Drain spaghetti after retaining pasta water. Allow to properly drain.

3/4 – 1 stick butter melted in large saucepan

1 1/2 T. freshly ground black pepper (I covered the bottom with pepper I ground)

Lemon zest from 1 lemon and the juice from that lemon

Freshly roasted garlic 4 cloves or as much as you like to taste.

1/4 cup chopped chives.

Salt and pepper to taste (I added a little more pepper at the end)

1 1/2 cups Picaroni cheese hand grated from a block

3/4 – 1 cup Parmesan Romano Cheese (freshly grated is best).

In a flat sauce pan, I melted butter with black pepper. Once I blended this together, I added the garlic, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 cup pasta water. I allowed this to blend and added cheeses. Once this combines into a sauce, I added the chives and the spaghetti. I gauged the sauce and added about 1/4 cup more pasta water. It is done at this point so turn off the burner. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and chives if desired. Bon Appetit!

My daughter and “my personal chef”Missy Haas, Makenzie Hester, Arline (me), and my sister, Juanelle Fussell. It was a great gathering. My husband was taking the photo, so next photo is Greg.
Greg Miller, my husband sporting his GA Bulldog shirt. Go DAWGS, we cheered you on to victory.

I hope you enjoyed our visit and recipes. One more joyful moment. Later, after Missy, Juanelle and Makenzie had gone, we were blessed again to have Cory, Teddie, Nolan, Mason, and Rubie Miller, more of our great family drop in because the youngest granddaughter kept telling them she wanted Nana. For those of you who have grandchildren know how they will fixate on one name when they are little. Nana made Rubie’s list and I am loving it. Granddaddy kids her but she was sharing a lot of love. They enjoyed Missy’s deviled eggs and then on to the dessert. It was happiness all over again. Mason showed me her pierced earrings and I told Nolan how everyone thought our German Chocolate cake we made was a big hit too. Great times for all of us and that brings me to my final thoughts.

When things try to get in the way of family times, and it seems you will not get to share times with your loved ones…..Stop and make time! It is never going to be easy to fit in time, but it is healthy for your soul and heart. It’s those smiles and laughter that keep us going and loving so fill ’em up and plan for the next visit. Live Life, Love Life, and Live and Love Life by Filling Your Days with Love and Family!

WHAT’S TO SAY ABOUT UNSPOKEN PRAYER REQUESTS

In a conversation recently, unspoken prayer requests came up and it brought back some thoughts I had originally about unspoken prayers. I felt a need to “say” something about unspoken prayers. I hope for some readers, it may make sense for the first time, answer some questions this subject may have raised when we see I have an Unspoken Prayer Request, and what the importance may be symbolic of this particular request.

I have given this topic some thought and in years past, I wondered why people have a reason for not giving specifics or details to enable the one willing to pray with and for them. I was confused when I prayed as it seemed obscure and I was not understanding the meaning of unspoken prayers. The following is from iBelieve and answers the definition of the prayers that are on the heart but not speakable.

God knows each one’s heart and mind with all needs for His Love, Mercy, and Healing. Image is from BibleVerseImages.com

What Are Unspoken Prayers?

Unspoken prayers can be those prayers requested when words are too difficult to speak. We can lift someone up to the Lord when they seek help, comfort, guidance, healing, and other needs. We can also give thanks and praise to the Father for being able to bring unspoken prayers to Him. There may be times when hearts and spirits are broken due to circumstances. Prayer is needed.

Perhaps someone is embarrassed to share why they are requesting prayers. When a person requests prayer without giving details, we are called to pray and not judge. Maybe the situation will be shared at a later time. Perhaps the person needs comfort and guidance from the Lord. We can pray and be assured that God is listening. He will answer in His timing and in His way.

I gave this thought and I was humbled on my previous questioning of what could be the reasoning behind unspoken prayers. It finally made sense and I realized that unspoken prayers may have more impact and importance than spoken prayers. Whatever the reason for a person to request prayers, we as prayer warriors should not question what the need is. As a matter of fact, God already knows the need and is looking for the faith behind the effectiveness of prayer, the trust to share prayer requests with others, and keeping communication between all of us and God.

I speak now to those who have needs that fit the category for unspoken prayers. Do not hesitate to call on others to pray for unspoken prayers as God knows and already has your situation under His Control. What we find when we pray is comfort and a camaraderie with the Creator of All. Solace and peace, guidance and protection, and a feeling we belong no matter how embarrassing or stressful our need personifies.

I have included an excerpt about praying for one another and if you click on the author, it should take you to the entire article in The Blazing Center.

PRAY For One Another And Watch God Do AMAZING Things!

November 6, 2018 by Mark Altrogge

God does AMAZING things when we pray for one another. 

Have you ever said to yourself or someone else, “There’s nothing left to do except pray”?

That’s a pretty silly statement when you think about it. 

When we pray for others, we’re asking our all-powerful God to take action. We’re asking God to do what we can’t. 

Praying for others should be our first action, not our last resort! 

When someone asks you to pull them up, you don’t ask why. When someone asks you to pray for them, you don’t need to ask why, just pray. God will take care of the rest.

WE STILL REMEMBER THE DAY THE WORLD STOOD STILL 9/11/2001

TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN THE WORLD STOOD STILL. We remember, and we in America, will always remember this particular day on September 11, 2001 when we had tragedy come to our shores by foreign terrorists. Seemingly, the world seemed to stop. If we ask anyone where we were on this day, we can readily tell you where we were and each of us have our “story” of 9/11. So many lives were affected by the almost three thousand lost lives both in New York and at the Pentagon as well as the flight which heroically crashed in a field to avoid more lives. In the midst of this terror, American heroes rose to be what Americans do best as they rose to sacrifice their lives to save others; some gave their lives to save others; and others gave aid while subjecting themselves to smoke and dust. Yes, America cried and we grieved as we still do thirteen years and in that grief; we honor those who are not here with us today; some innocently killed while becoming a hero for our way of life; and those who were forever injured either physically and/or emotionally; we hail them as heroes. 

American people have been accused of being selfish and greedy and anytime I hear this accusation; my mind goes to not only the days and years of this tragedy where so many have given money, time, and even their own lives to protect our country. Strangers helping Strangers; Families hugging Family members; charitable organizations not even hesitating going into Ground Zero to assist and contribute aid and supplies. For a day the world stood still; Americans were on the move as they have moved when other countries have needed help and Americans have been willing to be there even if they are mocked or rebuked. Why on earth would anyone rebuke strangers willing to help in those times when their lives depended on this unwarranted help? When their worlds have stood still; Americans with sometimes with no thanks to come MOVED to go to those in need. 

For my deeper thought….. I say today, while we are remembering the day our world stood still; AMERICA MOVED. We moved in love, help, compassion, and a willingness to do what we need to stay strong. We never forget; we MOVE. We are a nation of not only survivors but thrivers. WE MAY STAND STILL while we have moments of silence today for the victims; but we will applaud the heroes and even ourselves for loving our country, coming together as a country when it counts.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Romans 15:1-2 ESV

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 


(c) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges are reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location/author if known for credit references.

LET’S SLOW DOWN TO GET FAST RESULTS

What do I mean by this title of my blog message? I feel we have gotten into a manic rush form of thinking and doing. Let’s look at the names of appliances and social media such as InstaPot and InstaGram, Snapchat, etc. We have adapted our minds to an Instant Decision Making Process. No longer do we take reasonable time to consider the consequences of our actions. My focus on this message is perhaps on the important matters, we should use the Slow Cooker method to allow our decisions to simmer long enough to obtain the maximum positive results. Let’s dive in, and go over the options of pros and cons of thinking and how our actions can affect our lives.

Photo courtesy of Indeed.com (they own rights to this image)

My Assessment of this Use of Thinking Skills

In my lifetime, not one time but many, I have used impulsive buying as in see something, buy something. Impulsive buying has had a probable result of 50-50 satisfaction. I think if I had exercised 1, 2, and 3 steps, I could have moved my satisfaction meter up to at least 75% or higher. Tags on clothes, that I gave away due to the 50% non satisfied are proof.

Communication #4 has been boggled by social media. The intention of most of our social media platforms was to engage all of us, even though we have different locations, ethnic backgrounds, work diversification, religious and political beliefs, genders, etc. This sounds like a great idea but it also allows for dissension among the social media followers and argumentative actions can be counter productive. Maybe unbiased research and conversations in a private setting may be more productive and less hostile. Constructive criticism (I hate the word criticism as it negates any positivity so I like to use input or feedback) if used in a character building manner can be useful.

Problem Solving #5 is a way of life for me, maybe to a fault. If someone, even someone that I have the highest regard and value their intelligence, tells me of a problem or situation that requires solution and/or resolution I want to offer my opinion immediately. This is not a good thing and I am working on it. Let’s see what I have been working on to help solve problems but not mandate my solution:

  • If I ask questions instead of making recommendations, this gives the person an opportunity to self help of making decisions with a confidence builder for them.
  • Once a person has stated a problem, by asking a question of what they think should or could happen to resolve this problem, it puts the ball back in their hands. It becomes their decision, not yours.
  • Listening instead of talking, asking instead of telling will be more effective and the recipient of any input from me is better received.
  • Caring enough to follow up with someone who has stated a problem on the status, what has been accomplished, what is still outstanding, and if not resolved, ask what they feel is the next step.

I am going to take a step backwards to #2 Analysis. I am learning, WIP, to do what I term as Realistic Analysis. What is the difference by adding Realistic to Analysis? I am a writer and also a very positive person. I see the best, but I have learned that I have to expect realistic results. Prince Charming is not every man or every woman is not a Princess. There are trolls and evil queens outside of fairy tales. Realism is a realistic way of life and we should analyze possibilities in a realistic visual. Some examples are creams help diminish wrinkles topically but they are still part of the aging process and even though the creams help, we can expect this is an ongoing part of aging. We can dream to accomplish what we would love to happen in our lives, but the reality is, can we live without that dream if it doesn’t come to us? We can, we can also dream of other accomplishments we can realistically achieve while we work on the master dream.

Sipping Cups of Inspiration is now in its 10th year with well over 150 countries viewing it.

Let’s slow down, brew a slow brew of delicious coffee bypassing the instant coffee. Let’s doodle, draw, write, sing, dance, exercise, meditate, contemplate, envision, go fishing, watch football, baseball, or even work puzzles, cook or bake instead of take out. We are each going to come to a Stop Sign of Life and that is about as realistic as it gets. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY SLOWING DOWN TO SMELL THE ROSES!

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced, if known, to original location/author for credit reference.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Food For Thought: I have given much thought as to what effect if we knew what was going to happen before it actually happened. Would we change course, would we run as fast as we could, would we accept the inevitable, what would we do? During life, we get hit with unexpected situations, changes, losses, gains, relationships, moves, windfalls and devastations. We question Why and either celebrate or find ourselves wondering how we will overcome this obstacle.

I am not sure we would benefit from knowing. My reason for this assumption is in my life, I have grown from the difficult times. I have learned from my mistakes and yes, from other’s mistakes too. I have learned compassion and empathy from life’s events. I have mourned the losses, appreciated the wins, and have found and lost love. I have learned all friends are not true friends and have learned how to figure out which is which. I have worked for a long time in different vocations and if you asked me which I enjoyed the most I would reply all of them because each one taught me how to use different skills and talents. I have been shocked by so many things that these experiences have taught me not to be shocked and actually expect the unexpected. This taught me how to be flexible. I have learned to not depend on mankind without having the firm faith in God who takes care of us if we trust and believe. I learned from my experiences with mankind an important structural fact…Man is Limited but God is Limitless. Giving things in which we find ourselves limited over to God enhances the possibility of obtaining what is out of our control.

Yes, it seems like it would be an easy life if we had the prior knowledge of things to come. I would like to offer a hint to all who believe in The Holy Bible. It gives us a heads up as to the future. No, it doesn’t give dates but at least we are given a true picture, even those listed in parables, of the possibility of a future in Heaven where it will not be necessary to wonder what is going to happen tomorrow. Just saying, put our faith and trust in God that everything can be all right if we live for God to serve His Truth.

Have a blessed day in Christ and love each other as He Loves Us.

May be an image of sky

This is a short blog post that I placed on my FaceBook Page but I wanted to share with you. I do not push my faith on anyone as I firmly believe we have to find our own salvation. I do wish everyone peace and joy in your lives.

(C) Copyright 2012 – 2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to location and author, if known, for credit references.

MANAGING MY MIND MANAGES MY WEIGHT

I am happy to say that I turned 73 in June and now have lost 52 pounds! I thought this post bears repeating and even is more convincing with more results. I have a goal for next year at this time to report a possible loss of 10 or more which will put me at a 40 year lowest weight. My husband has jumped on the get healthier and in shape, but he will deserve his own post as he has made great and I mean great strides in the last 6 months.

I think this photo was taken when I was approaching the 50 pound loss marker.

Here is the original post that confirmed my life eating style change:

I am turning 72 in June and have lost 37 pounds. No, not by any miracle diet, not by restricting or avoiding any particular food……Smaller portions and when I eat the good foods outweigh the bad ones….Literally. Today, I am not an expert but I want to share my experience in a lifetime of fighting the bulge. I used to be an exercise advocate and to all of you who exercise, Kudos. As I got older, the thought of having to exercise is not as exciting as it used to be. I do stay active for my age but never do I hit the gym or track like the golden years of youth. Here is how I have gotten to where I am today and maybe, some of it will make sense to some of you and you get off the diet track and get on the eating the amount of food that you can digest without a lot of digestive side effects and maintain and/or lose some pounds. This is not a solicitation for any method of culinary preferences, just a woman who struggled for as long as she wanted and found a way to make it happen for her.

Arline Miller, 71 years old, 37 pounds lighter, and still loving life.

About 8 to almost 9 years ago, my husband encouraged or maybe the better word is demanded I go have blood work. I was the worst person as I felt good almost all of the time but had somehow began to fall asleep in the late afternoon even sitting up. I say this lovingly, and now appreciatively, I went to get him to stop saying everyone needs a check up at least once a year. Okay, so I gave in with no idea of what I was about to find out. First, I had always been on some kind of “diet” or “program” since I didn’t want to be fat so I could name so many diets I tried. My thoughts are any diet will work for the time you can stay on them. It is the harsh truth that it is almost impossible to stay on any diet for a long period of time. We get bored eating the same foods; we feel victimized and controlled so we rebel; or the excuse event such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, cruises, trips, etc and we make the almost guarantee to fail on the diet statement of “I will eat a little now and go back on my diet, just this one time and it will be fine.”

PHOTO OF ME before the weight loss and I wish i showed a picture of my whole body at the time. This is me at my highest weight.

On to the chapter of the doctor’s appointment: I go and cheerfully think I will be fine. I was just tired, no problem. I am a go getter and workaholic so that is why I feel tired. Right? No, Wrong. I will repeat the words my doctor said to me, “You are a walking time bomb. You are diabetic with your A1C at 8 with hypertension, overweight, and your cholesterol and liver enzymes are out of sight.” What was he talking about? I was close to tears, in shock, and thought he was a jerk. He had to be talking about someone else, not me, not superwoman. Oh, did I walk out of his office in a fog, a stupor, and thinking he doesn’t know me. I had always had a mental theory I was okay as I kept a positive attitude.

When I got over my pity party. Yes, I had a big one and even contemplated accepting the bad news and not doing a blasted thing about it and go on with my bad self. Then it hit me that he actually said, walking time bomb. Uh oh, that meant if I didn’t do something to change or diffuse this bomb in me, it was, or rather I would explode. I woke up in the reality, what I was doing was not the path I had to choose.

Food satisfies when it is dressed up for the celebration of a meal.

Next, all of the dieting experiences I had previously performed looked like the way to go. On one program, then to the next, and then trying another one as I had a hard time either eating all salads or meats, or only bland food. I am a rebel and this jerked my chain and I would think even when I was losing weight that I am not living; I am existing.

I decided once I had lost 17 pounds and wanted more off that me restricting my foods only raised the element of rebellion in me. One day, as I wake up very early, I had an epiphany to try to eat small portions of those foods I crave and eat healthy foods in larger portions so here came my new eating way of life. If I made potato salad, I took out a heaping tablespoon of it and placed it with my other food. If I made a cake, I cut a small slice, almost a sliver, but I ate it. I cut my portions of meat down to 1/3 of a fried chicken breast and yes, it was fried or from the air fryer. I eat a tablespoon or two of mac and cheese, rice, potatoes, and I will eat 5 or 6 french fries. I don’t ever take out large portions and I eat a half bowl of soup, spaghetti, or a small plate of mini portions. I eat a good size salad and use my dressing of choice but I don’t pour it on, I use it sparingly. The surprise from this change is I am full even with smaller portions and find I cannot eat a large quantity of anything. I retrained my mind and that is why the title of this blog is Manage Your Weight is To Manage Your Mind.

Make your plate pretty and now, my plate would be a salad plate and a lot less quantity.

If you want to try this method, don’t do it all at once. Try cutting the portion of the highest carb or sugar foods first. Breads can be cut out or lessened in amounts. Just be conscious of the amounts not what you eat. If you have a sandwich, cut it into four (4) square pieces. The mind will adjust and feel you have eaten more. The next time, make a half sandwich and cut into two (2) pieces. You will be amazed at how you will feel satisfied since the separate pieces will give you the satisfaction of more than one. Cut pieces of meat into smaller pieces prior to beginning to eat as you will see more pieces and it will feel like more. The next time, cut a larger piece of meat in half and do the same thing and so on and so on. Peel fruit and go ahead and separate the slices on your plate. The next time cut the fruit in half and you will find yourself eating a lot less over time. Make your plates pretty no matter what you are eating. That is something I do feel I do that makes whatever, even if small portion, is enticing and calms the cravings and satisfies my desire from food.

The old saying of make sure you eat everything on your plate is the root of all food evil. On this luscious and healthy meal, there is nothing wrong with eating small portions and repurposing food for another meal. I will have some blogs on my repurposing food anther time.

As I think that i will spend some blogs on how this process has changed my life and how much sweeter it is now that I know a small taste of something good, instead of feeling deprived keeps me on track. It’s the mind, not the diet, that causes the best things to happen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known to the original location for credit reference.

Reinvention Queen Revisits Potatoes

The following post was from almost a year ago and I decided that it is getting that time again for thinking of chowders, oyster stew, soups and chilis so what better way but to revisit this idea. Look for the other ideas for reinventing our normal foods into a new dish. Here is how I expanded some great potatoes into a delicious c

Yesterday, we were the recipients of one of my husband’s long time friend, David Fletcher who is an avid gardener, first bounty freshly dug new potatoes and awesome fresh garden grown onions. I was over the moon with the sight of the vegetables and I washed them off and thought of my childhood. Before I share both of my dishes, I thought I would reminisce a little.

When we were little, times were not easy but they were good. I don’t have a memory of a horrible childhood but rather a time much simpler than all the craziness in the world. We had neighborhood playmates and if we could be called a gang, it was an innocent one, and we now call ourselves the Willow Street Gang. One of those neighbors is smiling if he is reading this, as Duane Tucker and I jokingly refer to our days on that little street in my hometown of Douglas GA. Now, for the background story of the new potatoes or potatoes in general. To say our Mother could stretch a dollar for a mile, would be to insult that crafty lady. How she could make a meal out of almost no cost is still a mystery but one I remembered after I became an adult.

We may not have had a bounty of food but she always had just enough to feed us all. There were four children and two adults and one can of salmon would feed us and we left full. A mess of potatoes and we had the creamiest, tastiest, and filling meal. She would make bread to go along with it and sometimes if a neighbor had surplus and we got vegetables, oh yeah, we ate well. As I stated, she could make enough for us growing children to leave the table satisfied. When I made the fresh new potatoes, I was smiling while cooking them. Now, let’s move on to how I made two meals from this yumminess.

A large pot of stewed new potatoes with so much flavor.

Arline’s Stewed Potatoes:

  • Approximately 2-3 lbs of potatoes (new for me but regular russet potatoes can be used)
  • 1 large onion preferably sweet Vidalia or similar sweet garden variety chopped
  • 1 large box chicken or vegetable broth (chicken used)
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • Mixture of garden herbs with more dill than others
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour (either type, SR or AP)
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T Onion Powder

Scrub potatoes and cube into large bite size pieces. Place them into large pot with the broth. You can use some water in addition to broth if you need to fill to above potatoes. Add butter cut into cubes with crushed or finely chopped herbs as stated above. Cook until potatoes become fork tender on medium heat.

In a small cup, place some of the broth and flour and whisk until flour is dissolved. Add to pot and mix together. Add cream to potato broth with salt and pepper and onion powder and turn on low heat. Cook until they are very tender. Turn heat off and let the potatoes soak up some of the thickened liquid. (Tip: If liquid is not thickened enough, you can add a small amount of corn starch or mix small amount of flour to thicken to a sauce of richness.

These were so delicious that I almost didn’t make the next dish from the leftovers but I couldn’t resist the reinvention from them to the easiest clam chowder I have made. I made my simple but you can go wild with carrots, celery, whole kernel corn and use canned clams. The possibilities are endless but this one was put together in a couple of minutes with the biggest task of opening cans.

Reinvention Step of Enhancing Stewed Potatoes into Clam Chowder in Five Minutes.

To the pot of new potatoes, I opened three cans of Bar Harbor New England Clam Chowder but may I say, there are numerous brands of canned great chowders on grocery shelves so I used what was in my pantry. I added some celery seeds, garlic salt, mushroom seasonings, oyster sauce, and some Old Bay Seasoning to pump up the chowder flavorings. This I leave to all of you fine cooks, use your creativity. You can make it spicy and/or hot, but I go the middle of the road.

In a few minutes, I have a new meal so that it doesn’t reflect leftovers. This morning, I will return the chowder to the stove top and cook it very low and slow for all of the flavors to blend and when it is lunchtime, it will be Chowder Time at Millerville. All of this done with very little effort.

Here is the clam chowder complete with grated white cheddar cheese.
I seared some scallops marinated in buttermilk and herbs galore and seared them in a hot skillet with butter, grape-seed oil, soy sauce and oyster sauce. I made a roulade sauce. Definitely a delicious accompaniment to the chowder!

Until We Cook Again……Happy Meals……Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if used and original location and author are known, it will be sourced for credit reference.

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