100 things

A soft sweet suggestion to remember how good you are.

2022 will be the 15th year in a row that my friend Gil and I have avoided New Year resolutions.  I don’t seem to meet many people whose resolutions last the whole year, except for friend Jackie, who resolves never to grow an inch taller and never to stop talking.  Every year it’s the same resolution; every year she makes it to the end in triumph. 

Gil and I learned of another suggestion:  write 100 things which make you proud of what you did last year. Crazy!  I thought.  Impossible! But I have been doing it for fifteen years now.   I was looking through some of the 100 Things from 2007 and 2008, thinking, “oh yes, I forgot how hard that was….” Or “oh yes, that happened just at the wrong time….” and I was pleased once again with the Me I was back then. 

It was, and still is, daunting to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and last year’s calendar and expect the pen to get to 100. But once the momentum is going, the numbers could even spill over the 100 mark,  as further ideas come to mind 

My lists are carefully numbered on lined pages.  Black ink on white paper, in sequence, often in chronology.

Gil’s, on the other hand. are voluptuous mind maps in multitudinous colours that cover two artbook pages in glorious bright swirls that – if you squint your eyes – could be a William Morris wallpaper design. Beautiful!

Writing them down — in any form — prevents repetition and provides a chance to reminisce.  And, focussing on the good things expands them into positive actions for the year ahead.  As my beloved husband used to say – frequently – “whatever you focus on you get more of.”

Sam’s Sausage Rolls

Sam and I were planning a church service, and the conversation, as it so often did, drifted into recipes.  When she described her sausage rolls it was hard to keep from drooling all over the hymn book.  “This I gotta try,” I said.  I did, and with her permission I’m sending it on to you. 

Ingredients: Sausages or sausage meet, ready-rolled puff pastry, stilton cheese, caramelised red onion, apple, whole grain mustard, 1 beaten egg (not pictured).

Sam uses 10 ready-made sausages, and I used about 1 lb of sausage meat, 1 teaspoon mustard, chopped caramelised red onion* about 4 tablespoons Stilton cheese and mix well. Gently unroll the puff pastry and flatten. With a pizza cutter, cut the whole sheet in half lengthwise. You now have two strips of pastry to make into sausage rolls. Mould a tube of the prepared sausage meat down the middle of each.

*note: to caramelise an onion, chop it and fry lovingly and gently in oil and/or butter. When very soft stir in some brown sugar and a squirt of balsamic vinegar. Mix well.

On one of the strips I also added half a coarsely grated apple dredged in flour, because Sam says there’s a tendency for eating apples to go “mushy”. Wrap the pastry around the sausage meat and seal with beaten egg. Brush the egg all over the tube, puncture with a fork on top. I thought it might be easier to slice the rolls if they were chilled a bit. It wasn’t.

Slice into desired size — Sam usually gets 16 rolls from one packet of pastry. I wanted mine for a party, so cut them in 1/2 inch slices. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, gas 6/7, 200 C, 400 Fahrenheit, until crusty and brown. [I had sausage meat left over, so mixed it with the leftover egg, apple, cheese, breadcrumbs and crushed ginger cookies, rolled into balls and put them in the freezer. Who knows what they will taste like!]

Thanks to DJR for allowing his hand to be pictured in this blog.


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