STATESIDE STORIES: CHRISTMAS PUDDING !

BlogsBlogs & Archives

Peace is always, for the peoples of Earth, a “work in progress”. In the modern era in which we exist, the average person is living longer. This means we have more time to learn to be wise, and we have no excuses left not to be wise in our dealings with each other.

Happy Holidays! FELICES REYES MAGOS!

Mary Foran

War. We don’t want to think about it, start and continue it, remember it, or acknowledge it. But clashes among different cultures, ethic groups, languages and classes, are the stuff that History is made of.

In this Christmas Season, we turn our thoughts to “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men”, and try our best to pray for peaceful co-existence on this pretty little blue planet of ours, spinning around in a star-studded black void, warmed by the sun.

Wars still rage in the hearts of men, however, more serious than the rivalry of opposing soccer teams, more deadly than we like to admit. We can’t condone the mayhem of terrorism. Perhaps those bent on that should realize how self-defeating it is to hold a grudge, and be wiser about how long they hold on to it.

Peace is always, for the peoples of Earth, a “work in progress”. It has been said, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Strangely enough, in the modern era in which we exist, the average person is living longer. This means we have more time to learn to be wise, and we have no excuses left not to be wise in our dealings with each other.christmas-wishes-with-candle-by-scott1346-cc-by2-0

Spain, on the brink of a new era, knows the problem well. Spain is a vibrant country, ready for anything and developing hope. In the U.S.A., people have learned to distrust where before they trusted. 2016 has been a roller-coaster of a year for all, as leaders have been tossed out and tested by “John Q. Public”.

As a member of the “Baby Boomer” generation, I remember the astronauts landing on the moon and calling that spot “Tranquility Base”. The Moon Project was described as “One small step for Man, One giant leap for Mankind.” (That is supposed to include women, of course!) Their vision was a world at peace, with international co-operation the basis for scientific explorations.

The Sages of Old knew the benefits of peaceful international relations: perhaps it is just a matter of gratitude for the moments of peace we achieve.

Meditating on the meaning of Christmas, the general impatience with “political correctness” in the States that has delivered President-elect Donald Trump a victory in the recent Presidential Elections, and what the future holds for us all, I have come to think that the Tree of Knowledge falls flat, when one becomes a diplomat! That means that maybe a total Washington political outsider is what America needs in the next four years to deal with the challenges the U.S. faces.

And just for your enjoyment, here’s an authentic “Good Housekeeping” recipe for that old favorite, Christmas Rice Pudding!

Ingredients:rice-pudding-by-merete-velan-cc-by-sa2-0
7 cups milk
1 cup regular long-grain rice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation time: 5 minutes plus chilling

Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Instructions:

“In a 4-quart saucepan, heat milk, rice, sugar, and salt to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is very tender, about 1 hour. Pour rice mixture into medium bowl, and stir in cream and vanilla. Refrigerate until well chilled. Makes 8 servings. You can sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on the pudding to make it even more special for your Christmas guests!

If you want to get a jump on your New Year celebrations, try adding a little spiced rum or brandy to the mix towards the end of the cooking time!

An anonymous American quip says,
“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.”

Images
Featured image by Kevin Dooley, CC BY2.0

Xmas candle by scott1346, CC BY2.0
Rice pudding by Merete Velan, CC BY-SA2.0