Thursday, December 30, 2010

Man By the Freeway

Driving home today, passing by the freeway something caught my eye and made my heart ached. I saw a man with his back to the street, hunched over on a plastic chair and leaning against the wall at the same time. Next to him was metal shopping cart filled with plastic bags of something. It was a quick glance but I could tell that his clothes haven’t gone beyond shabbiness or that his hair hasn’t yet matted together with filth. It looked like he hasn’t been long on the streets. Perhaps he was recently homeless due to the tough times. My first thought, “Oh God. Poor man. Where is his family?” 

We all have a family at one point of our lives. Sometimes our family might not be the best family on the block or in the whole city, maybe even the whole state, but they’re still family. They’re there for us during the good times and the bad, to share with the joy and the misery. The bad patches in life are so much more bearable when we have someone to cry on or to share our troubles. That man was huddled by the freeway all by his lonesome. 

Then I got mad at life – how could this be so? Life should be a memorable journey of shared joy and gladness. There shouldn’t be tears, sorrow, or loneliness. Who would have the courage to go on living, knowing that in the future that’s the bleak future they face – a life of homelessness and loneliness? Then I thought about our society, the government, and our nation. It’s our bad luck that we do not have good leaders who care for the people, who truly take their office seriously as public servants, giving their time and efforts to improve the conditions of their fellow citizens. 

Then I thought about us as individuals who elected these officials into office. We have the power of the people, but we don’t make use of it. Every one of us live our lives isolated from the rest of the world, focused only on the advancement of ourselves or our families. Not many of us have the time or take the time to think about helping our neighbor or our fellow man, or our many brothers and sisters who have no place to call home, including our four-legged brothers and sisters that who looked at us with sad eyes.
I realize that in order to have a better world for all of us, man or animal, the change has to come from within us. We have to live with our heart and not with our mind. I think I read somewhere that the destruction of great civilizations came as a result of the neglect of the human spirit, the human heart and soul. We pretty much sold our soul for money or for a temporary material existence. 

I’m no different from anyone. I didn’t stop to inquire if he needed help. I didn’t know how I could help him. I didn’t know if I could take the time to give him a hand. Now I grieved that my heart had been so narrow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Parallel Universes

Blow your mind on this one. I came across this passage in Dolores Cannon’s book, “Convoluted Universe III,” and it blew me away:
Any time an individual has to make a decision they usually have more than one choice. This is what I call, “Coming to a crossroad.” They have to decide to go one way or another. It could be a decision about a marriage, a divorce, a job, anything. They ponder each choice and put a great deal of energy into deciding which path to take. Then they make a decision. We have all experienced these “crossroads”. We know that had we chosen to go the other path, our lives would be totally different. We decide to go one direction. But what happens to the energy that we have sent into the other decision that was not chosen? It also becomes a reality! Another universe or dimension is instantly created to act out the other decision, and another “you” is also created to be the player in that scenario. This was the simple explanation, because it does not only happen when we are faced by major decisions. It can happen each and every time we are faced with choices, no matter how big or small. Each time we make a decision, another universe or dimension is instantly created so the other choice can also become a reality, and another “you” splits off to play that part. They are all just as real as the present life we are focused on. We are not aware of these other parts of us, and it is wise that we are not. Our human minds would never be able to handle it all. I was told that the problem is not with the brain, it is with the mind.
This is the stuff of science fiction. I don’t pretend to understand it or even grasp it, but the possibilities this new concept presents are mind broadening. It makes the human life more interesting, more colorful, more varied…in ways that I cannot fathom. Seriously, many of “me” running around out there in some alternate realities, living lives that I know not about? But the question is: What’s the purpose? What’s the point of all of this? Is there a reason why we have parts of ourselves splitting off to experience a different reality? AND, do these parts of myself come back to me eventually? And who is the current “me”? Am I a copy of myself, a part that has split off some time ago to experience this reality? How do I know which one is the real ME?

Wow. All this is mind boggling and utterly mind bending. I have a bunch of questions with no way to find the answers...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Other Christmas Roast

What's Christmas without a Christmas roast to share with family and friends? A Christmas roast that gives me a clear and clean conscience, one that makes my heart light and happy knowing that I didn't take any life. Introducing the other Christmas roast that celebrates life as we celebrate the birth of Jesus' birth this holiday season!

Here's the recipe to make your own Christmas roast.

Christmas nut roast (serves 6)

6oz pecan nuts
6oz walnuts
6oz chestnuts
240g chickpeas
Cup breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons veg bouillon
225g vegan cream cheese
Teaspoon ground cumin
Teaspoon ground paprika
Teaspoon ground coriander
Teaspoon of Fresh Sage and Thyme
Salt and Pepper
3 small leeks
Puff pastry (this you can get at Tescos)
Soy milk to brush pastry

Make the breadcrumbs in the food processor. (Toast some bread slices and blend till crumbs)

Chop the leeks and fry until soft.

Blend together in a food processor all the nuts, chickpeas, breadcrumbs, spices, salt pepper, bouillon.
Then gently cook this mixture for about 7 minutes in a frying pan, until golden brown. Be careful not to burn the nut mix, you will need to add a little oil or veg margarine to prevent this happening.

When this has cooked, mix the cream cheese, leeks and herbs in and leave until cool enough to handle.
When the mix has cooled, grease a baking tray and roll out the ready bought puff pastry onto it.

Shape the mixture into a sausage shape in the middle of the pastry, then pull one side of the pastry up onto the top of the sausages shape mixture.
Using a pastry brush lightly coat the edge of the pastry with soy milk and pull the other half up to over-lap it.
Do the same with each end, folding the corners in on top of each other.
Lightly coat the top of the pastry with soy milk.
Gently slice the top of the pastry diagonally to allow air out and give guidelines for serving.
Bake at 200c for about 40mins or until brown.

Vegetables accompanying nut roast:

Roast Potatoes….. Boil lightly for about 5 minutes then put in a sieve and roll them about a little to fluff up the outside of the potato. Sprinkle with salt and roast in roasting tin

Parsnips and Carrots….. Cut into halves (you can cook these together) Again boil for 5 minutes then put in roasting tin (great to add a couple of cloves garlic and some fresh rosemary to these)

Brussels sprouts

Fry onion and one garlic clove lightly
Add salt and pepper
Pour in Bisto gravy, (made as per instructions on tin)
Add a sprinkling of herbs i.e. Basil/Sage then tablespoon margarine

Bread sauce
Take crusts off white bread slices (I usually use a whole loaf)
Take one large onion and peel, leave whole, stick cloves in onion till covered.
Put Onion in pan big enough for it and the bread, and cover with soya milk. Cook on low until the bread absorbs the milk leaving a thick sauce, add more milk for right consistency, add some salt and pepper and keep on low, keeping an eye not to burn, for about 30 minutes.

For dessert, have some apple pie =)

Knowing me, I wouldn't just wait until next Christmas to make this. I'd make it anytime I feel like having a fulfilling stuffed roast. I'd take it to a party too that I'm invited to. Like the upcoming New Year party. I probably won't call it a Christmas roast. I'd call it a "New Year Roast." At least there will be something for me to eat if my host didn't make anything blood-free. In fact, I'd offer to make this as it would alleviate my host of the burden of making something for vegetarians and vegans. Well, if I do go to parties, that is. I forgot when was the last time I hung out with friends. The only party I went to this year -- Christmas party with the family. It's just so peaceful when you're alone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yummy Nachos a la Wayfare


I still haven't decided yet if I'm going to the family's Christmas gathering, but I've figured out how to use the Wayfare Mexi Cheese Spread. I put some nacho chips on a plate, making sure I layered it nicely. Diced up half a tomato, half an avocado, and one vegan hot dog made by Loma Linda (the best kind I've found yet). I spread the hotdog bits on the plate, then layered it with diced tomatoes. Lathered on the vegan Wayfare cheese spread, stuck it in the microwave for 40 seconds. Then I took it out, sprinkled the top with diced avocado and dribbled on some salsa (or Sriracha hot sauce). Yum. A nice Christmas Eve snack in front of my computer.