A Six-Word Memoir and “Profound Thought” (and recipes)
First off, the six-word memoir is an idea I got from my favorite tea brand, Honest Tea. They have really neat quotes on the inside of their lids, and their latest venture has been to take “six-word memoir” submissions from their fans and use them on the caps. It’s really neat trying to condense your thoughts into six-words. Second, the idea of a “profound thought” comes from a book my book club read last year, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. In the novel, a precocious 12-year-old girl keeps a journal of her “profound thoughts” and “beautiful movements,” many of which are very perceptive.
But I’m thinking this won’t really be a “profound thought”…probably something more like an “interesting springboard.” What you’ll get is an idea that I’ll just run with, in a stream-of-consciousness style. Plus, I don’t really have time to go back and edit, so the first draft is the last draft. Here goes!
Six-Word Memoir: Exhilarating find – a mom like me.
Women need other women in a profoundly deep way. Perhaps it is sisterhood we need or a “partner-in-crime.” Either way, I have discovered over the years that my sister-friends are indispensable. They bring a depth and richness to everyday life. At our book club meeting this evening, we discussed the book Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. Not a great work of literature, but a delightful Southern romp celebrating women, friends, and mothers. A major motif in the book is the concept of the “Life Book.” Basically, a chronology of people and events that turns a page in your personal story.
Anyways, exactly a week ago, I took my daughter to a playgroup. It was only our second visit (the first being way back in May), as her nap time always conflicted with the times of the playgroup. It just happened to work out for us that day (though not really, because she crashed really hard when we got home). I wasn’t quite sure if would continue visiting the playgroup, as there didn’t seem to be too many children DD’s age attending. Wouldn’t you know that another mom took her son there for their first visit? Our children are about the same age, so we started talking. One thing led to another and we discovered that we were having the same sleep issues with our darlings. And that we shared similar parenting values and philosophies. And interests, even. Plus, our kids are both firsts (it kinda DOES make a difference whether you’re dealing with a first-time mom or a veteran). What are the odds, right? So many “coincidences” came together perfectly (as a GF said tonight, “Coincidences are your God’s way of winking at you.”). Not to mention the perfect timing…just when I start to feel like I’m never going to find a mom-friend with whom I’ll enjoy spending (lots of) time. I think a page just turned in my “Life Book!” 😉
Of course, that got me thinking about my “old” friends. You know that saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold?” Slightly inaccurate, as I don’t think you can really rank your true friends. I prefer to think of my friends as pieces in my jewelry box; each one of them is special. Some are for special occasions, some make you feel special, some you wear all the time, some you bring out once in a blue moon. But all are precious. All of them had a part in making you who you are and bringing you to the point you’re at in your “Life Book.”
About six years ago, we moved to this area for my husband’s work; I had to turn down several promising job offers in Dallas for the move (a not-so-happy page turn in the “Life Book”). Imagine my dismay on finding that all I could get for work here was a stockroom job at Old Navy. After a few months, I was offered a position teaching music at a private school where I’d been subbing. Even with the teaching job, I didn’t feel like I quite fit in. Then one day (four years ago), a parent invited me to a book club meeting. Page turn! This friendly action set off a chain of events that has brought some of the most wonderful women into my life, many of whom I will treasure forever. I finally felt like I belonged. The birth of my daughter last year ushered in another page turn; the youngest child of my local girlfriends is 7, the oldest is near my age. I thought it might be nice to have a mom-friend who was going through the paces, too, but it wasn’t a high priority. I did make some friends through Ravelry (knitting community) since becoming a mom; I correspond with two of them regularly (bonjour mon ami du Québec! and howdy partner!); as usual, they came into my life at the right time.
Once my daughter started walking and becoming more social, however, it became apparent that I needed to find a friend for her around her age. Which meant that I had to reach outside of my comfort zone (I tend to be shy) and learn to overlook at lot of differences. After a few months of not-always successful attempts, I got last Thursday. Anyways…to sum things up (because this is getting a little verbose), I feel so fortunate to have made another friend. And yay for you!!! You made it through my little soapbox speech. Now for your prize. 🙂
Maybe some time in the next week or two, we should find some time to celebrate our friends? To help you get started, here are three recipes that I used for tonight’s book club meeting: egg salad, lemon poppy seed salad dressing (for a regular salad), and ginger peach iced tea.
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and diced
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 c Miracle Whip
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 dill weed
- 2 tbsp chopped onions
- any other additions you like, such as celery, relish, or olives
- Mix together the Miracle Whip and seasonings (not the butter). Helpful hint: you can store this salad base for use later.
- Blend in the melted butter.
- If you had any additions, add them now.
- Fold in the eggs.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hr to allow the flavors to marry.
- When you are ready to serve, spread on bread (for sandwiches) or on buttery crackers. You can also have it as a side salad.
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/2 c white sugar
- 1/2 c fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp diced onion
- 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 c vegetable oil (or use a healthy oil such as olive or grapeseed)
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- In a blender, combine the sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt until well-blended.
- With the machine still running, add oil in a steady stream until the mixture is thick and smooth.
- Add the poppy seeds and blend a few seconds more to mix.
- Serve at room temperature.
Ginger Peach Iced Tea
- 10 regular-sized bags Earl Grey tea
- 1 inch of ginger, peeled and mashed
- 4 c boiling water
- 4 c ice
- 2 ripe peaches, peeled and diced
- 1/4 – 1/2 c sugar
- Place the tea and ginger in a heatproof container.
- Add boiling water and let the tea steep for 8 minutes.
- Place 4 cups of ice in a pitcher.
- Place a sieve over the pitcher and pour the steeped tea over the ice.
- Discard the tea bags and ginger solids (or use in your compost bin).
- Liquefy the peaches and sugar in a blender.
- Mix into the tea and serve cold.