Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy new year, ya'll

A musician must make music, a painter must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.

--Abraham Maslow

As the holiday season comes to an end with one final celebration of ringing in the new year, it is natural and customary to reflect on the previous year. I'll admit that some years I make new year's resolutions. John is a firm anti believer of the new year's resolution and he has a point. He explained to me the justification. "I make resolutions daily and I break them daily as well." I am now an anti January first resolutionite. Life is a roller coaster. It changes day to day, week to week, and month to month, season to season. Our lives need to be flexible and react to the current state of matters. Making a resolution that does not take that into account is a recipe for guilt and failure. Resolutions like many other things should happen all year long. Sure the new year in a nice clean date, is it realistic? Sure, resolutions for the new year are the first steps for many, which is important, I am saying why stop there, push yourself and create goals and healthy habits more often. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Goal setting isn't a bad thing at all, though something about the process of setting new year resolutions almost guarantees they can not be accomplished. I think that's because so many people base their resolutions on their desire to become "better" (whatever that means). The cliched American new year resolution is always about exercise and weight loss. But ... didn't we make that same resolution last year? Self-judgmental resolutions are bound to fail because they rest on a foundation of self-loathing, or at least self-dislike. It just doesn't work. I'm not saying it's wrong to think in terms of changing health habits, I would never say that. Do we really have to start the new year by being so harsh with ourselves? I imagine a little girl, resolving to "eat more cake." Now that's a resolution I want. "Have more fun," "Don't work so much," "Goof off." Wouldn't it be great if we hard working people made resolutions like that?

A healthy wish for 2009 resembles Abraham Maslow's thoughts: May we all be exactly who we are - no more, no less - in the coming year. Who we are, what we love, what we do, is always enough.

Like any good Southerner (vicariously through John...) we will be having black eyed peas to bring in the new year

Black-eyed pea dip, with garlic and bacon


1 15oz can of black-eyed peas, drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked

4 pieces of bacon

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup cilantro chopped

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon lime juice (1/2 a lime)

1 jalapeno, diced (can be fresh or pickled)

1/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack


1. In a skillet, cook the bacon. When done, crumble and place in a blender .

2. In same skillet, cook the garlic for one minute and then add to blender.

3. Pour 1 teaspoon of bacon grease from skillet into blender.

4. Add to blender black-eyed peas and all other ingredients except Monterrey Jack cheese. Pulse until ingredients are well mixed together.

5. Place blended dip into skillet, turn on low heat and slowly fold in shredded cheese. Cook until melted, about a minute.

6. Place in a bowl and serve immediately with tortilla chips.Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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