Friday, February 22, 2008

Staying By the Stuff

Is everyone campaigned out yet? I know I am...stuff still manages to leak through despite the fact that I've been on a media blackout since Hurricane Katrina. That experience certainly jaded me about news coverage. It was the one time that I had intimate background knowledge of a hot media topic. And for all of the finger pointing, no one was pointing in the right direction. It made me wonder. If they missed so very much stuff on this, on what other stories are they skimming over details and cherry-picking facts? All of them? Most of them? I decided that it wasn't necessary to hear all of the issues or even current events debated and discussed into the most infinite minutae in order to make my decisions and sort of hunkered down into a kind of bunker attitude. Abandoning my six-hour-a-day talk radio habit, I turned my attention toward smaller matters: my own patch of blue.

It was gratifying to recently discover someone whose work I so respect voicing a similar train of thought. Chris Rice explores the idea that our greater center of power is not with our vote, but in the lives that we touch on a daily basis. Which is a rather exciting thought when we really dig into what that means. Our votes are each a single one in so many millions. So easy to get lost, overwhelmed in the slippery shifts of public opinion. We drop our bottle into the ocean and hope it gets found. And when there isn't much to pick from, then what is that vote really worth anyway? Don't get me wrong...I'm still voting! I know that each vote counts. How much louder our voice speaks, though, on an intimate level. When we're face-to-face and eye-to-eye, our words have more weight and make a surer difference.

Clearly, there is power on a global level and there are people who are called to serve there. Clearly, I'm not one of those. But there's comfort in knowing that being the keeper of the small and insignificant things has just as much value as being a mover and a shaker. "But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the stuff; they shall share alike."* Chris is right...our power is in the lives that we brush up against--and connect with--every minute between the four year voting cycle.

It's always exciting when connecting in a conversation with someone inspires a train of thought that ends up in a new dish that all of the Hobbits enjoy. Another homeschooling mom and I were recently discussing the satisfactions of good sourdough when she happened to mention offhandedly about using her sourdough to make Pig in a Blanket. That was a dish I'd not heard mentioned in many years and I stood there basking in the glow of the light bulb turning on over my head. I could see the Hobbits cheering over this one...what kid doesn't love Pig in a Blanket? That's got to be worth some serious Most Delicious Mommy points, right?

While gluten free bread dough isn't workable to the degree that wheat flour is, an approximation of Pig in a Blanket is indeed possible. So I played with it and came up with this combination, which is more of a stuffed bread than a wrapped hot dog. But there it is. I even renamed it, since all pork and beef hot dog sausage products at our fingertips have corn in them.

Buffalo in a Blanket

Gluten free bread dough sufficient for one loaf of bread
4 hot dogs or sausages

Line two bread pans with parchment. The dough will be evenly split between the pans. Spread a layer in the bottom of each pan, about an inch or so, using about 1/4 of the total dough for each pan. Lay two hot dogs or sausages side by side in each pan. Using the remaining dough, cover the hot dogs/sausages. Allow to rise the normal amount of time and bake at 350* for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool enough to touch, slice, and serve.

This was, as expected, a tremendous hit with the Hobbits...a quintessential comfort food. Turns out I did get extra Most Delicious Mommy points for this. Score, me!

Outside of the voting booth, I plow my energies and focus into making a difference on a molecular level: scraped knees, hornworm caterpillar collections and princess scepters. Laundry lines, vegetable rows, and jars of food lined up in the by day...staying by the stuff.

*I Sam. 30:24

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! And so simply to make! The rewards do eventually come----when you stay by the stuff.