Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sure last nights meatballs can become a lasagne!

I love my new way of eating; from health perspective and how it is so kind to my bank balance. Last night I took about 400 grams of minced beef and made a dozen meatballs. That fed two of us plus a little for breakfast. Tonight there were still 5 left over. What to do---why---break them up and make a lasagne with them! Layer a medium sized baking dish with some frozen vegetables. Break up half the meatballs onto that. Place a layer of lasagne sheets atop that. Place the remainder of the meatballs on that. make a sauce with water, pepper and some blue cheese--thicken it with cornflour. Put the final layer of lasagne sheets on the top. Pour the cheesy sauce over the dish and then stick some cheddar cheese over the top. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes at 180C. Go on--have a nice red wine with it! Pure easy pleasure and as I don't eat much---not worried about the fat! www.authorneilcoleman.com

Fruit cake (no not me!) or booze cake?

Upon returning home from my walk with Perdy last night, I espied the array or 'top shelf' booze that my sister had kidnly given me about a year ago and I wondered at the strength I had displayed over the last year in NOT drinking them. OK, I thought---maybe it's time to 'do' something with them. A cake---yes a lovely ruit cake with the addtion of copious amounts ot Drambuie (Stuffed if I remember the spelling!) and Frangelica! I chuckedinto alrge bowl some dates, raisins, half a packet of allspice, three eggs, a cup or two of assorted nuts, some gluten-free baking mix and squished it all up. INto that I dribbled very large cup of the first booze. I scrunched that up with my hands. ONG---the arom---the oozy smell in the kiotchen. I lined a cake baking tin and poured the thick heavenly smelling mixture ionot it and placed it in the oven at about 160C for 70 or so minutes. Whne I openned the oven, my eyes watered as the discipating booze hits me in the face. I could have gladdly ripped the cake out and eaten it thne and there (Yes, only small amounts these days). Damn, I thought---doesn't booze evapourate when above its boiling point which happens to be lower than that of water? OK---so I took it out and let it cool for about 20 minutes then I poured some orange juice over it (after making small holes to let it soak in) and then poured anohter large cup of highly booze over it. I stuck it back in the oven for 5 minutes and then let it cool. The kitchen smelled divine. I disciplined myself and showed great restraint before cutting a peice off and devouring it. Pure absolute heaven. Who needs recipes? Today I shared some with colleagues at work. I don't think they were terribly badly affected... they just smiled alot. Let's just call it a 'health cake'---hey---it didn't actually have any sugar in it! www.authorneilcoleman.com

Robin Williams bows out to depression---the silent killer! Gonna miss you big time!

Robin Williams reached across generations; from those who knew and loved Mork and Mindy, right up through to his latest films. How many of us laughed whilst trying to supress a tear or two last night when the media showed us Mrs Doubtfire with a burning bra, along with so many other treasures from hs life in all of its apsects. NZers loved him and the feeling was mutual. He loved to take-off our Kiwi accent and he got away with actions that some here would not have; willing and apparently able to get away with taking the piss re some cultural icons of NZ. Robin will be missed and his life must be made meaningful; that his way of leaving us must not be swept under the carpet; it should be an apportunity to once more brining to the fore, the subject of depression and where it can lead---death by suicide! Feeling 'down,sad, angry or all three at once is a normal part of life. It is when such feelings become part of our everyday life for weeks or months on end that problems and danger lurks. When a person feels so sad for so long that they feel like they are in a deep and dark well, with slippery sides that make it near impossible to climb towards the light, that we use the term 'clinical depression,' that is when help is most needed. It has other names but the signs to be aware of are its intensity and its length. If one feels so alone, without a helping hand reaching into their dark world, then life itself is at risk. Depression is not the 'possession of the rich and famous alone,' it affects your kids, your neighbour, family and you! I am not talking about those times when you get sad about a loss of a pet or loved one, where you need to take your time to grieve, but you know you will come through---it is those times when there is no light, no hope---you feel helpless and the feeling is never-ending. If that persists then the danger of something more serious expands, made worse if no one else notices.People who have 'been there,' often describe this state as being one that totally immobilzes them. The triggers to 'depression' are as varried as the people who suffer from it.It is not limited to any particular group, but it can be a scourge when there is some form of mass societal failure, like being in the position we are are witnessing in Syria or Iraq, but it can also stalk the halls of what we assume to be safe places; our schools, homes and workplaces. No scenario should be dismissed as being unworthy of investigation. Depression needs to be managed, ranging from simply listenning to an individual's 'story,' right through to an intervention from 'professionals. Depression may need 'talk therapy' or prescriptive medication. Many people suffering from severe depression are unable to help themselves; that is where a caring community comes to the fore, where people help the people they know are needing it and calling for help to make that happen. The 'resources' needed are not always readilly accessible so those helping need to be able to call on others to make things happen. That is where parens, teachers, nurses, support staff and counsellors in our schools must work together to keep our kids safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and for those outside 'the system,' those iscolated are most at risk. Poeple turn to 'subtstances to manage their depression and we all knnow of people who use booze, drugs and other substances to 'take the pain away.' It is this 'feeling alone' to face the world that feeds inner 'demons' that take away our resilliance, that take away hope and replace it with hopelessness that concerns those working with 'depressed people' the most. Our direction must be to 'provide hope and good management, getting the support, lending an ear and enlisiting the help of 'specialists,' to enable hope to be restored. The message is---that we must work together--no one person can do it on their own. I have written a book about what can happen when a parent succumbs to depression and turns to a substance ('P'--methamphetamine) in order to cope with life. His slide towards the darkness is slow at fist, but it soon affects his family. ROSKILL is about a family in crisis as the the father struggles with his addicition. It is a story of hope! All teenagers should read it in order to explore solutions that explain wat to do when your parens 'do what they tell you not to.' Download it or buy it fromy website. Roskill is also featured in the September issue of MiNDFOOD, 2014, pages 44-45. Go and check it out. www.authorneilcoleman.com