The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, November 26, 2010

PATTERNS AND RECIPES (and don't forget the wiffle)

Yesterday, while at a Thanksgiving celebration at my brother's house, I started thinking about patterns. I've been watching the Patterns discs again, getting ready to start back up with Lucky. When I can't move forward with him, I move forward in myself. Later that translates back to moving with him again, kind of like a dance. Practice, then practice again. After that throw out the rules and do what comes natural. But I wanted to talk about Patterns. (Don't worry. I'll connect all of this later.)

Patterns repeat themselves through the generations. Sooner or later you find yourself saying and doing some of the same things your parents did. " I can't believe I just said that! I sound like my Mother." And we always say that with shock too, don't we? I know I did. I can still remember looking at my hand holding on to my son's hand and remembering what it was like when I was little and had such confidence in my Mom when she led me. The world was big, but she was bigger, so I always felt safe. And then there I was, a young Mom without my Mom to help. She was dead, much too soon in her life, and I was alone without her. So, I repeated the Pattern that I remembered. I tried to be bigger than the world was.

I've been telling friends for years now that I was "Parelli" before I found Parelli. That's why it resonates so well for me. Pat and Linda Parelli have created a systematic approach to working with horses in a sane, thoughtful, positive way. They practice what they "preach" too. The "talk" and the "walk" match. The dignity of the horse is carefully preserved and protected, as well as the human. Between you and me, I hope this is one of those Patterns that begins to bleed over in to the rest of the world too. I know it's integrated in to the other parts of my life. More Patterns. See how this works?

There are bad Patterns too. I watched my brother with his younger son, yesterday, and saw some of the behaviors that I saw with him and my Mom (I'm the oldest sibling in my family). But I've also watched him repeat a Pattern with his oldest son that is exactly like the one he had with our Father. He has rejected his son and our Father had rejected him at the same age! It's frightening when you see things like that start over a generation later. And it's sad too. It's one of those situations where I don't know whether to say anything or not, so I choose not (for now anyway). It must be something they have to work out during this lifetime. My impulse is to bonk him up side the head though. BONK...BONK! "Can't you see what you're doing? Be "bigger than the world" and take the first steps back to healing this."

Sometimes I teach the wrong Pattern to Lucky too. For a while he learned that he could pull out of my hands, so he did. He didn't go anywhere. In fact, he always came back to me. But it was still a form of bolting. It was dominate behavior that had to be curbed. It took a while too, trying to untangle things and find out where I made the mess. It wasn't was mine. I made it with poor timing, a goal oriented attitude and by putting myself and my timeline first. He made it very clear that I was no longer his ideal leader. Oh boy. That one hurt.

So, I tried to be "bigger than the world" with him. I wanted his confidence and respect and regard back and I had to earn it too. It took a thousand baby steps to get us back together again. Which brings me back around to making my own Patterns in the world that are worth repeating. If I remember to place another's dignity in front of me, reminding myself to preserve it and to show respect to their feelings and ideas, it becomes easier for me to be a partner that others want to be with.

With that in mind, I've decided to start a new Pattern. I've been trying to think of a way to share gifts with my friends without proselytizing or spending money. It is the season for giving, and I always feel good when I have a gift for friends. I'm going to write everyday on my BLOG from now until the end of the year. And I'm going to put one of my favorite recipes on here. I love to cook. It's one of those things I do to "go to the zone". It relaxes me and rewards me at the same time. I love to watch people eat my food and really enjoy it, spending time together talking and laughing while we eat. It's always a win-win situation for me.

Since I can't be with everyone, I can at least share the recipes. And since it's a BLOG, it's easy for people to read or ignore. It's even less intrusive than email is. I love that! It becomes a kind of accidental gift. People happen in to it, try a recipe if they want to and I get to share. Sounds like a winning Pattern to me!

I'm going to start with my favorite muffin recipe. It's easy, fast and packed with real food. I cook with whole grains and unprocessed foods, all organic unless there isn't any other choice. It's a recipe that you can change too, using other types of flours and extra ingredients (like fruits and nuts, spices and so on). In other words, NOW you get to throw out the rules and be creative. And don't forget to put the "wiffle" in them. The "wiffle" is all the good things you think about while you cook. If you add love, the energy becomes an important ingredient, making the food even better.


1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Grease your muffin tins with olive oil. ( I always use Organic First Press Olive Oil)

3. Get out your favorite mixing bowl and mix all the wet stuff together, beating it lightly.
Wet stuff : 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 fresh organic farm egg, 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk (We buy ours from a local dairy in a big glass bottle. It always has a cream plug at the top...the real deal.), 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey (again, if you can, buy local unfiltered honey)

4. Add the dry stuff and GENTLY mix it together. The secret of cooking with whole grains is to mix it just enough, not too much, more like folding it in. If you mix it too hard or to thoroughly it gets tough.
Dry stuff : 1 cup whole wheat flour (we buy ours from a Great Harvest Bakery. They mill it for you while you wait! Awesome flour. Tastes like nuts, sort of.), 1 cup whole oat flour, 1/2 tsp salt (I've been experimenting with fresh ground pink sea salt from the Himalaya's), 2 tsp's of baking powder, a couple of handfuls of dried fruit (I like raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, dried pears) and another couple of handfuls of nuts (pecans or walnuts are nice, raw) and, if you want to, add some ginger or cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla.

5. Ladle it into your muffin tins right away and pop it into the oven. They should take about 20 minutes to cook. A muffin stirred just right and cooked without moving it around or opening the oven should have a peak in the middle, like a tiny mountain.

6. Take a knife and run it around the edge of the muffin cups and pop the muffins up on their sides, then carefully put them in to a basket lined with an old, clean cloth napkin or flour sacking.

7. Serve it with lots of REAL butter (organic, of course) and your favorite jelly, jam or honey and a pot of hot tea!

Experiment. Have fun. and I'll be there with you, in my heart, enjoying too.

I am ever yours, Nancy, smiling with muffin crumbs around my mouth and jelly on my fingers


Parelli Central said...

Very cool post, Nancy!

Hmm, I will have to try this recipe once my kitchen is done! Sounds very yummy... looking forward to this pattern... :-)

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central

Nancy, smiling! said...

And there's lots more where that one came from too, Petra. I love to bake and cook.
I'm happy to share with you too. You'll have to let me know how it goes when your kitchen is done.

Nancy,out the door for last chores of the night...smiling, of course!