I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Choose Laughter

  Me with my Mother and Grandmother - September 2008

At times we get a glimpse into what might be while spending time with older relatives. You become an observer to what waits for you as you approach the end of life's road. It can be a very sad and painful time but luckily as with all other times in life it to can be fraught with joy and laughter as well. Thank God, we can laugh even through insurmountable sadness.
My mother spent her last several years of life living in a nursing home a potential existence most of us view with fear and dread. In my mother's case this was a welcome and much needed chapter in her life and fortunately in my mother's case her time in the nursing home was a very good, loving and nurturing experience.
My grandmother's road in life has lead her to an assisted living facility, considered to be a step up from a nursing home but in the eyes of many who are living there it is another cruel act of life that rids us of our independence and ability to choose.
What I have observed so far in my 51 years on this earth is; we live to gain as many chronological years as possible hopefully filling those years with love, laughter, hope and our God given free will of; "choice". Choice, the freedom to think independently and choose between what you deem right or what you deem wrong, what you feel that you need or that you don't need, what you want or don't want, who you love or don't love.....How you wish to be cared for, who will be doing the caring and where you will call, home.
What I have learned as I lovingly observe all these potential " future me's" is as we forge through this life with all its joy, hardship and never-ending changes. As we gain years our list of choices becomes smaller and the unpleasant choices seem to out number the pleasant ones.....except for one choice that is always ours to make no matter how old we are or where we are on this road in life and that is to laugh. Laughter will always  help us to rise above the gloom and shine down on us with a light that lets us know that we will and can survive this moment and any moment that life can throw our way.
I am posting a recipe for shrimp croquettes because they became a source of laughter while having a dinner visit with my grandmother. Let's just say a woman that was seated two tables away from ours took great issue with her croquettes and it just grew into being comical. My grandmother who was in a crabby mood (which is most of the time) even began laughing, she looks so much better with a smile on her face......so here is to the power of laughter, smile and enjoy!

Shrimp Croquettes

3/4 lb. frozen cooked shelled shrimp
3 tbsp. Crisco
1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. snipped parsley
Dash of pepper & paprika
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. water
1 pkg. (8 oz.) frozen peas with cream sauce

Defrost shrimp, devein if necessary. Chop finely (about 2 cups). Melt 3 tablespoons Crisco. Blend in flour. Add milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until very thick and smooth; remove from heat. Add onion, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings; stir in shrimp.
Preheat Crisco for deep frying to 350 degrees. Shape shrimp mixture into 8 cones. Roll in crumbs. Combine egg with water. Dip cones in egg mixture roll in crumb again.
Deep fry a few at a time until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn if necessary, drain on paper towel
Prepare peas according to directions on package. Spoon creamed peas over croquettes.

Makes 4 servings.


Little Love said...

Well said Jules. Your ability to laugh through some of the toughest moments in life still amazes me. Let alone how you help others to laugh when life is less than kind to them. I have had the pleasure of such laughter with you and am forever greatfull. I love you Jules and keep laughing.

Julie said...

Thank you Little Love and I especially thank you for no longer using "Anonymous" when you comment.I look forward to many more years of sharing life and laughing together.... I love you too !

Chris said...

What a lovely post! Makes me miss my gram so. Going to have to try these croquettes, as well as topping them with creamed peas. :)

Luica said...

Lovely blog entry. I enjoy reading your blog. And I passed on an award to you!

Julie said...

Thank you so much, Lucia.

Julie said...

Thank you, Chris.

Katy ~ said...

Your post really speaks to me as we are dealing with my mother's failing health and the issues that we are facing for her and for the family.

My grandmother used to make chicken croquettes, and I used to love them...such Sunday dinner memories...

So good to see a recipe like this posted because a good croquette recipe is very hard to find now.

Julie said...

Thank you, Katy so sorry to hear about your Mother.