The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 18, 2011

No use crying over broken items ... or spilled milk

Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Do you cry over “spilt” milk? Think about it.

When I was a kid on the farm, we milked cows every morning and night. Usually, everything went fine, but occasionally an old cow would kick our milk bucket and the milk either would spill or be contaminated and have to be fed to the cats, dogs, or pigs. I always hated it when we lost all the milk for that milking. I fretted over it and somehow felt responsible. It turned out OK because we never ran out of milk or cream or butter, but I still hated it.  

Somewhere in there is a lesson for life. There absolutely is no need to worry about what already has happened. We can adjust the best we can, but we cannot undo what has happened.  

Many of us don’t try anything new or different because we think we will fail. Failing is the best way we really learn how to do things better. We learn much more by mistakes than we ever learn by our successes. We hate that feeling of failure and do something about it.  

Remember the old joke, “After going to a terrible movie, the goer drops a coin in a wishing well and says, ‘I wish I hadn’t seen that movie.’”? Well, there is no turning back. No need crying over spilled milk or something that already has happened.  

We have been cleaning our garage with lots of help from our friends. What a job! I hate doing it, but it will be wonderful when the attic and everything are in perfect order, labeled and a place for everything and everything in its place. We have discarded many old decorations and a lot of stuff we have “saved for a rainy day” over the years. Those rainy days never came, so we finally are parting with a lot of “stuff.” We both are from the old school of those raised during the Depression, when we saved things because we might need them someday.

We also save things because of sentimental value. During our cleaning, we found a whatsit. Finally, we figured out it must be an apparatus that folded the cover over a buggy. Now, we have no need for it, but I just couldn’t part with something that had been my great-grandparents’.  You can see what a job the cleaning is ... was.  

I hope when we look back we will not cry over spilled milk; that we won’t be sorry we got rid of a lot of stuff. Right now, we are happy it is all gone from our garage, but we hope in days to come we won’t start missing those “treasures.” No need crying — they are gone forever.

We need to look forward, move on and not look back. If necessary, we can purchase new things or do without.

I almost think it is sinful to hang on to things when others could be using them for good. With so many people stretching every dollar they make trying to make ends meet, it is the right thing to do to share what we have with others. I am not just talking about cast-offs, but other things, too. If I don’t need all my kettles, someone else might. If I have surplus clothing, then it should be shared with others. We all will be helped and better off.  

Our youngest granddaughter called us a few weeks back in tears because her little son had broken a bank we gave his older sister for Christmas. It was her first piece of ironstone. Shelby was devastated. It was broken into a million pieces. He is just 2 and has learned to throw a ball. Everything that resembles a ball he thinks he should throw. It doesn’t work for everything, and he is learning that hard lesson. I told Shelby like I am telling all of you there is no need crying over spilled milk, or broken dishes. That goes for anything that is spilled or broken or worn out that we cannot get back, no matter what we do.

I am as guilty as anybody of hating to break things. I have broken a few old, wonderful pieces of grandma’s dishes or keepsakes in my life, but my life goes on. I have learned to live with the memory instead of the item(s). They only are material things and are not like friends or family we cannot do without. It takes some adjustment and remorse, but we can learn to overcome the loss.  

I am sorry I have lost a recipe for a pear honey, preserves, chutney, or relish that is somewhat sweet, somewhat tart, somewhat hot, quite dark, spicy and the best stuff I ever have eaten. I have tried to duplicate it, but cannot get it just right. No need crying over spilled milk ... or that extinct recipe. It lives on in my memory, but not in my pantry.  

I visited with a lady this week who suggested I share more recipes for vegetable casseroles. It is difficult for me to come up with just one casserole, as I use so many leftovers and such in mine. Every time I make it, it is different depending on what I have on hand. This recipe is only a guideline for you to make your own special recipe. I simply call it “Easy, Cheese Vegetable Casserole.” I often put bits of leftover cooked chicken or beef or pork roast in it. I vary the amount of vegetables or kinds of recipes that are seasonal or that we especially like. Sometimes, I use mayonnaise instead of the sour cream. I omit the french-fried onions sometimes, too. Depending on the vegetables used and whether they are fresh or canned, guess on the amount of salt and pepper to your taste.

Easy Cheese

Vegetable Casserole

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (or about 3 cups of vegetable(s) of choice)

1 can cream of mushroom soup (I have used cream of chicken, too)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1⁄3 cup sour cream (or mayonnaise)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can french-fried onions

Additional cheese for topping

Combine vegetables with soup, sour cream, cheese and seasoning. Pour into casserole dish. Crumble onions over the top and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. If I am using carrots or vegetables that take a little longer to cook, I cook them a little before I make the casserole.

Don’t be afraid to try cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, squash, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans or any other combination or one by itself. You make it YOUR recipe.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.