Thursday, 29 May 2008
The Monster Beneath My Bed
"When I was a little girl, I was convinced that there was a monster that lived under my bed. No amount of cajoling or reassurances from my parents could convince me otherwise. I had not seen the monster, and I had not heard the monster . . . but to me he was very real. I felt deep down in my heart that he was there, waiting under my bed . . . and what’s more, I knew his dietary habits.
This monster was not just any old hungry monster. He was a monster with peculiar tastes. He loved to eat children and stuffed toys. Right from the tips of their toes and on up to their necks. That’s where his culinary appetite stopped. He could not abide eating heads. He thought heads were yucky. In fact, he thought heads were so yucky that he would not go near any one that he could see. He would not touch a head with a ten foot pole.
Laboriously, night after night, once my prayers were said, I would line up all my dolls and stuffed toys in the bed next to me and make sure that the covers covered them all the way up to their heads. My sister with whom I shared a bed with, and who had already been in bed for an hour or so and was already laying there fast asleep, got the same treatment. It was almost a ritual for me. Lining everyone up and making sure all their tasty morsels were covered . . . I would lay there in the darkness afterwards, very still, wide awake and quite sure that I could smell his monster breath, lingering right there under my bed, all the while being very careful that none of my own delicious bits and bites moved from underneath the covers, or showed, until later, at some point, I too would fall asleep.
I have no idea of how it all started, and I have no recollection of when it finished . . . this fear of mine. I do know it kept me in my bed after dark for years and years, on up into my early adulthood. It took all the faith I had to be able to kneel next to my bed and say my prayers, and once I got into bed, I did not move out of it, not for anything. Not even the need to go to the loo or wanting a drink of water could make me budge from my safety zone, all because of the fear of something I had never seen or heard, with only my imagination making him real and something to contend with.
The thought comes to me this morning, that . . . in this lifetime of ours, many of us still have monsters under our beds . . . things that keep us from moving around in the dark, and causing us to protect all our tasty bits, for fear of being found out or of losing them to some imaginary demon. This fear of the unknown, often prevents us from realizing our full potential and our dreams. It prevents us from stretching beyond our safe little circles, and perhaps even means we are only living half the life we were meant to live . . . and all because of something invisible . . . some fear that probably exists only in our imaginations. One wonders at the potential we could have if only we were able to throw caution to the wind and break free from our cocoons, flying out into the unknown in faith and in hope . . .
I reckon I live a pretty charmed life, this life of mine. This life . . . these experiences . . . they are things I could only have dreamt of as a child . . . much nicer thoughts than monsters under my bed. It suddenly occurs to me, that I have learned to take my tasty bits out from under the covers. This life I am living is solid proof that I have flown in the face of fear and conquered my imaginary monsters, for if I hadn’t, I’d still be alone and working in a donut shop back in Canada, for the equivalent of £2 an hour, and dreaming of how much better things could be. Yes, I have been blessed, but it took courage and faith for me to be able to take the steps necessary in order for heaven to be able to pour those blessings out upon my head. It took me believing in myself and putting all my monsters to rest, and stepping out into the unknown with faith both in myself, and in my God."
This was a re-print of a writing I did on my muses back in December. I am slowly moving some of my better pieces over here so they don't get lost. Hope you don't mind. If you've already read it I apologize, and if you haven't, then I hope you enjoyed it!
Thirty three years ago today, I was in the hospital getting ready to give birth to my oldest son. I can remember being very exited! I was only nineteen years old at the time and so incredibly naive. What a wonderful journey it's been these last thirty three years, watching my baby boy grow from a child into a man and now a father. I'm so proud of him, as indeed, I am of all my children. He's a wonderful son, a great husband and a fantastic father. I hope that he has a lovely Birthday today and that he knows how much I love him and all the good things I wish for him.
One of the things I fell in love with when I came over here, was Cheese and Onion Pasties. I had never heard of cheese and onion anything before and was a little bit reluctant to try the flavour combination at first. It was in a sandwich, and I can remember thinking how very weird it was. You could say it was "love at first bite." I was hooked with the very first mouthful, and it was an easy job to move on from a sandwich to a pastie and so on. I had some pizza dough I needed to use up the other day and so I thought to myself . . . why not a cheese and onion pasty pizza? Why not indeed!
*Cheese and Onion Pastie Pizza*
Makes 1 12-inch pizza
I had heard of potato pizza before and as potatoes are my favourite vegetable of all time I had longed to try it one day. It was a simple stretch to combine the flavours of a cheese and onion pastie and turn it into a pizza. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
Pizza dough for one pizza (click on the link for the recipe)
prepared Caesar Salad dressing
4 cups frozen hash browns, thawed out and crumbled
2 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces red Leicester cheese, grated
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 spring onions, chopped
fresh wild rocket leaves (arugula)
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Lightly grease a 12 inch pizza pan with vegetable shortening and press the dough out onto it to cover and fill it, making it a bit thicker at the edges and forming a rim. Place it into the pre-heated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and spread with about 1/4 cup of Caesar salad dressing.
Place the crumbled hash browns in a bowl along with the different cheeses and the onions. Give it all a good mix and then sprinkle it over the partially baked crust, spreading it out evenly. Drizzle with another 14 cup of salad dressing. Return to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before cutting into slices to serve. Top each serving with a small handful of rocket leaves and drizzle with some more salad dressing.
PS - The winner of my Make Me Bake Poll this week was the Triple Strawberry Cream Pie. Yumm!! I will put up a new poll shortly for next week!