10 June 2011

In which I learn a lesson about pork chops...

...and relationships.

I (occasionally) blog and enjoy reading blogs. My yardstick for "blog consideration" in my must-read list measures content by several criteria. I love Texas bloggers for one - pride of State and South. I love food bloggers - love of belly? Perhaps. :) I love bloggers who "keep it real", journal-ing their observations on life and their interactions within their own lives, not embellishing it for pride purposes, laying out their truths warts and all - especially young mother bloggers who are navigating the rivers of their life and attempting to circumvent the dangerous undertows which threaten to pull them under at times. There is a sense of community withing the blogosphere - a combination of "been there-done that" and "oh, WOW!" that I find appealing. And, as a "back from retirement" full time caregiver to one of our grandchildren, reaching out and being reached creates a sense of "I am not alone".

Yes, I do "have a life" lest you think I am an online lurker, seeking validation in a world of strangers whose moral fiber I know not of. :) But I believe there is value in blogging and reading blogs - nuggets of wisdom to squirrel away, loud signals of "WARNING!" when digesting the unfortunate consequences detailed, and a lifting of spirits when victories and/or hilarious happenings are sometimes regaled.

One of the blogs I follow in Google Reader had a great nugget today. I am taking the liberty of quoting from her post today. The blog is called Homesick Texan, written by Liz, and I've been a reader for several years now. I find this blog engaging on two levels - the aforementioned "Pride of State" (she's from Texas although living in New York) and "love of belly" (lots of recipes, true Texan recipes - often with a new twist). Having lived overseas many years while hailing from the Great State of Texas, I completely understand what it is like to live somewhere besides Texas yet attempt to find the ingredients to recreate the dishes I love and crave so much. I believe her blog was born of a desire to find/recreate/educate herself (and thus her readers) to that end. And, I am happy to report, she is in the process of writing her own cookbook and has a publisher lined up! (Liz writes, "And I'm excited to announce that The Homesick Texan Cookbook will be published by Hyperion in September 2011.") Guess who will be ordering copies for Christmas gifts this year?

Now that the introductions have been made, I (finally) come to the point of MY post today. Her recent post had a title involving pork chops. Not being a big pork fan, I almost skipped reading it. But the first paragraph, the very first sentence, intrigued me. "'Are you familiar with the pork chop theory?' asked food writer Virginia Willis." Hm, a pork chop theory? Okay, I'll bite (no pun intended, believe it or not).

Reading to the end, I got to the last paragraph where she elaborates and shares this wonderful truth:

"Willis, a veteran author, was giving me tips about what to expect when my book is published, emphasizing how all authors can help each other. To illustrate her point, she quoted Nathalie Dupree who came up with the pork chop premise."

"According to Dupree, if you cook one pork chop in a pan on high heat it will burn. But if you cook two pork chops in a pan, the chops will cook evenly as each chop’s fat will feed the other. As Willis has written, “It’s the ultimate in giving, sharing, and developing mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships. It’s not about competition, it’s about sharing the fat, sharing the love.”

So, pork chops aside, this "universal truth" is one that really spoke to me! Trying to do big tasks "on my own", whether for pride, reluctance to ask for assistance or just plain old stubbornness, have often resulted in my "being burned". But having a team, sharing the load - as well as sharing the credit - almost always ends in a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. The Bible speaks of this as well when it says, "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor." (Eccl. 4:9) But how often I forget this as I strive and yet do not succeed. I have often been the author of my own discontent by insisting on either doing it MY way, doing it alone or, worse, wearing the sackcloth and ashes of the "Woe is me!" personae that infers that she has it rough, "it's tough to be me" and becomes hostile to (dare I say) my husband for not reading my mind. Judge Judy would have a hey day with me on those days.

Anyway, that's my two-cents for the day. My "nugget of wisdom" to share. Take it for what it's worth. And I hope you'll meander over to Liz's blog, Homesick Texan, and enjoy the photos, recipes and insights she shares.

I still don't like pork chops. But I do like universal truths. Food for thought, the best meal of all?