Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father Figures

My wife and I were watching The View yesterday morning, which I wasn't paying a ton of attention to, but it caught my attention when the guest host (one of the Wayans brothers?) started waxing on about Father's Day, and how to be healthy children needed to have both a father and a mother.  Needless to say, since the regular cast of The View are basically all single mothers at this point, this perked a lively debate and some backpedalling here and there; the whole thing came to rest just a little west of it's starting point, when they all decided on his behalf that what he really meant was that children need some sort of father figure, who may or may not be that person's actual, factual father.

It actually got my hackles raised a little too (to use a German Shepherd metaphor); as part of a same-gendered couple, I was immediately piling on, saying things like, "Oh, so if two women or two men are raising a child, the child automatically has issues?  That's just buying in to that right-wing business about Christian marriage being between one man and one woman."  The Oppressive Christian Theocracy is acting all oppressed again.  How obnoxious.

The thing of it is, now that I contemplate it, at the core of things he was probably right.

It shouldn't be that hard for me.  Pagans always think of things in terms of male and female.  The Great Divine is the union of the God and the Goddess.  Earth and Water are female, Air and Fire are male.  The Moon is female, the Sun is male.  We revere the dichotomy.

We define those masculine and feminine energies that we see everywhere in terms of parent figures, too.  The Sun is what is, the Moon is what could be.  There's an object in the distance.  Moonlight says, "I don't know, what do you think it could be?  Maybe it's a pirate ship!  Let your imagination take you there!" Sunlight says, "Let's turn on the light and see.  Oh look, it's a row of mailboxes in front of a tree.  Go back to bed."
What do you want to be when you grow up?  Moon says, "You can do anything you put your heart to, sweetie."  Sun says, "But make sure you choose a career with good income and job security."

We all have those masculine and feminine energies within us, and we all need to have both of those energies replenished and nurtured somehow.  I am as girly as they come, but that doesn't mean I can't be the disciplinarian when my dog gets into something he knows he shouldn't.  
As much as I personally find the idea of opposite-sex intimacy off-putting, I don't think men (or opposite-sex relationships) aren't needed.  I highly value the relationships I have or had with both my father and my grandfather, my own personal father figures, and I would be less if I didn't have or hadn't had them in my life.

Happy Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kitchen Witchery: Bratwurst und Spätzle mit Helle Paprikasoße

I've finally had the chance recently to get back in my kitchen and do some cooking!  We had a vacation to Leavenworth, WA to do some touristy-Bavarian stuff, which inspired Sunday's dinner, which was a pork schnitzel and some homemade spätzle, with some pickled red cabbage we got on the trip.  My sweetie made two suggestions following that meal:  One, that I should have taken pictures for my Elegant Cauldron blog and written about it; and two, that the spätzle really should have had some sauce over it to make it like she remembered from her childhood.

That conversation, in turn, inspired today's bit of Kitchen Witchery!  With the leftover spätzle, I decided I would make something that would have a sauce to serve on top.  I also thought it would be great to use the German-style bratwurst that we also bought in Leavenworth.  I decided that this Bratwurst in Sour Cream Sauce recipe from Food on the Table would be the perfect starting point, and the only alteration I made was to replace the black pepper with some onion powder and paprika, to try to turn it more toward a subtle goulash-style flavor.  I served it with some more of the rotkohl, for color, German-ness, and because it's good.
And, of course, this time I took a picture of what I crafted!

We enjoyed this quite a bit!  The cream sauce took a little longer than the recipe stated to thicken up, but it could be that I had the heat a little too low, trying to be sure not to break the sauce.  I just dashed seasonings in to taste, but I'm guessing there was probably about 1/8 teaspoon each of salt, onion powder, and paprika once I was done.
And, despite the appearance of decadence, we can indulge in German delicacy without ruining our wellness goals.  Maybe not exactly what you'd call "diet food," but healthier (and tastier, if I say so myself) than eating out, and besides, I don't remember ever saying I was on a "diet."

I have to say, I've missed being in my Kitchen.  I hope I can make this part of a new trend!