Saturday, May 5, 2012

Why I really hate/love Disney Movies

I don't why I continue to watch Disney movies. Especially Disney princess movies. They always give me a hope I know I probably shouldn't hold my breath for. I love the sappiness, how none of the main characters in the beginning love each other, and how they can't see they complete each other. I love how something magical happens in the middle, where they see a spark in each other's eyes that they never noticed before. I love how they always have a misunderstanding, where all hope is crushed, only for it to be a false alarm, and somehow(semi) totally unexpected, they meet up and confess their love to each other and live happily every after.
*sigh* I love Disney movies for that. They are predictable, but never the less, they still tug at my heart strings. I almost always cry at the end of a Disney movie. Well, Disney movies involving love. And they nearly all do.

But, at the same time, I dislike Disney movies for that. I think they give girls and women a hope that someday, someway, an unbelievably handsome fellow will take interest in us, see our true worth, see that twinkle that they didn't notice before shining in our eyes. They won't notice our acne scars, our saggy boobs, our disheveled hair that looks like Ronald McDonald's little sister who put her finger in a socket before leaving the house, our love handles, our cankles, or the three children begging for our attention just as they are trying to lean in for a kiss. They won't care about the fact that we're so below them in socioeconomic status, that we should probably be on their payroll instead of in their arms. No, real men don't care about such things, Disney movies says, because all that matters is what's in your heart. Or what perils await you. Together, of course.
And yet, here I am, watching Disney movies with my three babies, crying like a baby when they almost lose each other, only to find each other once again, and live happily ever after.Here I am with no one to snuggle up to *in that sort of way*, kissing me and looking into my eyes and seeing something that they never noticed before.

I hate Disney movies.

But at the same time, I love Disney movies. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of women out there that didn't need some evil stepmother/man lurking in the shadows doing illegal things to them against their will, in order to meet their "happily ever after man". I'm sure there are women out there who have men, great men, who they feel they don't deserve. That overlooks what others may see with the naked eye and can really see the princess or special(as in, not retarded special but "I think you're that special love of my life" kind of special) woman that they are. Maybe everyday they wake up and feel like they've won the lottery everyday, simply because they have their "happily ever after man". Or maybe most days. I really don't know.

Disney movies give me a hope of something greater. That, yes, there may be a "happily ever after man" out there for me, and if I work hard enough, dream big enough, hope against all odds, I will find him. Or he will find me. And we won't even know at first we're meant to be.
But, I've watched Disney movies for twenty years now. I know how every plot goes. And whether it was due to my lack of better judgement on wannabe prince charmings, or simply inexperience in the ways of the world, I'm not sure if I will ever have that once in a lifetime encounter. I'm not sure if I'll ever meet that "happily ever after man". I'm a mother of three, I've got saggy boobs, hair that looks like it's competing with a clown, I'm broke as a joke, acne scars, cankles, hate handles(who the heck loves having enough fat on their sides that someone could easily grab hold of with inducing too much pain? one, thank-you-very-much!), and I'm almost certain I love food more than the ability to breathe. Okay,, I really do.
 And while I like to think I'm a semi-good cook and baker, truth be told, I have a long way to go.

Oh, but I have heart! I've got hope against all odds! I have a twinkle in my may not see it until I've had coffee, and even then you still may not see it underneath the dark circles surrounding my eyes,but...gosh darn it, I'm sure it's there!!
And I have little mythical creatures(er...I mean, married friends) telling me, "Don't give up hope! You'll meet him when you least expect it! You'll see! You won't be looking, and he'll be right in front of you!". Why do people in relationships always say such crap? Maybe they watch too many Disney movies as well.
But yet, as I look for what options are available to me, I can't help but think,"is THIS all?!" What happened to handsome? What happened to charming? What happened to proper spelling in instant messages, and not expecting sex until marriage?! *sigh*
I watch Disney movies because they remind me that part of it has to do with me. Just like the female characters, I have to break out of the mold that everyone assumes I fit so nicely. I have do something daring. Go against what's expected of me, and leave the rest to fate. Or farting fireflies.
And despite the fact that these women have a waistline the size of one of my cankles, I know that maybe, just maybe, if I start to look the part...someone completely and totally amazing will take notice. Not that "happily ever after men" are concerned about size or anything, because I'm sure they will love you just as you are.  But the going trend in Disney movies says you must make some sort of effort on your figure...or your hair. And since I'm rather fond of my wild tresses, but not as fond of my stretch marks...the body's gotta go. Sorry, Fat Chicka Motorcycle Gang Members, but I really can't keep my membership any longer. It's killer on my (non-existent) love life.
And, I am working hard...well, mentally, at least. I'm attending online classes to complete my degree. I'm homeschooling my kids. Maybe I should hire birds to clean my house?? No, that can't be right. Oh, maybe I need to make more effort into cleaning and being a "domesticated woman". Because the newer princesses know how to hold down the house. Or the restaurant. Or the Chinese Emperor's Army. And they know how to cook for them all, too!
So...maybe Disney movies don't give us so much false hope after all. Maybe, just maybe, they tell us the overall message is to work hard, even if it means doing things that aren't expected of you. And maybe, just'll find love when you least expect it. You'll find your "happily ever after man" sooner than you expected. And you won't even know it's him. Until he looks at you in a funny sort of way. At first, you might think it's gas...after all, the last time anyone looked at you in that sort of way, it was one of your kids, and yes, they had gas. But, then  you realize...there's a twinkle in his eye. He suddenly looks more handsome to you then you realized before.
Or maybe it really was just gas. And it wasn't his.
God bless the Disney movies, everyone!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baking and Cooking Tuesday

 Yesterday, I posted this on my Facebook wall: "There is something so beautiful to me in cooking and baking my own food. Anyone can go to a Fast-Food joint and grab food that was made with someone else's hands; but there is sooo much more satisfaction in the cutting, the blending, the stirring of the food. Now I understand the meaning of "Soul Food"'s not stereotypical "black food", or even limited to a certain region of the country. It's food that goes beyond satisfying the simple need for food but refreshes the soul every step of the way. It's food prepared with the best intentions, it is food that you can almost taste the love and care with which the person made it."

In case you were not aware, I love food. And when I thought to start this blog, I knew I had to include a weekly section of recipes that our family loves. After debating on the how's and when's, it only made sense that I do it on the day our family does the most cooking and baking-on Tuesdays. Mondays we do our major cleaning, and after all that hard work, Tuesdays I want something that makes it all worthwhile. Please keep in mind, I am no advanced cook. I am just someone who enjoys the time spent with my kids mixing,chopping, cooking, smelling,tasting. It's not only a learning experience, it's bonding with them at the deepest level possible.

Today, I am going to share with you "Amish Baked Oatmeal" and "(Chicken) Meatball and Orzo Soup". Share it with those you love.  Both make about 4-6 servings.

Amish Baked Oatmeal
3 C. quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 c. brown OR white sugar
1 C.+2 Tbs. Milk
1/3 c. butter,  softened.
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.. Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan.
2. Beat eggs, sugar,butter. Mix in baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, salt. Stir in milk and oats.
3. Spread on baking pan. bake 35-45 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
4. Spoon into bowls, serve warm.
Other options- you can also combine all ingredients and allow to sit in the fridge overnight. You can serve this by itself, but we normally eat with sweet cream(or coffee creamer).
 Other things you can serve this with- milk, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, raisins or craisins(dried cranberries), nuts of your choice.

(Chicken) Meatball and Orzo Soup
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
A handful of shredded carrots(or, about 1 cup)
4 C. chicken stock/broth
1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 C. bread crumbs
3 Tbs. Parmesan-Romano cheese
1 egg
1 garlic clove, or 1 Tbs. minced garlic
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 C. Orzo

1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute onions and carrots for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock/broth.
2. In a medium bowl, mix ground chicken with  Parmesan-Romano cheese, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. If the mixture is too moist, add more bread crumbs. Roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
3. When the stock/broth comes to a boil, drop the meatballs into the broth.
4. Stir in the orzo and cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until pasta and meatballs are cooked though. Serve.