woensdag 30 maart 2016

Rest And Homemaker

I've been rather busy this couple of days so instead of writing a lengthy post, I'd just like to highlight one by Lydia Sherman from Home Living on the importance of rest for a homemaker:

Lady Resting

It includes the video on the same topic. Do you have any ideas on the subject? Have you ever tried resting in the afternoon? Feel free to share your experiences!

zaterdag 26 maart 2016

Crock Pot Cooking




So on my friend's advice I bought myself a slow cooker. It arrived on Thursday and we tried it out today. The instruction manual had only 4 recipes in it but I found this website:

Allrecipes




I chose a recipe which appeared easy enough, tortellini in tomato sauce:

Cheesy Italian Tortellini

It turned out all right though the sauce seemed a bit overcooked to my taste. Anyway, I'm thrilled and currently planning at least two more delicious meals. Have any of you had experiences with slow cooking? Feel free to share!

donderdag 24 maart 2016

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

From the comments to the previous post (the one on authority that is):

I think about this every time a read something written by a member of MRM. They want to be so very "masculine" and they want their women feminine -but please, woman, remember to make your own money. They do not seem to understand, that a woman who makes her own money DOES NOT NEED MAN AT ALL. So she has very little interest in playing sexy homemaker, or letting the man "lead". 


zaterdag 19 maart 2016

No Authority Without Responsibility

There is something which a lot of people don't seem to understand: there is no authority without responsibility. The captain of the ship is also responsible for everything happening on board the ship. The one taking a decision is ultimately responsible for the consequences of this decision. Parents have authority over their minor children because they are financially and otherwise responsible for the children and their behaviour.

In the same manner, the husband can't truly be the head of the family if his wife is a co-breadwinner. He can't demand she obey him when she fully shares in the responsibility to provide, or even worse, when he stays home and she goes out to work. Oh she can humour him and treat him as one but it won't be anything more than LARPing.

Being the breadwinner gives a person a certain power, economic power, that's why feminists hate traditional family so much. It makes the woman a dependent. Any person who claims to be pro-traditional family and pro-male headship but expects and encourages married women to work is either very dishonest or very stupid or both.

As a man, you can't expect your wife to be an empowered career woman by day and then come home, change into a sexy outfit and become a little submissive Suzy Homemaker. You can't expect her to work the same amount of hours as yourself and then do all the housework. She can't be there for your children and at the office at the same time. And after long working hours she will be tired and less interested in sex, too.

At my blog, I'm trying to support traditional families and I'm generally operating on the principle that those who aren't against us are with us, but I'm getting quite suspicious of anyone who promotes male authority without stressing male responsibility. No taxation without representation, no authority without responsibility.

donderdag 17 maart 2016

Rob Roy

A book review. There was a movie with the same name from the 1990s, I think, but today I'm going to talk about the original novel by Sir Walter Scott. I guess my readers know who he is so I don't need to go into details, though not everybody is probably aware of the fact that Scott was a Freemason, just like his father before him (which may explain a couple of things).

The events of the novel take place in the 1714-1715 and it deals with the Jacobite uprising against King George though the story itself centers around the adventures of certain Francis Osbaldistone, the only son of a very wealthy and successful London businessman who after receiving an education in France refuses to become his father's partner in his company. Osbaldistone senior promptly kicks him out of the house and sends him North to stay with his brother's family intending to make one of Frank's cousins  his successor in business.

Little do both the father and the son know that the Northern branch of Osbaldistone family are deeply involved in political intrigues, have contacts with the notorious outlaw Rob Roy and are plotting the overthrow of the government...

Rob Roy is a lengthy book, occasionally just boring enough to be ideal reading for a winter evening. It's full of dark drama with sword fighting, rivalry between cousins, violence and bloodshed, hatred till the grave and all other cliches typical for the Romantic genre. It's interesting to see how the times and morals have changed. Frank Osbaldistone, a true son of the Reformed Church, draws his sword when thoroughly provoked and as he thinks he's dying his last desire is to take revenge upon his enemy.

 His friend, a very religious and wealthy middle-aged city magistrate whose father was a deacon, doesn't hesitate to use weapons to defend his honour, either. Whatever you may think of it, it proves that there was time when Western Christianity and its adherents exhibited much more martial spirit than they do now.

The funny thing about the novel is that the two prominent female characters in it, including Frank's love interest Diana Vernon (a distant relative of the family) are both quite feminist. Here I'd like to stress that while Jane Austen was busy writing stories about young girls plotting how to catch a husband, her male colleague portrayed a young girl plotting a revolution. Diana mocks the idea of being a good housekeeper, claims to be able to shoot straighter than any of her male cousins and constantly complains of male chauvinist pigs and the heavy lot of women in life. She also bosses Frank around, but he hardly cares she is so hot.

Rob Roy's wife Helen who, it's heavily hinted was raped by English soldiers coming to throw her off her property is utterly consumed with the desire of revenge and spends her life in military escapades and the acts of cruelty, the fact bitterly regretted by her husband who complains to Frank that all the evil in the world comes from women and children ruling over men. Despite this nod to tradition, it's obvious the author admires Mrs Mac Gregor very much.

Notwithstanding all this, Rob Roy is really a great fun to read and I could recommend it to anyone with a word of warning since it doesn't portray the Catholic Church in all too good a light, Scott being Protestant and stuff. It's not all drama, either, but also has quite comical scenes, chiefly those with Frank's servant, stupid, pompous and cowardly Andrew Fairservice. It has a happy end of sorts, too. I hope you'll enjoy it just as much as I did. 

vrijdag 11 maart 2016

Things Men Don't Like

in women.

DISCLAIMER:

1. trigger warning
2. Don't shoot the messenger:)

Reading newspapers in the current year isn't particularly good for one's blood pressure but sometimes I get this burning desire to know what's going on in our small kingdom. So last week I stumbled upon an internet discussion where our guys were enumerating all the things wrong with our gals. Some were bordering on indecent so being a person of breeding I'll omit them, but it can be summed up thusly:

Dressed like men. Never wear dresses. No sense of style.
Short hair.
"Sensible" ugly shoes
Curses like a sailor
"I don't need no man" attitude
Drinks beer from the bottle
Tattoos, promiscuity
More interested in career than in family until 35. Then starts searching for a husband but has a long list of unreasonable demands with nothing of value to offer
Won't cook, clean or do any housekeeping

"Mannish clothes" was absolutely complaint number one and "short hair" came close second.

In the interests of justice I'll add that as some lady pointed out, while women aren't particularly feminine nowadays, men aren't very masculine, either. And they dress horribly, too.

What do you think?

woensdag 9 maart 2016

Visiting A Royal Couple

and other things.





King Leopold III of Belgium with his wife Queen Astrid. The photo above was taken in somewhere in spring of 1935 and published in an April issue of the Catholic Illustration, a magazine I wrote about last year. He is 33 in the picture and she is 29 and they have just being the king and queen for a year, since Leopold's father King Albert's death.

They had three children together, one daughter and two sons
(Here is Astrid with their youngest)




and lived in  the palace Stuyvenberg in Laeken. Raised in Sweden in all simplicity, Queen Astrid cooked for her children herself and took them out for a walk, saying that she was just an ordinary mother.

Here you see her arranging flowers.

The queen was raised Lutheran and had to convert to Catholicism in order to marry Leopold. Their marriage took place in 1926. According to the article, this was one of the pictures she kept in her bedroom, presumably it was of her father? Or may be her father-in-law?





They were a beautiful couple but she had only a short time to live after that article was written. In August of the same year, they went on vacation to Switzerland where the queen died in a car crash when her husband lost control over the steering wheel.

Here is King Leopold working:



He mourned her for several years but remarried again in 1941 and had three more children.

Since it was an Easter edition of the magazine, there was an article about a special form of Easter Liturgy taking place in Sint Andries Abbey.

Taking the Holy Communion:



It included, among other things, blessing of an Easter lamb on the church altar:




The end of the Mass, the deacon is singing Alelluia



 The monks awaiting the blessing of their abbot:





That was about all for today, till next time:)

maandag 7 maart 2016

Food In Narnia






Bit by bit I'm turning into a food blogger:) Having discussed American style cooking  I'm now moving on to traditional British food as illustrated by mid-20th century children's books.

I don't currently own all of Narnia stories, but I think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe gives a great illustration of what I mean.

Apart from Turkish delight, which we aren't going to discuss today, there is a famous tea party with Mr. Tumnus the Fawn in Chapter Two, where besides tea itself other things are served, such as (lightly) boiled eggs, "sardines on toast, buttered toast, toast with honey and a sugar-topped cake." (HarperCollins Children's Books, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2001, pp. 21-22.)

Toasted bread with butter, jam or honey is typically English, I guess. We then have dinner party with Mr and Mrs Beaver in Chapter 7. It features milk for children, boiled potatoes with butter, fried trout, bread, beer for Mr Beaver and marmalade roll with tea for dessert. It's rather simple food but every time I read about it, by some reason I always get hungry.

Somehow C.Lewis managed to create a very homey atmosphere in this story. He was apparently not insensible to domestic comforts, something which few people nowadays seem to appreciate. Those domestic comforts are impossible though without a homemaker, a person who devotes herself nearly exclusively to managing her household, like Mrs Beaver in the story.

It's interesting that as the story line progressed the books were getting less traditional, going from "wars are ugly when women fight" to Susan becoming a traitor to Narnia because she gets interested in make-up and pretty clothes (and evidently, catching a husband:), while Lucy bravely goes out to war with her bow and arrows.

Prince Caspian has some interesting ideas about food, too. In Chapter 10 we read how Trumpkin, the Dwarf wraps apples in bear meat and roasts them above the fire which makes me wonder if you could wrap an apple in a schnitzel and bake it in the oven. One of those days, I'm going to try.

And the last but not least though a bit off topic: while I didn't care at all for Prince Caspian the movie, I really enjoyed watching the screen adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If you have any favourite children's books with interesting recipes/food ideas, feel free to share in the comments!


vrijdag 4 maart 2016

Friday Miscellaneous

Distorting the plain meanings of the words and other things.

I have had a busy (for me) week and no time to write several different posts I wanted, so I decided to unite them all in one big miscellaneous post:) Here comes:

One of the things which irks me to no end is how moderns distort the plain meaning of words to suit their feels or to appear more "caring" and politically correct. I'm not alone in this as C.S. Lewis complained about the distortion of the meaning of the word "gentleman" from "someone of a noble birth" to "someone NICE" in Mere Christianity.

The word "housewife" is going the same direction. According to my Longman dictionary from 1992, housewife is a lady who "works at home for her family, cleaning, cooking etc., especially one who does not work outside of home".  A housewife could have a (very) small part-time job but she would devote the bulk of her time to staying home and managing her own household. The Biblical equivalent would be "a keeper at home" which in less enlightened times was interpreted as a woman who didn't "gad abroad" but would mind "her own family affairs".

Now there are all sorts of reasons why (married) women choose to work. Her husband may insist on it, they are in debt, the husband is unable to earn a living etc. I'm not trying to criticise anyone. What gets me, is when some of these women, even working full time declare that they are still housewives/keepers at home. Why, I don't call myself a career/working woman, even though I've written a book.

A housewife is an occupation, like a construction worker. The fact that even working women have to do at least some housekeeping, doesn't change it, no matter how they "feel in their heart." I may feel  in my heart that I'm the Queen but I doubt people will start calling me "Your Majesty" any time soon. (End of the rant).

Speaking about  housework, here is one lady's suggestion on what to wear at home. A 1960 book which I have recommends a sturdy denim/woolen skirt (for summer and winter) for housework, two suits (not pant suits, but those with a blazer and a skirt), at least two woolen dresses, one from silk, two simple and one official summer dress and several blouses/twin sets. Sounds about the same.

Men nowadays often complain that all the women are rabid feminist monsters, not worthy of a wedding ring, and yet, when a woman decides to turn her back on modern life, she can't find a husband! Joanne Frances, an English lady and a fan of all things 1940, ditched computers and washing machines in favour of simple living. She is willing to take care of her husband, bring him tea and do all the housekeeping and yet men run away unable to adjust to having an outside WC and missing sports on TV. We moderns are rather a wimpy bunch:)

While some ladies immerse in WWII realities, I'm going further than that! My interest in history has taken me to Ancient Greece and Rome. Did you know that Romans used to eat dormice, those funny little animals, immortalised by L. Carrol in Alice in Wonderland? One of the later emperors, no doubt, a great lover of nature forbade the practise, but they kept doing it! They also ate a lot of barley, which is one of the world's healthiest foods, and will save you from cancer, diabetes type 2 and heart failure.

Don't believe me? Read for yourself. While I discovered barley flakes and emmer pasta in a health store, I decided to refrain from buying them yet and restricted myself to baking Ancient Greek pancakes for lunch. Yes, Ancient Greeks did eat pancakes, which according to Wiki consisted of wheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk. I created my own recipe, of which I'm very proud. Here is the result:





The list of ingredients:

1/2 c white flour
1/2 c whole wheat + spelt + rye flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
+/-1/2 c jogurt
+/- 1/2 cup water
The batter will be thick.

Yield: in my case, 7.
You are free to recreate it in your kitchen and post the results on your own blog/Facebook, but don't forgive to give credits to yours truly!!!

In other news, the weather is lousy and the cat is getting wild. It's March, after all
Ladies and gentlemen, till the next time!

dinsdag 1 maart 2016

American Style Cooking






For me American style cooking is associated with hearty meals, more on the heavy side, full breakfasts/brunches with a lot of egg dishes, a lot of baked goods, affordable ingredients and rather too heavy reliance on convenience foods.

The latter is quintessentially American; I own an American cook book from the 1960s, when most women were still homemakers and it's full of recipes calling for a can of this and a jar of that. The USA food industry has been better developed than here in Europe where folks used to cook from scratch well into the 1980s.

(no, not this one, this one is the source of the first photo though)


I think American approach to cooking has a positive and a negative side. Personally I don't care for heavy breakfasts, I can't imagine why would anyone want to eat sausages and potatoes at 8 o'clock in the morning, but I like muffins and scones and other baked goodies which can be served for brunch or elevenses, and heartier dishes are fine for lunches or even a light dinner.

Another positive thing is the affordability which is important for anyone with a tight budget, seldom there is a need to purchase exotic ingredients with accordingly exotic prices, mostly there are standard items used such as cheddar cheese, eggs, bacon, flour etc.

American kitchen is also famous for it's oven dishes, it's like oven is more used than a cooking stove, quite the opposite to where I live. I actually enjoy it, since an oven dish can be assembled beforehand, put into the fridge and just popped in the oven when the time comes.

On the down side, as I have mentioned there is too much of certain things which aren't really good for you, such as sugar, corn syrup or frozen shredded potatoes. I usually dramatically reduce the amount of sugar and fat and avoid anything which calls for a can of a cream of anything soup or stuff like that. Sometimes you can simply omit certain ingredients though.

Anyway, American style cooking and baking can be great fun and some recipes have long become favourites in our home.