The Mysteries of Kefir, and Other Cute Things

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Hello Bloggy friends!

Breakfast in the Bluestocking household  is not what it was.  I’ve made kefir 😀  And the Chicklette  has made  Hootenanny pancakes.

One very dear, obliging, and live-dangerously type bloggy friend sent me the starter culture through the mail.  I researched, I rinsed, I cultured.  A beautiful batch of sludgy, milky, good for you stuff came to life.

It was a true test of Mr BB’s commitment to me.  His reaction, when presented with a glass overflowing with gut healing goodness, made with the health and well-being of my family in mind,  was.. (to say the least) not.quite.enthusiastic.  In truth, his response was (and I quote), “I do love you, but I have never felt the least inclination to be a cup-bearer.  You go first.”

Why he was reluctant to try something that had grown out of lumpy ingredients forwarded through the mail in a specimen jar, floating in raw milk, is beyond me.  I’m not calling Mr BB chicken livered, yellow, or cowardly (exactly), but it does call into question his knight-errantry.  I tried explaining to him that I was creating an opportunity for chivalry, but.. he was immoveable.

So, I went first.  And I lived. 🙂

Since then, we have been merrily culturing milk and turning it into smoothies with fruit, and the occasional raw egg.  Boldness and daring have reached new heights at the Bluestocking breakfast table.  If you’re interested in horrifying your spouse with a weird and alternative breakfast, you might want to visit Dom the Kefir man’s site. He is the recognised Kefir guru of the internet (maybe the world?).

I’d love to hear  your thoughts and ideas if you are an old hand at trekking the Kefir path 🙂

On to other, cutsie happenings…  it’s gosling season!

Aren’t they desperately adorable?!?

The farmer hatched them in the incubator, as there are foxes wreaking havoc on the farm.  We were able to watch several hatch.

They are a little bedraggled looking when they are first out.

But I forgive them being born ungainly, as they soon are irresistibly thick and fluffy and soft.

That’s what we’ve been up to.  Hope you’re all enjoying school holidays! 🙂

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What’s Cookin’?

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domestic bliss

Tell me honestly, does the thought of preparing meat and three veg strike fear into your very heart?

Yes?

Then you qualify to keep reading.  If not, I’m afraid you’ll have to shoo. That’s right: shoo! We are about to discuss some secret, serious, slack homemakers business.

Are you sure you’re not a perfectly capable, cooking dinner every night type of reader?  There is a danger you will be tempted to feel smug after reading, and as the character of my readers is paramount in my mind, I’d spare you that downfall.  So this is your last chance to scat.

O.K.  Unless of woman-kind I alone have ever struggled with the life sentence (pardon!) privilege of cooking sensible meals every single everlasting day of the week, we should be left with those of you who are, for whatever reason, be that illness, lack of skill or knowledge,  or  simply the propensity for reading too long in a day, failing to cook dinner as regularly as you need to.

My initial remedy for meal preparation aversion is not cheap.  This is no time to be budget conscious, and it may well cost you similarly to the round of take-aways and resturant dinners you rely on now.  Budget conscious comes later (if it needs to), but for now the primary goal is to establish a habit of daily preparation.  To that end, I offer you the “L plates” of meal planning.

When you advance there will be many factors to consider in planning a menu: for now the prime criteria is to make it as simple as possible while you establish a routine of meal preparation.  This may take two weeks to a month, depending on your dedication and circumstances (sickness and general trauma can delay progress!)

First, decide what you can make.  I’ve put together a MEAL PLANNER Beginnings *pdf that requires minimal preparation and leaves the least possible dishes to wash afterward.  You may want to tweak it in the event you don’t eat some of the food listed, but the idea is to be simple and realistic: you are trying to establish a habit, and this needs all the ingenuity you possess to pull it off.

* The recipe for Monday night’s dinner in the menu planner can be found here: https://beyondbluestockings.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/emergency-dinners/

The tuna can also be substituted with beef or chicken: I know that sounds weird, but I promise I have tried it all three ways, and it really does work with all three, and extends your choices!

If you are part way on the road already, you may want to browse the “emergency dinners” category to the right, or google simple meals and start planning your own menu according to tastes.

Cook like a busy person.  Remember how your mother and your home ec teacher taught that every vegetable needs it’s own saucepan?  And how there was a mountain of washing up at the end?

What were they thinking??? 😯

pots and pans

Take one large saucepan, half fill with water and add chat potatoes (you know the tiny ones you don’t have to peel? Because the point is…you don’t have to peel them, and it’s easy to guess how many each person will eat.) About five minutes before they are ready, dump in some mixed frozen veggies. Yes, in the same saucepan – forget home ec.  I actually find this easier than microwaving veggies, but  if you prefer to microwave, go at it.  On another night, use frozen corn cobs instead of the potatoes, and add the other veggies at the same time.

For variety, an alternative is to buy large, washed potatoes.  Again, you are not going to peel them: just wrap in alfoil and put them in the oven about an hour before you want to eat.  Don’t worry about pre-heating the oven and coming back to put them in – all in one action, put the oven on and toss the potatoes in.  Again, serve with some frozen greens – or not.  (You don’t want to shock your system. 😉 )

This will not be the most exciting few weeks of eating you’ve ever done, but if you stick at it, it will soon become less of an insurmountable task, and you will have the momentum of routine to stir you on to greater culinary heights.

Print out your menu and place it somewhere unforgettable.  If you are a morning person, (or if a new baby is the reason you find yourself not managing dinner any more) use the morning to half fill your saucepan with water and place it on the stove ready to go, or  wrap your potatoes in foil if that’s on tonight’s menu.  You will love yourself later and reinforce your commitment to actually go through with it come evening.

Decide on a time you are going to start dinner, and barring a natural disaster, stick to that time.  Ask your mother or someone to phone and hold you accountable if you need to.  Be sure to make a shopping list reflecting your menu – failure to have ingredients to hand  is to sabotage your plan.

In my dreams..

Preparing dinner every night may not ever make your heart sing, but if you can stick with it long enough, neither will it seem the insurmountable task it presently appears while driving past the pizza shop.  You may even grow to enjoy it: it’s not likely, but stranger things have happened, and certainly you will be healthier.

Happy cookin’ folks, and stay tuned for the “P Plates” of  meal planning, coming soon. You’ll be inspired 😉   (Or, confound it,  if you’re one of those sneaky Martha Stewart types and you didn’t shoo when you were supposed to, you can marvel anew at how the other half live 😛 )

Chinese Cabbage Salad

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Quick for lunch, as a side, or as a main meal to satisfy your raw-foodie-cum-vegetarian inner health freak.

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • Chinese (wombok) cabbage shredded and washed
  • almonds, flaked or slivered, toasted or not
  • packet of crunchy noodles
  • half a finely chopped red (salad) onion, or 6 shallots (spring onions)
  • sesame and poppy seeds (optional, but I like them)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Method:

shred-the-cabbage

  1. Pour oil, honey, vinegar, soy, and sesame oil into a screw top jar, and shake.
  2. Mix onions/shallots through cabbage
  3. Sprinkle nuts and seeds over cabbage
  4. Add noodles and pour dressing over to serve

chinese-cabbage-salad

For a heartier version or use in an emergency dinner situation, add stir fried or BBQ chicken.

Minimum Effort Maximum Effect Festive Cake

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ready-to-serve1

This is cake is so easy, and so fast, it’s hard to believe it works: but it does!  There’s no soaking, chopping or messing about.  After lining the cake tin, prep time is about 6 minutes.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 kilogram of whole fruit and nuts: I used apricots, sultanas, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, glace cherries, pitted dates and dried pineapple. Health food stores sell this in a pre-pack, or you can customize to suit your taste.
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200gms castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Here’s how:

  1. Place fruit and nuts in large mixing bowl.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into bowl, add sugar. sift-dry-ingredients-over-fruit-mix
  3. Add lightly beaten eggs, brandy and vanilla, mix well.add-wet-ingredients-and-mix
  4. At this point you could be forgiven for wondering how this will turn into a cake, but I assure you it works. Spoon into a greased and lined, 20cm cake tin; bake for 2 hours at 150c.spoon-into-lined-cake-tin

You’re done!

too-easy1

Australia; The Lucky Country (Snort!)

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How lucky are we?

Let me count the ways..

Fluoride in the water.  Even though Queensland has no remarkable difference in the dental health  of adults compared to adults in other states who have been drinking fluoride for the last 20 years, we are now being medicated against our will. Since when was my dental health a concern of the government?

Internet censorship.  Who, but who, wants this multi-million dollar government control imposed on us?  O.K, I should have asked who but the ACL and a few others who have not thought further ahead than the next five minutes.  The government always introduces a reduction in civil liberties by packaging it as “for your protection”.

60 Million Litres per day of treated SEWERAGE poured into our water supply?  Hello?  This is an experiment that has not been trialled in any other nation to the extent that our glorious government has, despite widespread public opposition, planned for us. Aren’t we the lucky ones?  Find me an Australian other than Anna Bligh who thinks this is a great idea. Certainly it is one way of amending the fact that we are one of the fastest growing areas in Australia (choke!)

Drinks anyone?

Although Anna Bligh has stated that she will act against the will of the people (Oh God, please let there be an election before I have to consume my neighbour’s last meal!) there is an e-petition available.

(apologies to my regular readers who may have been anticpating something useful or instructive from this post..)

Are Therapists Just Expensive Friends?

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Here is a little something to think about if you are considering paying large sums of money for the privilege of professional counselling.

“The Case Against Psychotherapy,” by Lawrence Stevens, J.D.

“What we need are more kindly friends and fewer professionals.”

– Jeffrey Masson, Ph.D., his book Against Therapy (Atheneum, 1988, p. XV)The best person to talk with about your problems in life usually is a good friend. It has been said, “Therapists are expensive friends.” Likewise, friends are inexpensive “therapists”.

Contrary to popular belief, and contrary to propaganda by mental health professionals, the training of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals does little or nothing to make them better equipped as counselors or “therapists”. It might seem logical for formal credentials like a Ph.D. in psychology or a psychiatrist’s M.D. or D.O. degree or a social worker’s M.S.W. degree to suggest a certain amount of competence on his or her part. The truth, however, is more often the opposite:

In general, the less a person who is offering his or her services as a counselor has in the way of formal credentials, the more likely he or she is to be a good counselor, since such a counselor has only competence (not credentials) to stand on.

Generally, the best person for you to talk with is a person who has worked himself or herself through the same problems you face in the nitty-gritty of life. You usually will benefit if you avoid the “professionals” who claim their value comes from their years of academic study or professional training.
When I asked a licensed social worker with a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree who shortly before had been employed in a psychiatric hospital whether she thought the psychiatrists she worked with had any special insight into people or their problems her answer was a resounding no. I asked the same question of a judge who had extensive experience with psychiatrists in his courtroom, and he gave me the same answer and made the point just as emphatically. Similarly, I sought an opinion from a high school teacher who worked as a counselor helping young people overcome addiction or habituation to pleasure drugs who both as a teacher and as a drug counselor had considerable experience with psychiatrists and people who consult them. I asked him if he felt psychiatrists have more understanding of human nature or human problems than himself or other people who are not mental health professionals. He thought a few moments and then replied, “No, as a matter of fact, I don’t.”

In his book Against Therapy, a critique of psychotherapy published in 1988, psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson, Ph.D., speaks of what he calls “The myth of training” of psychotherapists. He says: “Therapists usually boast of their ‘expertise,’ the ‘elaborate training’ they have undergone. When discussing competence, one often hears phrases like ‘he has been well trained,’ or ‘he has had specialized training.’ People are rather vague about the nature of psychotherapy training, and therapists rarely encourage their patients to ask in any detail. They don’t for a good reason: often their training is very modest. … The most elaborate and lengthy training programs are the classic psychoanalytic ones, but this is not because of the amount of material that has to be covered. I spent eight years in my psychoanalytic training. In retrospect, I feel I could have learned the basic ideas in about eight hours of concentrated reading” (Atheneum/Macmillan Co., p. 248).

Sometimes even psychiatrists and psychologists themselves will admit they have no particular expertise. Some of these admissions have come from people I have known as friends who happened to be practicing psychologists. Illustrative are the remarks of one Ph.D. psychologist who told me how amazed members of his family were that people would pay him $50 an hour just to discuss their problems with him. He admitted it really didn’t make any sense, since they could do the same thing with lots of other people for free. “Of course,” he said, “I’m still going to go to my office tomorrow and collect $50 an hour for talking with people.” Due to inflation, today the cost is usually higher than $50 per hour.

In his book The Reign of Error, published in 1984, psychiatrist Lee Coleman, M.D., says “psychiatrists have no valid scientific tools or expertise” (Beacon Press, p. ix).

Garth Wood, M.D., a British psychiatrist, included the following statements in his book The Myth of Neurosis published in 1986: “Popularly it is believed that psychiatrists have the ability to ‘see into our minds,’ to understand the workings of the psyche, and possibly even to predict our future behavior. In reality, of course, they possess no such skills. … In truth there are very few illnesses in psychiatry, and even fewer successful treatments … in the postulating of hypothetical psychological and biochemical causative processes, psychiatrists have tended to lay a smokescreen over the indubitable fact that in the real world it is not hard either to recognize or to treat the large majority of psychiatric illnesses. It would take the intelligent layman a long weekend to learn how to do it” (Harper & Row, 1986, p. 28-30; emphasis in original).

A cover article in Time magazine in 1979 titled “Psychiatry’s Depression” made this observation: “Psychiatrists themselves acknowledge that their profession often smacks of modern alchemy – full of jargon, obfuscation and mystification, but precious little real knowledge” (“Psychiatry on the Couch”, Time magazine, April 2, 1979, p. 74).

I once asked a social worker employed as a counselor for troubled adolescents whose background included individual and family counselling if she felt the training and education she received as part of her M.S.W. degree made her more qualified to do her job than she would have been without it. She told me a part of her wanted to say yes, because after all, she had put a lot of time and effort into her education and training. She also mentioned a few minor benefits of having received the training. She concluded, however, “Most of the things I’ve done I think I could have done without the education.”

Most mental health professionals however have an understandable emotional or mental block when it comes to admitting they have devoted, actually wasted, several years of their lives in graduate or professional education and are no more able to understand or help people than they were when they started. Many know it and won’t, or will only rarely, admit it to others. Some cannot even admit it to themselves.

Hans J. Eysenck, Ph.D., is a psychology professor at the University of London. In the December 1988 issue of Psychology Today magazine, the magazine’s senior editor described Dr. Eysenck as “one of the world’s best-known and most respected psychologists” (p. 27). This highly regarded psychologist states this conclusion about psychotherapy: “I have argued in the past and quoted numerous experiments in support of these arguments, that there is little evidence for the practical efficacy of psychotherapy…the evidence on which these views are based is quite strong and is growing in strength every year” (“Learning Theory and Behavior Therapy”, in Behavior Therapy and the Neuroses, Pergamon Press, 1960, p. 4). Dr. Eysenck said that in 1960. In 1983 he said this: “The effectiveness of psychotherapy has always been the specter at the wedding feast, where thousands of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, clinical psychologists, social workers, and others celebrate the happy event and pay no heed to the need for evidence for the premature crystallization of their spurious orthodoxies” (“The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: The Specter at the Feast”, The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6, p. 290).

In The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth About the New Psychology, (Crossway Books, 1985) William Kirk Kilpatrick, a professor of educational psychology at Boston College, argues that we have attributed expertise to psychologists that they do not possess.

In 1983 three psychology professors at Wesleyan University in Connecticut published an article in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a professional journal, titled “An analysis of psychotherapy versus placebo studies”. The abstract of the article ends with these words: “…there is no evidence that the benefits of psychotherapy are greater than those of placebo treatment” (Leslie Prioleau, et al., Vol. 6, p. 275).

George R. Bach, Ph.D., a psychologist, and coauthor Ronald M. Deutsch, in their book Pairing, make this observation: “There are not enough therapists to listen even to a tiny fraction of these couples, and, besides, the therapy is not too successful. Popular impression to the contrary, when therapists, such as marriage counselors, hold meetings, one primary topic almost invariably is: why is their therapy effective in only a minority of cases?” (Peter H. Wyden, Inc., 1970, p. 9; emphasis in original).

In his book What’s Wrong With the Mental Health Movement, K. Edward Renner, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana, makes this observation in his chapter titled “Psychotherapy”: “When control groups are included, those patients recover to the same extent as those patients receiving treatment. …The enthusiastic belief expressed by therapists about their effectiveness, in spite of the negative results, illustrates the problem of the therapist who must make important human decisions many times each day. He is in a very awkward position unless he believes in what he is doing” (Nelson-Hall Publishers, 1975, pp. 138-139; emphasis in original).

An example of this occurred at the psychiatric clinic at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Oakland, California. Of 150 persons who sought psychotherapy, all were placed in psychotherapy except for 23 who were placed on a waiting list. After six months, doctors checked on those placed on the waiting list to see how much better the people receiving psychotherapy were doing than those receiving none. Instead, the authors of the study found that “The therapy patients did not improve significantly more than did the waiting list controls” (Martin L. Gross, The Psychological Society, Random House, 1978, p. 18).

In the second edition of his book Is Alcoholism Hereditary?, published in 1988, Donald W. Goodwin, M.D., says “There is hardly any scientific evidence that psychotherapy for alcoholism or any other condition helps anyone” (Ballantine Books, 1988, p. 180).

British psychiatrist Garth Wood, M.D., criticizes modern day “psychotherapy” in his book The Myth of Neurosis published in 1986 with these words: “These misguided myth-makers have encouraged us to believe that the infinite mysteries of the mind are as amenable to their professed expertise as plumbing or an automobile engine. This is rubbish. In fact these talk therapists, practitioners of cosmetic psychiatry, have no relevant training or skills in the art of living life. It is remarkable that they have fooled us for so long. … Cowed by their status as men of science, deferring to their academic titles, bewitched by the initials after their names, we, the gullible, lap up their pretentious nonsense as if it were the gospel truth. We must learn to recognize them for what they are – possessors of no special knowledge of the human psyche, who have, nonetheless, chosen to earn their living from the dissemination of the myth that they do indeed know how the mind works” (pp. 2-3).

The superiority of conversation with friends over professional psychotherapy is illustrated in the remarks of a woman interviewed by Barbara Gordon in a book published in 1988: “For Francesca, psychotherapy was a mixed blessing. ‘It helps, but not nearly as much as a few intense, good friends,’ she said. ‘…I pay a therapist to listen to me, and at the end of forty-five minutes he says, ‘That’s all the time we have; we’ll continue next week.’ A friend, on the other hand, you can call any hour and say, ‘I need to talk to you.’ They’re there, and they really love you and want to help.” In an interview with another woman on the same page of the same book, Ms. Gordon was told this, referring to pain from losing a husband: “Good shrinks can probably deal with it; the two I went to didn’t help” (Barbara Gordon, Jennifer Fever, Harper & Row, 1988, p. 132).

The June 1986 issue of Science 86 magazine included an article by Bernie Zilbergeld, a psychologist, suggesting that “we’re hooked on therapy when talking to a friend might do as well.” He cited a Vanderbilt University study that compared professional “psychotherapy” with discussing one’s problems with interested but untrained persons: “Young men with garden variety neuroses were assigned to one of two groups of therapists. The first consisted of the best professional psychotherapists in the area, with an average 23 years of experience; the second group was made up of college professors with reputations of being good people to talk to but with no training in psychotherapy. Therapists and professors saw their clients for no more than 25 hours. The results: “Patients undergoing psychotherapy with college professors showed … quantitatively as much improvement as patients treated by experienced professional psychotherapists” (p. 48). Zilbergeld pointed out that “the Vanderbilt study mentioned earlier is far from the only one debunking the claims of professional superiority” (ibid, p. 50).

Martin L. Gross, a member of the faculty of The New School For Social Research and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Social History at New York University, has argued that “the concept that a man who is trained in medicine or a Ph.D. in psychology has a special insight into human nature is false” (quoted in “And ACLU Chimes In: Psychiatric Treatment May Be Valueless”, Behavior Today, June 12, 1978, p. 3).

Implicit in the idea of “psychotherapy” is the belief that “psychotherapists” have special skills and special knowledge that are not possessed by other people. In making this argument against “psychotherapy”, I am arguing only that conversation with psychotherapists is no better than conversation with other people. In his defense of psychotherapy in a book published in 1986, psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey makes this argument: “Saying that psychotherapy does not work is like saying that prostitution does not work; those enjoying the benefits of these personal transactions will continue doing so, regardless of what the experts and researchers have to say” (Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists: The Common Roots of Psychotherapy and Its Future, Jason Aronson, Inc., p. 198). If you really are desperate for someone to talk to, then “psychotherapy” may in fact be enjoyable. However, if you have a good network of friends or family who will talk to you confidentially and with your best interests at heart, there is no need for “psychotherapy”. Just as a happily married man or a man with a good sexually intimate relationship with a steady girlfriend is unlikely to have reason to hire a prostitute, people with good friendships with other people are unlikely to need “psychotherapy”.

What if you need information about how to solve a problem your family and friends can’t help you with? In that case usually the best person for you to talk to is someone who has lived through or is living through the same problem you face. Sometimes a good way to find such people is attending meetings of a group organized to deal with the kind of problem you have. Examples (alphabetically) are Alcoholics Anonymous, Alzheimer’s Support groups, Agoraphobia Self-Help groups, Al-Anon (for relatives of alcoholics), Amputee Support groups, Anorexia/Bulimia support groups, The Aphasia Group, Arthritics Caring Together, Children of Alcoholics, Coping With Cancer, Debtors Anonymous, divorce adjustment groups, father’s rights associations (for divorced men), Gamblers Anonymous, herpes support and social groups such as HELP, Mothers Without Custody, Nar-Anon (for relatives of narcotics abusers), Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Parents Anonymous, Parents in Shared Custodies, Parents Without Partners, Potsmokers Anonymous, Resolve, Inc., (a support group that deals with the problems of infertility and miscarriage), Shopaholics Ltd., singles groups, Smokers Anonymous, The Stuttering Support Group, women’s groups, and unwed mothers assistance organizations.

Local newspapers often have listings of meetings of such organizations. Someone who is a comrade with problems similar to yours and who has accordingly spent much of his or her life trying to find solutions for those problems is far more likely to know the best way for you to deal with your situation than a “professional” who supposedly is an expert at solving all kinds of problems for all kinds of people. The myth of professional psychotherapy training and skill is so widespread, however, that you may find people you meet in self-help groups will recommend or refer you to a particular psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. If you hear this, remember what you read (above) in this pamphlet and disregard these recommendations and referrals and get whatever counselling you need from nonprofessional people in the group who have direct experience in their own lives with the kind of problem that troubles you. You will probably get better advice and – importantly – you will avoid psychiatric stigma.

In their book A New Guide To Rational Living, Albert Ellis, Ph.D., a New York City psychologist, and Robert A. Harper, Ph.D., say they follow “an educational rather than a psychodynamic or a medical model of psychotherapy” (Wilshire Book Co., 1975, p. 219). In his book Get Ready, Get Set…Prepare to Make Psychotherapy A Successful Experience For You, psychotherapist and psychology professor Harvey L. Saxton, Ph.D., writes: “What is psychotherapy? Psychotherapy is simply a matter of reeducation. Reeducation implies letting go of the outmoded and learning the new and workable. Patients, in one sense, are like students; they need the capacity and willingness to engage in the process of relearning” (University Press of America, 1993, p. 1). In their book When Talk Is Not Cheap, Or How To Find the Right Therapist When You Don’t Know Where To Begin, psychotherapist Mandy Aftel, M.A., and Professor Robin Lakoff, Ph.D., say “Therapy…is a form of education” (Warner Books, 1985, p. 29).

Since so-called psychotherapy is a form of education, not therapy, you need not a doctor or therapist but a person who is qualified to educate in the area of living in which you are having difficulty. The place to look for someone to talk to is where you are likely to find someone who has this knowledge. Someone whose claim to expertise is a “professional” psychotherapy training program rarely if ever is the person who can best advise you.

THE AUTHOR, Lawrence Stevens, is a lawyer whose practice has included representing psychiatric “patients”. His pamphlets are not copyrighted. You are invited to make copies for distribution to those who you think will benefit.

Uff Da! That’s a sturdy casserole!

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reuben casserole

Grits for breakfast, cracker jacks for morning tea, and…..for the climax of our gastronomically daring, cultural adventure…..Reuben Casserole!

Those following our shoe box adventures will know I have Dandelionmom to thank for this new experience.

Here’s the recipe:

Layer the following in a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan;

  • rye bread slices (this caused us some consternation, as there are both “light fluffy” rye, and “build a house with it” rye, and we knew not which to choose!)
  • 1/2 lb corned beef slices chopped up (we took a stab in the dark, being clueless as to how much 1/2 lb would be)
  • 1/2 large can saurkraut
  • 8 0z sour cream
  • repeat layers
  • add slices of swiss cheese
  • top with remainder of rye loaf cubed, and drizzled with 1/2 cup of melted butter.

Bake in moderate oven 30-40 mins.

The head of the house was the most reluctant participant, and his response was hardly flattering. Two of the children ate dutifully, and a third declared it was wonderful, asked for seconds, and declared it a new favourite! (Bless her!)

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