Wednesday, December 14, 2016

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” ― Alan W. Watts

Let me open today's visit with an apology. I have at different times had some great stuff to share and I could hardly wait to get them onto the electronic page. However, I do have the 'other duties as assigned' category of activities to take care of, therefore, I did wait and now find myself wondering what in the world happened to those marvelous stories. Oh well, they tell me it does happen to older folks but that wouldn't explain it in my case. Right? Joking only. Welcome to today's edition where I will do my best to dredge up something on this Wednesday, December 14, 2016. When I thought of that word 'dredge', it brought to mind the late, great Cajun humorist and TV cook, Justin Wilson. He was big on using a dredge in his cooking. He also liked the word 'drench'. Here's his recipe for frying catfish. 1-quart oil, 4 catfish fillets. DRENCH: 1 large egg, 1 cup buttermilk, Louisiana hot sauce to taste, salt to taste. DREDGE: 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup cornmeal, salt to taste, ground cayenne pepper to taste. Preheat the oil to 365°. Beat together the egg and buttermilk in a small bowl, then add the seasonings.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour, meal, salt and pepper. Pass the catfish fillets through the drench and coat well with the dredge.  Fry several minutes until the fillets float and are a golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. That was posted from someone on the internet who had used it from one of Wilson's cookbooks. I shared it because of the words DRENCH and DREDGE. (Sorry, it's that kind of day.)

I'm not completely sure, but, maybe me sharing that recipe will qualify my blog as some type of public service help site. Don't count on it. I do think word association is a pretty neat thing. I am aware that dredging is a digging operation and that is the context I intended, however, at the same time I immediately thought about Justin Wilson, a fellow I saw in person at a business conference, and one that I watched for years on his PBS cooking show. Just one word, dredge. I often hear people say, I give you my word on it. That causes me to typically think of my grandfather, Paw Paw Mac, because he personified the meaning of 'my word is my bond.' He was not known for saying things like that. He was known for living it out as a day by day part of how he functioned. From the inside out. Even when it cost him something. He was one of those who placed a high value on his integrity. Looking back, I see why many of the brothers within his circle were a little wary of him. They knew that he could spot phoniness a mile off and they also knew he would never go along to get along. He was not a deal maker. He was a word keeper. I hope you have certain words that trigger specific recollections and give you a sense of thankfulness as a result. Amen.

The power of word association.
That type of personal word association can be both instructive and inspirational. My grandfather was not perfect. He had a healthy temper. Yet, the sum total of his life was exactly the way I described it. You could count on him. He cared little for worldly accolades or the other attractions, but, he believed in God's purpose and that included him living in a way that honored God. Even after these many years since his passing, some 45 of them, I find myself desiring to be a fraction of the man he was. I can assure you that even at 70 years into this journey, I still have much to do to emulate his example. But, I digress, since I couldn't remember that long list of great subjects, I ended up serving up what we find today. Fried catfish including how to drench and dredge, and a word to us all about the practical aspects of living a life of genuine integrity. When I put it like that, it actually makes it seem more worthwhile. I know. You will be the judge of that. I do hope you have a great rest of this day and that we all will be thanking God for it. Amen. See you next time. ....More later.  

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