Gratitude seems to be the latest Facebook catch cry. I’m seeing it everywhere. How to cultivate it, how to acknowledge it, how to savour it and turn your gratitude into an endless patience and love.
As it turns out, I can’t be cynical about any of this, since I totally agree. I am always SO grateful and SO appreciate of my blessings that I’m always waiting somehow for them to come tumbling down. As I guess they will one day, although I hope I’ll be so busy being grateful for the minutiae that I won’t notice the wider catastrophes befalling me.
A couple of years back, when I was unhappy in my job and trying to find the courage to publish a silly little book about sneaking vegetables into children, I did what many women do and looked everywhere for omens and signs that I was choosing the right path rather than foolishly tossing away a well paid part-time job. I remember doing a psych test online, to determine my suitability to life as an entrepreneur. It told me that I wasn’t suited at all, because my strongest trait was ‘gratitude’, which I guess means I’m good at touchy-feely stuff, but not good at being a self-determined, small-business fascist. And perhaps they were right. I still struggle with being too self-effacing and embarrassed when it comes to pushing my business ‘out there’. But I refuse to submit to the theory that gratitude and success aren’t compatible.
It’s the simplest thing that has had my mind focusing back on gratitude (and joy) – the star stamp from the picture up top. As a girl I would do the whole ‘star light, star bright’ rhyme and WISH for a set of teachers stamps. I wished this wish OFTEN, hoping somehow Santa would hear and sort me out. But he never did. So this year when I was buying the kid’s school supplies I saw this stamp and bought it. And I can’t tell you how ridiculously HAPPY it makes me EVERY time.
With typical adult rationality I had to come up with a purpose for the purchase. Now instead of writing ‘PAID’ on the top of my bills, I stamp them. Oh, the joy of a paid electricity bill! And boy! What a time saver ;).
So what’s your joy? Where’s your gratitude? I’d love to know. It can be amazing how the simple things in life truly are often the best.
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
150ml milk (soy drink works well)
1 egg, lightly whisked
¼ cup sultanas
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup dried apple, finely diced
Margarine, butter or canola oil cooking spray, to grease
Icing sugar and jam,
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar.
Combine the milk and egg and pour into the dry ingredients, whisking to remove any lumps.
You should now have a nice smooth batter. Add more milk if it is too thick. Stir through the sultanas, coconut and apple.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Grease with either margarine, butter or canola oil spray. Add tablespoonful dollops to the pan. Cook until bubbles start to appear, ease a spatula under then flip. Cook on the other side for a minute or so until golden brown.
Serve the pikelets with a dusting of icing sugar and jam, on their own, or with butter and jam.