Friend Jane came over for lunch and a visit on Saturday. Jane brought an amazing sun dried tomato and brie appetizer. I did up my usual down home – upscale fusion. As we slathered garlicky brie onto crackers and munched hot beef sandwiches, we chatted optimistically about our writing.
Let me say: it’s amazing how much we writers can learn from one another. Not just about our craft, but about how writing exists as part of our lives. As she always does, Jane gave me a lot to think about. About embracing our roots and using them as a creative force for the future. About finite time and how to be a responsible steward of it. About learning everything we can from the resources around us. And about moving on when we’ve grown beyond them.
After she left, I sat in the quiet space she left behind and considered my situation. It’s clear I have some choices to make. Up until now, I’ve done a rather scattered approach to my writing: throw seeds of myself at every opportunity and see if anything viable takes root. The problem is I now have seedlings growing everywhere. Some are dying. Some are neglected, some overgrown. I’m not doing anything well, because I’m trying to do it all.
Clearly, it’s time to prune.
I spent the rest of the weekend considering options. I have too many things that distract me from my writing, too many things that drain my energy. There are things I invest effort in, but receive only nominal return. And one or two things that are just plain more than I can handle. But they’re choices, which means I don’t have to keep saying yes to them.
So thanks, to Jane, for friendship and good advice. You didn’t know you were giving it, but I’d be smart to take it. And just for the fun of it, I’m going to post my hot beef recipe. Now you can have lunch and Jane's good advice, too :)
Shredded Roast Beef for Sandwiches
2 -1/2 - 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. beef base or 1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
seasoned salt, to taste
Place roast in slow cooker with onion, garlic powder, water, beef base, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Cook on high for 5- 6 hours, or until tender and meat pulls apart easily.
Remove meat from slow cooker and set aside to cool slightly. Leave juices in slow cooker. Pull meat apart with two forks. Remove any fat or gristle and discard it.
Return shredded meat to cooker with juices. Add seasoning salt to taste. If too juicy, sift 1 - 2 Tbsp. of flour over the meat and stir. Turn slow cooker to low until serving. Serve hot on rolls.
Serves 6 – 8.
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