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Happy-Gourmand

The wisdom of Pooh

Isn’t it funny how some things keep coming back to you throughout your life? I have a good friend who says that life keeps presenting lessons to us until we learn from them.

I was reminded of her expression amidst the sound bites of speeches by famous people talking to college graduates.

Life is all about what we learn from it.
 
I have always liked a simple version of how to look at life, much like seeing the glass half-empty or half-full. I am a fan of Winnie the Pooh and his simple wisdom (often likened to the Eastern philosophy of Taoism).

I love the fact that Pooh saw not just a glass, but rather a pot of honey. 

Conversely, I have often thought that those who seemed to feel a storm cloud followed them were a bit like Pooh’s friend Eeyore the donkey. “Poor Eeyore”, as he was often known, always seemed to be awaiting impending doom, and of course, he was rarely disappointed.

He lost his tail, he got broken birthday presents… this guy really had bad luck.

What point am I getting at, you ask? These are great examples for life. I am reminded of one of my favourite speeches given to students, and it referred to Pooh and his friends. Have you ever heard of Randy Pausch?

Pausch was a professor who had terminal cancer and decided to give his best advice to his students, not on formal education but on how to learn to enjoy life.

He told his students they should decide whether they wanted to be a Tigger or an Eeyore. (Tigger was even more bouncy and positive than Pooh – more of a North American motivator than Eastern, like a Richard Simmons to Pooh’s Buddha.) You can look it up – it’s called The Last Lecture.

In a more every-day sort of vein, with all the rain we have had and everyone feeling rather gloomy lately, it made me think of Eeyore – what cheered him up?

Let’s look at how the world worked for A. E. Milne’s characters….

Theirs was a simple life – Pooh enjoyed a bit of sustenance in a pot of honey, Piglet enjoyed his “haycorns," Rabbit enjoyed his garden, Owl enjoyed his books, Tigger enjoyed bouncing, Kanga enjoyed taking care of little Roo.

The best part of all was they enjoyed each other’s company. 

Even Eeyore was happiest when his friends remembered his birthday. Despite his burst balloon of a perfect size and colour, he got a big thrill of putting it in and taking it out of the empty honey pot Pooh gave him.

After all, if you have friends to share your experiences, then even the storm clouds seem not so bad.

So, here’s to a week filled with your own sunshine, even if it rains outside.

Share a pot of honey, take time to bounce with your friends… and remember to learn the lesson life puts in front of you. (This means if you enjoy it, you need to do more of it)

For those who like honey, here’s a recipe to keep you going. It tastes best when served among friends.

BEST FRIEND BANANA BREAD

  • 1/2 cup / 125 mL butter
  • 3/4 cup / 375 mL sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 125 mL honey 
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups / 500 g flour
  • 1/2 tsp / 3 mL baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp / 3 g ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp / 3 mL baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp / 3 mL vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup / 185 mL milk
  • optional: 1 cup chopped nuts and/or 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Grease a loaf pan or bundt pan.

  • Sift flour and mix with baking powder and cinnamon. Mix in nuts and/or chocolate chips if you are using them.
  • Cream sugar, honey and butter in a mixer or large bowl. Beat in mashed bananas and eggs until well blended. Add in dry ingredients at low speed and mix just until smooth. Add vanilla and baking soda to milk in measuring cup, then mix gradually with batter.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake on middle rack for 1 hour, turning halfway through. Loaf is done when a knife inserted in centre comes out clean.
  • Loosen loaf from pan with a spatula and turn out on wire rack to cool.


More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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