Cousin's words drove out envy
In the 1930s and '40s, the most popular little girl in the nation was Shirley Temple. With her blond, curly hair and dimpled smile, she starred in movie after movie, and despite it's being the Depression, Shirley Temple dolls were flying off the store shelves. That's when my envy began.
My cousin Frances and I were born in 1934, and we lived next door to each other, so we spent a great deal of time together. It never mattered that her hair was blond and mine was dark brown, until the day she got a Shirley Temple doll. Suddenly, everyone began saying how much Frances looked like Shirley Temple, and they gave her more attention than they gave me. I was so jealous, I started to hate my cousin.
It was strange how the envy went away the day my cousin confided to me that she hated being an only child and would give anything if she had a brother like I did. I couldn't believe it. All the time I was envying her, she had been envying me!
Envious behavior lowered her grade
I attended country school as a youngster in the 1930s. During the Depression, we did not have a lot of money, so I often wore my older sister's hand-me-downs.
There were a couple of girls at school who were my age, and whom I played with. They didn't have older sisters, so they did not wear hand-me-downs. I was always a little envious of them. One day when Shirley appeared in a new smock that her mother had made, I wrote a note to Dorothy exclaiming, 'Shirley sure thinks she's smart in her new smock!'
The teacher, who just happened to be Shirley's older brother, intercepted the note. He didn't reprimand me at the time, but when I got my report card at the end of the six weeks, I found I had received an F in Deportment.
Story City, Iowa
Doesn't get jealous of much now that she's older
I don't know anyone who hasn't felt pangs of jealousy in one form or another. The first time I remember experiencing it was when I was in the lower grades of elementary school.
At the start of the school year, my mother bought me a bright-red book satchel. I was full of pride the first day I carried it to school. Most kids carried their supplies in brown paper bags. All eyes were on me and my satchel as I walked down the aisle to my seat.
After the bell rang, the teacher introduced a new student - a girl, who was given the seat behind me. As she approached me, she smiled, but I didn't smile back.
She was carrying one of the new style zippered notebooks I had begged for before Mother decided a satchel would be more practical. I was so jealous of that little girl. I knew nothing about her, but I knew I didn't like her.
As teenagers, my friends and I used to envy the homes, cars and fancy clothes of the kids in our class who came from wealthy families. One time my friend and I were talking about a classmate's new shiny car. My friend said she sure would like to have that car. Mother heard her remark, and proceeded to give us a good talking to about envy, jealousy and coveting.
After that, my friends and I watched what we said, especially if Mother was around. We were careful to say we'd like to have a dress like the one a classmate wore to school on Friday, but we'd like one in a different color. Stated that way, we figured we weren't guilty of coveting a dress.
As I've gotten older, I'm not jealous of much. If someone gets a new house or a fancy car, I can genuinely say I'm glad for them without the slightest twinge of jealousy. Many women are jealous of their husbands. That's never been a problem for me. My husband of 42 years has never given me reason to be jealous.
Music is one of the many pleasures in life. Often when we hear a certain song, it takes us back in time. Songs remind us of special people and events that have graced our lives.
Is there a certain song that is particularly special to you? What makes it so special, and why did you choose that song for that reason? Tell us your favorite song stories.
Send your letters to Kate Marchbanks, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with traditional Irish meals
Known for their buoyant jigs and heavenly feasts, the Irish certainly understand the importance of entertaining. Try cooking up one or all of the following dishes for your St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this traditional dish.
Dijon-Glazed Corned Beef with Savory Cabbage and Red Potatoes
1 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 cups water
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, including white and green parts
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 head green cabbage, cored, cut into 6 wedges (1 to 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 1/2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
Place corned beef brisket in a roasting pan; sprinkle garlic, contents of seasoning packet and peppercorns around and over brisket. Add water; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Braise in the upper third of oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender.
Meanwhile place butter, green onions, horseradish, ground pepper and salt in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until butter melts; mix well. Cover and refrigerate 2 tablespoons for Rustic Corned Beef & Potato Bake.
Place cabbage wedges on half of a baking sheet and potatoes on other half. Drizzle remaining horseradish-butter mixture over vegetables, turning cabbage and tossing potatoes to coat. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast in lower third of oven with brisket for 55 minutes. Uncover vegetables; continue roasting for 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown.
Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Remove cooked brisket from roasting pan; place on rack in broiler pan so surface of brisket is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Brush glaze over brisket; broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until glaze is bubbly and beginning to brown.
Carve brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Cover and refrigerate 1/2 of brisket (about 12 oz.) and 2 cups potatoes for Rustic Corned Beef & Potato Bake. Serve remaining brisket and potatoes with cabbage. Yields 4 servings.
This delicious main dish can be prepared and baked in about an hour.
Rustic Corned Beef & Potato Bake
3 teaspoons butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
12 ounces reserved corned beef brisket, coarsely chopped*
2 tablespoons reserved horseradish-butter mixture*
2 cups reserved potato halves*
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 375°F. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass pie plate with 1 teaspoon butter; set aside.
Melt remaining butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and thyme; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in corned beef and horseradish-butter mixture.
Cut each potato half into 4 wedges; arrange wedges in a single layer over bottom and up sides of the prepared pie plate.
Combine cheeses in a small bowl. Sprinkle ½ of cheese mixture over potatoes. Top with corned beef mixture and remaining cheese mixture. Press firmly with a spatula to compact the layers.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and bake for 3 to 5 additional minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges begin to brown. Let stand for 5 minutes, before cutting into wedges. Yields 4 servings.
Editor's Note: * refers to ingredients reserved from Dijon-Glazed Corned Beef with Savory Cabbage and Red Potatoes.
Reuben sandwiches are a great idea for a quick lunch.
2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 slices rye OR pumpernickel bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
12 ounces thinly sliced cooked corned beef OR deli corned beef
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, well-drained
Lightly spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until it's hot. Place 2 slices of bread, butter side down, in skillet. Top each bread slice with 2 slices cheese, 1 tablespoon dressing, 3 ounces corned beef, and ¼ of the sauerkraut. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up.
Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, turning once.
Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve with additional Thousand Island dressing. Yields 4 sandwiches.
Here are a few tips to ensure you end up with great-tasting corned beef every time.
- Corned beef brisket needs to gently simmer. High temperatures can toughen the meat. The steam created during simmering ensures you get fork-tender, moist and flavorful beef.
- Do not boil. Boiling does not speed the cooking process; it only toughens the beef.
- Cover the meat tightly and do not peek. Be patient. It cooks unattended and does not need to be turned during cooking. It's best not to take the cover off until the instructed cooking time is reached. Each time the cover is lifted, steam escapes, and the tenderizing process is interrupted.
- To determine doneness, insert a utility fork into the brisket. It's fork-tender when the fork can be inserted and released without resistance.
- Carve brisket across the grain into thin slices for the most tender eating experience.
Together with God
Jealousy is an ugly but very real emotion. I know, because I suffer from it. I also am well aware that it is one of the character flaws God wants me to work on.
My jealousy flares up at the oddest of times. For instance, at work, I find myself getting jealous when the boss recognizes someone else, when I feel that I should be acknowledged as well.
Jealousy is a feeling of being slighted or overlooked, or feeling as though you're not as good as someone else. Envy is completely different. It is when you want something that someone else has.
I never find myself envying someone else's life, possessions or rewards. I just find myself being jealous that I wasn't the star of the moment.
I'm getting better, though. I'm learning to control that ugly green-eyed monster by reminding myself that God knows who I am, and even if I'm a mess, He still loves me. I might feel jealous for a moment, but then that quick reminder turns my jealousy into a soothing acceptance of the situation.
Father, thank You for all the feelings and emotions we experience - both good and bad. Help us to grow and learn from our character flaws and help us to always remember You love us, even when we are a mess. Amen.
D. Susan Rutz
A Letter From Kate
We had a good laugh this month as we began reading all the letters about jealousy. Our first laugh was about the fact that we received about half the number of letters we usually do. Our readers don't want to talk about their bouts with the green-eyed monster, that's for sure.
But we've all had our wrangles with the old monster, haven't we? I was especially touched by the letters remembering the jealousy engendered by children having to wear hand-me-downs while their peers sported brand-new outfits. I had some of the same woes as a child, but was thin enough I never could wear my robust cousin and older sister's clothing. My mother was exceptionally handy with a sewing machine, so at least the fabric got recycled into 'nearly new' clothes for (formerly) skinny-minny me.
One thing I've learned over the years is that jealousy often disappears the closer we get to the subject of our envy. As many readers mentioned, once they got to know the person of whom they were jealous, they discovered that those lives, too, were far from perfect. This business of being human is difficult on all of us, and sometimes the only thing that makes it bearable is the compassion and humor of those we encounter on our journey.
And speaking of that, one of those bright lights we've encountered on our path here at CAPPER'S has winked out far too early. Our good friend and co-worker Vicki passed away recently, and we've been working through quite a bit of sadness here in the office as we grieve this unexpected loss of a member of our team.
In our next issue we'll talk about songs, and we're all looking forward to reading about the songs you've loved.