The relationship between me and my TV has had its ups and downs, over the years. Sometimes, it has been my best friend - almost a lifesaver;-). At others, it has been the big, flat monster that seems to mock at any attempt of mine to release my poor, naive children from the power of its hypnotic, mind-numbing grip.
There have been moments, when I have seriously considered a life without television. I have longed for the peaceful solitude of quiet days, undisturbed by the intrusion of modern gadgets or the strange, big world, beyond the little haven I have built up for my family. But, then, I have wondered what I am afraid of. Do I think God will abandon us to become worldly, atheistic zombies, if we dare to watch our TV in moderation and with prayerful discernment?
I understand that there are problems associated with the excessive and indiscriminate watching of television and I agree that viewing is a passive occupation which can subtly, but significantly, alter both our thought processes and our perceptions of the world. I see that it can, also, intrude upon relationships and become a substitute for more creative pursuits or real-life experiences.
But, as for the times when we view television as a useful tool and, even, the odd occasions when, exhausted and flustered, we fall back on 'babysitting' television - are we really harming ourselves and our families? Within a loving home, is there really any danger of long term damage? And, if we decide that TV truly is becoming a problem, are we really so powerless that we can't just go and flick the off button, when it's necessary?
Bearing in mind that there is such a thing as quality viewing, I decided to see if I could think of 10 good reasons to watch television. Here's what I came up with:
1. TV can introduce our children to new places and cultures that they have no opportunity of visiting, right now.
2. It can stimulate new ideas and creativity, teaching new skills, and bringing an awareness of and an appreciation for the gifts of others.
3. TV can provide the opportunity to view quality productions in the arts, where attending a live performance may not be possible.
4. Documentaries are a source of knowledge and information which are readily accessible and easily assimilated by children, through television.
5. Television can enrich the experience of good literature by providing a visual extension to the reading.
6. It can lead to good reading when an adaptation of literature is viewed first and a child's interests are subsequently stimulated by what they read.
7. It can keep one abreast of world events and connected to the world at large, from the safety of one's own home.
8. TV can stimulate discussion, and be the source of intelligent conversation and analytical thinking.
9. Watching TV can be relaxing, when stressed, and provide mothers with a some respite when they really need it.
10. It can provide the opportunity for wholesome fun and entertainment, when families choose to watch a special show or movie together.
11. There might be a chance that the doom-and-gloom predictions of, even moderate, TV viewing by children just may be a tad exaggerated. (Some years ago, we had a toddler daughter with a seriously worrying TV addiction. This girl lived for Hi-Five, from morning till night - no exaggeration, she was excessive! Today, she is a perfectly normal, creative 8 year old who prefers swimming, craft, reading and outdoor play with her friends to sitting in front of the TV.)
(Oops - that's 11, not 10! Well, I can't blame the oversight on mind-numbing TV, as I myself very rarely watch it!)
And, to sum up, do I agree with all that's on my list? Hmmm, perhaps, not all of it - or, not entirely... But, then, maybe, I do... Well, possibly, I do, at the moment...
In actual fact, it's of no consequence. I continue to live, pray and frequent the Sacraments, and slowly, silently and surely, God continues to remove from my life any negative, little influences that hinder my progress towards Heaven.
So, television - friend or foe? I'll trust in the Lord to decide.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
It is Sunday and my favourite day of the week. Here I am, relaxing and enjoying some quiet time after the busyness of the past week. I’m sitting on my favourite sofa.
Please share more of my stories at my blog, Sue Elvis Writes
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Some of our family standbys -
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
375g zucchini, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm lamington pan.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, onion, cheese and oil and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Peanut Butter Pasta ( ALSO NICE WITH RICE)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3-4 cups veggies (broccoli, peppers, carrots, peas, corn, etc), cut into bite size pieces - optional, sometimes we leave this out and just serve the pasta and sauce with lots of salad...
Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the peanut butter, hot water, and milk until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. When pasta is almost done, add vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. Drain and return to pot. Pour in the peanut sauce and toss well.
Nigella's Macaroni Cheese
500g macaroni cooked al dente
500g cheese chopped( low fat for me)
1 cup evaporated milk - but I usually just use skim milk
1/4 tspn of nutmeg ( but I usually just use paprika)
1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Mix ingredients except pasta in blender. Pour into wide shallow dish that will fit ingredients. Stir in pasta.
3. Bake until melty around 10-15 minutes.
Nigella's Cheesy Risotto
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 baby leeks (or fat spring onions), finely sliced
300g risotto rice
125ml white wine
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 litre hot vegetable stock
125g Cheddar, chopped
1.Melt the butter and oil in a medium-sized pan and cook the sliced baby leeks until they have softened.
2. Add the risotto rice and keep stirring for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and add the wine and mustard, stirring until the wine is absorbed.
3. Start ladling in the hot stock, letting each ladleful become absorbed as you stir, before adding the next one.
4. Stir and ladle until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes, then add the cheese, stirring it into the rice until it melts.
5. Take the pan straight off the heat, still stirring as you do so, and spoon the risotto into warmed dishes.
Chana Dahl (yellow split peas) - we eat this with rice and veges
1tsp ground tumeric
1.5c chana dahl (or yellow split peas)
1clv garlic, peeled and chopped
1tsp red chilli powder (can substitute cayenne pepper)
Put the dahl in a big pot with five cups of water. Bring to a boil and remove any surface scum. Add the turmeric and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until the dahl is tender. ..I usually cheat and just bung this ll into the crocpot and cook on low all day....Most but not all of the water should be absorbed. Add the salt to the dahl, stir to mix. Heat some oil in a small frying pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the curry powder. A couple seconds later, put in the garlic and onion. Stir and fry until lightly browned. Put the chilli powder into the pan. Immediately lift the pan off the heat and pour its entire contents into the pot with the dahl. Stir to mix.
Ministry of Food. For a special occasion that just happens to fall on a Friday in Lent.