I am very, very fortunate to have so much love in my life. I married my soul mate and best friend and we have this amazing blended family of 5 kids. They all have their ways of showing love; sometimes it involves screaming and throwing things, other times it’s turning down the television to just under deafening. Don’t worry about us though, we can tell – we know they love us. We also have great extended family and friends who don’t terrorize us every moment of the day, and for that we are grateful.
If you are feeling romantic and sentimental this valentine’s day, check out John Fugelsang’s great love story about his wonderful parents. (NPR Fugersang Story) As my old Scottish friend would say, “it will bring a tear to a glass eye.”
I have a little culinary advice for all of you lovers out there. If you want to make your loved one happy, just listen to what they want. Don’t bother trying to figure it out, or read it in a book. Listen, pay attention and don’t apply your concepts and desires to their (sometimes simple) wants. Let me give you an example. This morning, my beautiful wife said that she really wanted a ham and cheese croissant from the french bakery down the street. This is neither a difficult nor an expensive proposition. It just required putting on my clothes and going to get them. So, without hesitation, I did it. I could have said: “Oh, but I wanted to make you breakfast in bed.” But she really just wanted a croissant, and no matter how wonderful the breakfast in bed might have been, somewhere in the back of her mind she will be thinking “But all I really wanted was a croissant.”
You will find if you just listen and act out of kindness and love, your life will be full of joy and happiness. Last night, one of the kids said: “I want Bangers and Mash.” I had an idea of what I was making for dinner, but I have been down this road before trying to convince them that the chanterelle risotto is really delicious and to “eat your dandelion salad and stop complaining.” Instead, I stopped by a market on my way home that I knew had good sausages. I also bought some beer. After all, if I’m making someone else happy, there is no reason why I can’t be happy too.
Here is the simple, and relatively healthy version of this Irish pub food favorite. If you ordered this in any pub in England or Ireland it would probably come with some sort of fried or sautéed onions and brown gravy.
- Package of Bangers (any sausage will do)
- 1 Beer
- Smashed Potatoes (see previous recipe)
- 1 Package Frozen Peas
- Olive Oil
- Sauté Pan with Lid
- Medium Sauce Pan
- Empty the Peas into the sauce pan and warm over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Peas are the only food that I buy frozen. They are available year round, there is no shucking, and they do not loose any of their goodness in the process.
- In the sauté pan, add a little olive oil and the bangers. Brown them on all sides.
- Pour about 1/2 inch of beer and cover. Steam for about 20 minutes, or until sausages are cooked. If you are using pre-cooked sausages, this will only take a few minutes.
- Crack the lid to reduce the beer. Cook for another minute, turning the sausages.
- Add a little butter to the peas and salt and pepper.