A Recipe for making life’s lemons into lemonade

Tasha and Lemons 2  The perspective I bring to my everyday life influences the way I understand what is happening, and how I respond to what seems to me to be going on. When I look with compassion on how life has evolved for someone, I also feel differently about how they act toward me or anyone else. I may then see the gift they may bring me. Gratitude and compassion are closely intertwined. Both are necessary for a truly happy life.

The gift of a difficult person or experience may simply be one of patience practice. Compassion helps me to be grateful for that. I wasn’t raised to be compassionate. My parents were highly critical of others. As I realized I needed to change and worked on developing compassion, I found it easier to respond to life and its lemons with gratitude. Being grateful for life’s lemons is a good way to make that lemonade as well to sweeten life. I have found it takes much practice to learn to respond automatically with an attitude reflecting gratitude.

Gratitude as a first response to whatever life hands to you is an important ingredient to build into one’s lifestyle. However as with the deliberate incorporation of any habit, time and effort are required. As I worked to develop my attitude of gratitude, I began by taking small steps. Over time I worked my way up to larger ones. Now it is easier than it used to be to remember to be grateful, regardless of the reasons or circumstances.

Right now I am extremely grateful that my new book, Up To My Neck In Lemons has been published. It is a collection of ways to use lemons both in recipes and in life. It contains my relevant poetry and most importantly some of my experiences in life that have helped me make the proverbial lemonade from the lemons I have encountered. It is my hope to help others with this book, and I am very thankful to those wonderful friends who have helped me to make my hope a reality.

Here is a recipe from my new book: Lemon Sauce for many uses.

This recipe makes a cup and an eighth of sauce. It is easy to make, keeps well and can be used to make any dessert very special.

 Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 cup water, divided, 1/4 cup lemon juice, Grated peel of a lemon, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

Method: In a sturdy pot mix together 1/2 cup water, sugar, and butter. Boil for several minutes. Add juice and rind of lemon. Stir well, cook on low for five minutes. Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Add, stir into lemon mixture and cook until nicely thickened. This has a good flavor and can be used over angel cake or muffins, plain cake or even a combination of fruit.

My book is available on Amazon and of course if you want a signed copy you can write to me at tashahal@gmail.com and let me know.

Perspective Makes the Difference

It is always interesting to see how different things appear as well as feel when one’s perspective has changed. The way I saw things when I was younger in years and experience has altered a good deal in the intervening years. Once in a while I am reminded of this, as I was recently in a conversation I had with a friend of mine. She was lamenting the fact that while she was happy, her children wanted things to be different.

I thought how years ago I visited my late mom and dad in the new home they had bought in Florida. Compared with other places they had lived, it seemed small and somewhat dingy. They loved it. My mother raved about her grapefruit tree, my father proudly pointed out their small swimming pool, about two and a half to three feet deep and maybe eight or ten feet square. It was inside a screened in room with a roof. Of course I said “How nice, I’m so happy for you.”

It’s true that I was happy for them, yet I felt sad too. It seemed to me that they would be happier if they were in something bigger and more grand. Previously for a few years Daddy had owned a large home in Bermuda. It had lovely gardens, many rooms and a resident ghost. The house they had lived in while I was growing up, while not grand, was quite a bit bigger and more spacious than where they were now. Even their summer home in Maine was larger than this one. How could they be content in this smaller space?

That was many years ago. I now fully understand why my parents liked their simpler, more manageable home. I’ve reached an age that is some years older than they were then and I relish the simplicity of my life in an apartment as opposed to what it was like in our two previous houses. It is a joy not to have to clean two or three bathrooms every week. I adore my little kitchen and function much more efficiently in it than in the roomier ones I cooked in, in the homes we owned in the past.

To be sure there are downsides to smaller, simpler living quarters, there is less room for possessions and that means eliminating certain items I might prefer to keep. There are limitations on what I can acquire and how much. However, the downsides and limitations are more than compensated for by the blessings.

My friend, who recently moved into a nursing home tells me she is really happy in her little space. “I wish my children could feel as glad as I do for my being here,” she told me. “I have no worries, the staff take wonderful care of me here, and I am so very comfortable.” Perhaps her children feel guilty and believe they are supposed to be caring for her themselves. That is a truism in our society, yet it is not always true. From my friend’s perspective, everything is just wonderful. I know exactly what she means.





Photo by Tasha

Photo by Tasha