To be honest, the only thing I knew about millet was what I read in fairy tales. You know the drill. Some evil, jealous stepmother or warty witch in the spooky woods would capture our plucky heroine- some flaxen haired, peaches and cream Princess down on her luck, misunderstood and pining for true love. The innocent and modest maiden would then be forced to find golden needles in haystacks or pluck pinches of wool off surly sheep or sort buckets and buckets of miniscule millet seeds.
Tasks any one of us can relate to, right?
I mean, who doesn't relate to the tedium of domestic chores? Just when you finish matching the last pair of spring mountain fresh tube socks, the hamper begins to fill again in all its stinky glory. Mysteriously. It is never empty. Never. And the floor you finally got around to wiping clean and polishing until it gleams- if not twinkles- in the afternoon sunlight gets mauled by muddy rubber soles before you can count two shakes of a lamb's tail. And we won't even hint at the horrors that perpetuate in the so-called powder room.
Mrs. Meyers isn't rich by accident.
Mrs. Meyers isn't rich by accident.
Fairy tales about feminine obedience and compliance in practicing our household chores (a skill set highly valued prior to Helen Gurley Brown) instructed us (pre-kindergarten) that the dutiful are not only more comely than their whining, uppity, stubborn counterparts, in the end (when push comes to shove) the gallant and toothsome Prince will actually prefer duty, modesty and obedience. We are persuaded that if we are patient and kind and willingly clean out the ashes in the fireplace, he will pick us. The good girl.
The exiled Princess missing a slipper.
His tender kiss will awaken us. His gaze becomes our prize. Our ultimate reward. So we can follow him back to the castle.
And wash his dirty underwear.
The sparkly fairy tales we are fed today play out differently. There's no millet or spindles or poisoned apples involved. Carrie Bradshaw (not to mention, every female reality show contestant for the last ten years) hungers not only for the timeless promise of love (and absurdly expensive shoes) but for the jackpot prize of fame. It isn't enough to snag a Prince.
The whole world has to watch.
The Twittering, Facebooking, YouTubing contemporary Princess doesn't feel alive if she's not being observed, basking in media attention. She craves external validation and mirroring like an addict. Which- in a strange, if not classic Jungian way- circles 'round and reflects the old school fairy tales of my childhood. The neglected and unseen Princess locked away in a tower and the maiden drugged by a poisoned apple and sealed in a cold glass casket share the same root desire with her neo-narcissist sisters vocal-frying in reality show hot tubs, hissing in a tantrum as if on cue, or dripping big fat tears of shame on their EatSmart Scales.
They need to be seen. And heard.
Not simply for their pouty lip implants, or how unnaturally white their teeth are, or what their opinion is on the latest celebrity gossip. They long to be valued. And yes, I suppose you could argue that it boils down to wanting love and seeking a loving gaze, but I think it's something deeper, more intimate. I think it's about self-hood. And wrestling with authenticity.
Trying to figure out nothing less than Who am I?
The hunger for that answer fuels their drive to be famous. As if we, the collective observer, the all seeing eye, possess the answer.
But we don't.
Individuation is a solitary task. You can try on attributes for size and see if they chafe. Or buoy. You can bounce bits and pieces off those around you and see if they stick or fall off. You can read and listen and observe and sleep on it. You can go for a run or change the sheets or write in a journal. You can make a pot of soup or order sushi take-out.
You can find love and you can lose love and still not have a clue to who you really are.
The answer isn't out there. It's inside. And the bit by bit excavation, as excruciating and millet-sorting as it may be- is worth it, in the end. One might even say, the process is its own reward. Because how you value and honor your real self is how the world will see you.
And that missing slipper?
It's right where you left it.
|Spring millet side dish with carrots and fresh herbs.|
Spring Millet Recipe with Carrots, Mushrooms and MintMillet cooks up much like quinoa. The taste is a pleasant change from the usual white rice. It's more akin to brown rice, flavor wise, and can handle any herbs and seasonings you can throw at it.
Ingredients:1 cup whole grain millet
Olive oil, as needed
2 cups hot light gluten-free broth
Olive oil, as needed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
First cook the millet. In a saucepan or pot with a cover, pour a little olive oil into the bottom and set it over medium heat. Add the millet grains and using a wooden spoon stir the millet to toast a bit.
After a couple of minutes add in hot broth, stir, and cover. Lower the heat to a low simmer. Cook the millet for about 25 minutes, till all the liquid is evaporated.Meanwhile cook up your vegetables. Drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and stir for a minute or too. Add in the garlic; stir. Add the mushrooms and carrots. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender.When the millet is cooked, fluff with a fork and add it to the skillet mixture. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper, to taste.Toss in:1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1-2 tablespoons toasted pine nutsServe immediately as a side dish.Cook time: 25 min
Yield: Serves 4
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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