This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
June 12th, 2006

Instant Breakfast

Some years ago my oldest daughter was hooked on a Carnation Instant Breakfast product which was just stirred into milk. I have no idea if it was nutritious or not, but it worked for her. Now there are whole grocery aisles of microwave and eat breakfast foods which seem to fit the 'modern' lifestyle. Instant gratification.

We really don't eat breakfast. Neither of us are hungry at breakfast time, and we end up having brunch instead. Although we've been known to have Mongolian Beef instead of eggs or waffles when we're in town.

Recently my husband JC, asked for biscuits and gravy. It is so easy to make today, my grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave. Jimmy Dean makes a Sage Pork Sausage, perfectly seasoned, nothing else needed. Pillsbury is marketing individual (two) serving of refrigerated biscuits (ten to a package) and a basic white sauce is all that's left. Put the biscuits in the oven. Set timer for 14 minutes. Brown the sausage while you stir up the 'gravy'. Two tablespoons of butter melted with two tablespoons of flour, slightly browned, to which is added two cups (or so) of Half and Half, stir constantly. We use Half and Half because we were both raised on whole milk, which doesn't exist anymore. Bring the gravy to a boil and add the browned sausage (size pieces to your liking). Make sure you scrape up the browned bits into the gravy. Let it marry over low heat for about five minutes and serve. You can add more Half and Half if you like it wetter. Less than a half-hour to the table. Serves four or two with enough left for another meal.

Grandmother made it from scratch, a major production. About two hours as I recall...and she didn't do it often. But then, it was the 'old days' and she made her own bread too.

But even the recipe above may be more work than you are willing to do. Quoting from an article I wrote a few years ago:

"We are a country of very high expectations. We are used to 'instant gratification.' The average American family moves every three years. (No wonder real estate companies do well). We change locations and life styles on a whim. Don't like your vehicle? Out here it's zero down and minimum payments and you're into a new one. If you don't like a television program, find the remote and start surfing. There are a huge number of programs available (not enough John Wayne westerns for JC) and if that doesn't suit you, grab a movie or a dvd. We've about 'entertained' ourselves into a morass. Which, by the way, gets smuttier every day."

Things haven't changed since I wrote that, in fact they are getting worse.

We even see it in fly fishing.

A recent email asked what beads the person should be using for fly tying, glass, plastic, brass or titanium? After I stopped shaking my head and muttering, I responded that it depends on what the fishing situation is. Was the purpose to make the fly sink? If so in moving or still water? How deep? How fast? Or was it to enhance the fly? My opinion doesn't matter.

I realize some people tie flies and don't fish. Fly tying can be a hobby, something to do. But for most it is part of the larger experience. Tying your own flies and catching fish on them is great. It is fun. It is rewarding. Learning the insects and when which appear in what form gives the fly fisher a huge advantage. The learning itself is satisfying, but putting the pieces together and catching because of it is an immensely satisfying thing. Good for the id.

Casting falls into the same category. Yes, there are some 'naturals' - people who just seem to pick it up with hardly any effort. For most it is learn the basics, practice (that word again) until the basics are 'in there' - automatic. You should not have to think about the cast, just do it. And a nice cast, a perfect cast is a thing of beauty and grace. Something to be proud of.

Hooking, playing and landing a fish, doesn't happen overnight. Or instantly if you prefer. It's not about paying your dues, there aren't any. But it is about learning. The sequential mastering of the steps of becoming a fly fisher.

Is it a plateau above spin fishing? In my opinion, yes. Is it worth celebrating? Absolutely. Enjoy and relish all the parts - including being there.

Just maybe fly fishing will become the Class Act as it was once known. A banquet, a feast - not instant breakfast. ~ The LadyFisher

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