Sunday, December 30, 2012

Game On

Today is the birthday of Rudyard Kipling, a short story writer, poet and novelist. 

He was born in Bombay, India December 30, 1865. He is known best for his books The Jungle Book (1894) "Gunga Din", Just So Stories and the poem "If "He once said "If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten." 
Truly his life reads like a book with lots of drama and/or movie script. Once I started reading his biography I was mesmerized by all of Kipling's experiences and series of unforeseen events. Kipling was sent away to England for 5 years by his parents to escape a series of typhoid and cholera outbreaks. After physical abuse by a foster mother he returned to his family in India at age 11. As he grew into manhood his love of literature continued and his writing career took off. He married American Caroline Balestier and they settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, his wife's hometown.
His illustrious writing career flourished in the States and at one time he was the highest paid writer in the world. Kipling was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.  His successful literary works were characterized by his love for children and his native homeland,India.

His personal life was characterized by several tragedies. His daughter Josephine died of pneumonia. The Just So Stories  were the bedtime tales he once told to his daughter. Kipling then moved his family to England. In 1915, his son John went off to war. He was missing in action in France and his body was never found.  Rudyard's poem "If" was written to his son before he left home. 
If
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends ca.
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! 

Kipling continued writing in the final two decades of his life. But he never did return to writing cheery children tales that he once so enjoyed crafting. Health issues plagued him and his wife as well as continuing grief over the loss of two children. 
He died in 1936. A little known fact is that his ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey Poets' Corner next to the graves of Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. 
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Baked Cheese Ravioli with Sausage
Cook's notes: Great recipe to feed a crowd on game day (football, soccer etc. ). Just add a salad, bread and brownies and you will certainly be a half-time favorite. 
Serves 8-10 depends on how hungry the crowd is and how many sides/snacks there are also on the table
Ingredients:
  • 1-24 oz. package of frozen cheese ravioli-do not thaw (I used a product called Rosetto)
  • 1-1/4 lbs. sweet mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (comes in a jar)
  • 1-14.5 oz. can diced chunky tomatoes (garlic and basil)
  • ¾ of a jar Marinara sauce (24 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil and 1 tsp. dried oregano or 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese or Colby-Jack
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cook sausage with onions and garlic, drain and set aside
  • In a bowl mix together marinara sauce and can of chunky tomatoes and add spices
  • Cook frozen ravioli in boiling water with ½ tsp. olive oil
  • Drain ravioli and pat dry with paper towels
  • In a 13x 9 pan lightly grease bottom, add drained ravioli and sprinkle sausage mixture over the top of ravioli
  • Grate Parmesan cheese over top of meat mixture
  • Pour tomato sauce mixture over top
  • Grate again with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle mozzarella cheese or Colby jack cheese on top
  • Bake uncovered 35 minutes-let sit 10 minutes before serving





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