You Can’t Always Get What You Want

After a few foggy moments staring at my computer screen this morning, I decided to take a motivational walk through the neighborhood.  Zipping around the elementary school, I don’t know where it came from but I started to hum the Rolling Stones song, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.  As I pictured in my mind that scene from the iconic 1983 film The Big Chill, where that song was the background music at a funeral, I started to mouth the words in breathy synchronicity.

“You can’t always get what you want . . . you can’t always get what you want  . . .  But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need . . . ”

Which got me to thinking about all the things people want and need in life.  We want love and happiness, money, stability, health, security, yada, yada, yada.  And some folks want fame and fortune, along with all the goodies that fame and fortune brings.

But if my crushing economic slump has any noteworthy meaning, it is that it’s got me rethinking my perspective of and position in life — not because I want to but because I need to.  Now, it is more about what do I need at the grocery store: toilet paper, milk, antacid tablets, oatmeal; and less about what I want: family size bag of Cheetos, filet mignon, high-end vodka, and imported dark chocolate bars.

This certainly isn’t the life I thought I’d be living in middle age, if you’d asked me to describe it 20 years ago.  But, here I am.  And though it’s sometimes tough clawing my way out of my slump, I know one thing is certain: life could be worse.

“The storybooks are bullshit!” is what Nicolas Cage’s character told Cher’s character in the acclaimed 1987 film Moonstruck, as he tried to convince her to give in to her lust and love for him, and quit waiting for some manufactured Mr. Wonderful to come along.  He’s right, you know.

I’ve often wondered — especially in the last year or so — where is my Prince Charming, my glass slipper, my happily-ever-after, as promised by Disney in so many animated classics on which I was weaned.  I’m OK doing without the prince, and I can certainly live without the fear of a sharp pain in my instep from a broken glass slipper.  But, the happy ending?  Where is the path to my Camelot?  How do I get back on the fast track to happiness?

If the storybooks were just a bunch of melarkey, maybe what I need to do is write — or rewrite — my own, as a Facebookpal recently suggested.  After all, he posted, “storybooks are passive, life is active . . . Life comes to those who reach out, and it seldom shows up while you’re waiting.”   He’s got a point there.

My mother's classic and well-worn Betty Crocker cookbook, circa 1950.

Maybe there comes a time in all our lives when we simply need to rewrite the classics that sit collecting dust in our hopeful hearts and minds.  And for every one of us, that moment in time is uniquely specific to where we are in life, and what our lives have yet to teach us.

So, it’s back to the computer — to rewrite my life story.  It’s back to work I go.  Hi-ho, hi-ho, hi-ho.

And speaking of classics, after several hours on the computer, I broke free of the keyboard’s grip and headed into the kitchen where I rewrote a classic Betty Crocker recipe.  Well, not so much rewrote as I merely enhanced Betty’s easy scone recipe.  Just what I was looking for: quick, easy comfort.  Now that’s a rewrite I can sink my teeth into.


This Betty Crocker recipe is probably delicious in its original form, but you know me.  I had to change it up a bit to get to the flavors my mouth was watering for.  Besides, I didn’t have on hand the 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies that the recipe called for, so I did a little tweaking.

  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup firm margarine or butter (I prefer butter)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used buttermilk just for fun)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup frozen, thawed corn kernals (1 small can of creamed corn would also be yummy)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (such as Craisins)
  • Honey, if desired

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease or spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in butter, using a pastry blender or a couple of forks, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Mix in milk, egg, cheese, corn, and cranberries.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times.  Pat or roll into an 8-inch circle on the prepared cookie sheet.  Using a sharp knife, gently cut the circle into 8 wedges, but do not separate.  Drizzle a bit of honey round and round on the top of the scone circle.

Cheddar-cornmeal scones ready for the oven.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and carefully separate into wedges.  Serve warm with butter and more honey.

Enjoy one while you work on your life story!


About Patti, Reinvented

I am a writer & editor, photographer, foodie, dog rescuer – the priority order changes daily. Most people think my dad was the funny one in the family. I'm here to tell you Mom had her moments. As a kid, whenever I asked her what we were having for dinner she'd turn toward me, glance down at the ever-present dish rag in her hand, and say with a smirk, “Stewed rags and buttermilk.”
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4 Responses to You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. Aamir says:

    I’d figured out when I used Polenta for cornbread it needed more liquid. I rarely stick to the given liquid amount in recipes because things like flour and cornmeal vary in porosity[ have I got that right?] I go by how it feels and looks. When I was at school [in the days when being a good housewife was what we were supposed to aim for no matter how bright,] we used to have a complete day in our school’s kitchen. When we were being shown how to make a sponge (cake) the teacher said to make sure you have the right consistency, take a spoonful of your mix, hold it over the bowl and count to three. If the mix falls off on three it’s about the right consistency. That’s been a really useful tip over the years. For Yorkshire pudding, dip a tablespoon into the mix, hold it up and if the mix lightly coats the back of the spoon it’s the right consistency.

  2. Sue says:

    Enjoy the re-writing process! And, the scones sound wonderful. I just might have to try these soon!

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