Wisdom from Willie Wonka

Welcome  I thought we’d do something a little fun today.  So I am sharing with you my all-time favorite movie!  From the time I was a little kid, right up to this day, the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite movie.  When I need a pick-me-up, I often reach for my aging DVD copy of this movie.  I have read the book by Roald Dahl and watched snippets from the newer version of the movie with Johnny Depp.  But for me, there is no other Willie Wonka than Gene Wilder.

This week’s theme is “growth,” and sometimes it takes a movie for children to point out some obvious lessons.  I’m going to share just a few of these with you today.  I also have a Triple Threat Thursday, featuring three recipes that plays off a few scenes from the movie.  Thanks for joining me today.

 

Food For Thought I may have seen this movie a hundred times, or more, literally.  I pretty much have the whole thing memorized.  But there are some quotes and lessons that seem to apply to my adult life quite well.  Here are a few of the most notable, keeping in mind that I’m referring to the 1971 classic:

Mrs. Bucket and Charlie conversing at her laundry job: “Someday you’ll get your chance.”  “When, when will I get my chance.”  “Probably when you least expect it.”  I wonder how many times I have had a similar conversation with God–When?  When are you going to make this happen for me?  And the funny thing is, it’s always when I least expect it.  When I relax and let go of control, seemingly out of the blue, my answered prayer shows up.  My golden ticket has shown up in a variety of ways, ranging from how I met my husband to how I was able to finally leave a job that had me burned out and miserable.  I keep reminding myself that God works His blessings in my life when I’m not hovering over Him with demands and expectations.

Mrs. Tevee to her son, Mike, as they climb aboard Mr. Wonka’s carbonation-powered vehicle:  “Just keep your eyes open and your mouth shut.”  This is in response to Mike’s query if Mr. Slugworth might be interested in knowing about this contraption, but I’m not looking to steal anybody’s  ideas.  I’m just thinking how many opportunities I miss because I don’t follow Mrs. Tevee’s advice–eye’s open, mouth shut!  I get so busy focusing on my own affairs that I don’t open my eyes to things going on around me, opportunities to serve and reach out to others.  And, wow, I need to shut my mouth, sometimes!  Too much jabber on my part drowns out any ability to hear second and third chances I’m given.  Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time kills some of those chances altogether.  I need to spend more time with my eyes open and my mouth shut.

Grampa Joe makes this statement to Charlie when he asks why Violet won’t listen to Mr. Wonka about the gum she’s about to chew: “Because Charlie, she’s a nitwit!”  No, it’s not very nice to call someone a name, such as nitwit.  But have you ever wondered why someone continues to do something foolish and ignore all the warnings everyone around them is giving?  You can’t even call it ignorance, because they have been told!  This is the ultimate in foolishness, which we are warned against so many times in scripture (Proverbs; Matthew 7:24-27).

Willie Wonka in a closing scene from his office, as Charlie returns his Everlasting Gobstopper, proving his honesty and innocence: “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”  We are all looking for proof that there is still goodness in this world, a world that seems to get uglier every day.  We are a weary world and desperate to see those shining good deeds.  But instead of waiting to witness those good deeds, how about we experience them first hand, by being the light that shines.  Let OUR OWN good deeds shine bright in this weary world! (That’s a challenge for all of us!)

Today’s Scripture  It’s pretty clear that the message of this movie is if you do the right thing, “you will go far,” as sung by the Oompah Loompah crew.  Charlie obviously chooses to do the right thing in the end, and is nicely rewarded.  Why is it so hard for people, ALL OF US, to simply do the right thing?  It’s hard to understand, yet I am right there too.  There’s no golden ticket or chocolate factory in our lives, but doing the right thing–following the rules, being kind, and not self-seeking is the way to get the best prize of all–an eternal place in Heaven.

Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Today’s Recipes  My first recipe is inspired by the scene where Violet Beauregarde ignores everyone’s warning and chews the gum flavored like a three-course meal.  The results are impressive, inflating Violet with blueberry juice to the point of almost bursting.  The Oompah Loompahs must immediately take her to the “juicing room” for squeezing.  Her father sheepishly follows, claiming, “I’ve got a blueberry for a daughter.”  Well, in the midst of seeing all these wonderful sweet things every kid, and many adults, would like to consume, I thought of another baked oatmeal recipe using blueberries and sugar substitute, making it just a little more friendly than many of the items seen in the movie.  If you like baked oatmeal, don’t forget to check out my recipe for Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal.

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
A hearty baked version of one of my favorite oatmeal breakfasts!

 

Sugar Free Blueberry Baked Oatmeal (makes about 15 bars)

  • 2 cups oats (check for certified gluten-free oats to make this a gluten-free recipe)
  • 1/2 cup Sucralose or other sugar substitute
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees; spray 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In medium bowl, stir together oats, sugar substitute, baking powder, and salt.  In small saucepan heat peanut butter and milk together, stirring just until melted and smooth, but not super hot.  Remove from heat and quickly stir in egg and vanilla.  Stir the peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients.  Fold in blueberries.  Batter will resemble very runny oatmeal, that’s okay!  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Remove pan to wire rack and allow to cool slightly before cutting into bars. (I like to eat mine with a nice glass of cold milk)

For my second recipe today, I just have to make a chocolate candy recipe!  After all, we’re talking about a movie that takes place in a chocolate factory!  It’s also coming up on one of my favorite holidays, Easter.  I thought about making peanut butter filled eggs, but I just made peanut butter cup hearts for Valentine’s Day.  So I was inspired by the blog, The Semisweet Sisters , and their chocolate chip cookie dough-filled Easter egg candy.  I adapted the recipe to work for my kitchen and ingredients.  The eggs are super cute and they fulfilled all my candy factory wishes!  There’s no egg, so it’s “edible” cookie dough, but I recently read that some people have concerns with eating dough because of the raw flour.  I grew up “licking the bowl” so I don’t worry about it much; however, if you are concerned about the raw flour, skip this recipe for one of the others.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Eggs
Edible cookie dough AND chocolate…could there possibly be a better candy out there?

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filled Easter Eggs (makes about a dozen)

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (check out the Semisweet Sisters for a brown sugar version)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (you can sub almond extract and get a marzipan-flavored candy)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips (half a regular size package)
  • 20 oz pkg chocolate almond bark (you will have a little left over)
  • pastel candy melts, if desired (I used left over candy melt from my Classic White Cake with Abstract Candy Eggs)

In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together.  Add vanilla, salt, flour, powdered sugar, and milk; beat until you reach a cookie dough consistency.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  With floured hands, spread dough onto wax paper.  Using an egg-shaped cookie cutter, cut egg shapes from dough.  Use dough scraps to fill in cookie cutter until all dough has been used.  Be prepared to get in there with your hands!

Place cookie dough eggs in refrigerator to set for two hours.  This is a very important step for being able to coat with the chocolate.  When your eggs are ready, place almond bark in large glass bowl and microwave on high for one minute.  Stir the chocolate and continue to microwave at 30-second intervals until completely melted.  Using a dipping tool, or two forks, dip each egg completely in chocolate.  Allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl and then place back on wax paper.  When all eggs have been dipped, place pan back in refrigerator for an hour.  Prepare candy melt according to package directions.  Using a spoon, drizzle back and forth across eggs for desired effect.  Allow drizzle to set for 30 minutes.

“Gooses, geeses, I want me geese to lay golden eggs for Easter,” says Veruca Salt in the middle of her “brat fit” in Willie Wonka’s factory room of golden egg-laying geese.  While her behavior is appalling to me as a parent, the scene is quite memorable.  And when I think of “golden eggs,” I often think of one of my favorite meals–cheesy scrambled eggs.  So this next section is more of a creative left-overs tip than an actual recipe.

Do you ever have leftover hot dog buns from family get-togethers.  We always seem to have more buns left, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Turning leftover hamburger and hot dog buns into bread pudding is one of my favorite creations, but you have to have the right amount of buns to pull that off.  My Cheesy Scrambled Egg Rolls are my go-to for breakfast or lunch following a weekend event that leaves us with just a few leftover hot dog buns.  It’s a quick and substantial way to get your day started.

Cheesy Scrambled Egg Rolls
Got left-over buns? A quick and easy breakfast of cheesy scrambled egg rolls will take care of that!

 

Cheesy Scrambled Egg Rolls (It makes as many as you have left-over buns)

  • Left-over hot dog buns
  • 1-2 TBS margarine or butter
  • eggs, 2 per bun
  • shredded cheese of choice, about 1/4 cup per bun
  • salt and pepper, hot sauce, salsa, red pepper flakes, or other seasoning of choice

Over medium heat, melt margarine in skillet.  When melted, crack eggs into pan and begin stirring immediately with rubber spatula or plastic spoon.  Continue to scramble and stir eggs until cooked through.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese until fully incorporated.  Spoon cheesy eggs into buns and top with desired seasoning.  The buns have a slight sweetness that contrasts nicely with the salty richness of the cheese and eggs.  If you don’t fill your rolls too full, you can wrap with foil and they make a great portable breakfast.

And don’t forget about our giveaway going on until April 1…check it out on Facebook!