one of us needs to retreat occasionally into some particularly
cozy comfort zone for a while to meditate on how we are doing
or to react to an injury or illness. Each of us has particular
ways of doing this. Some do it with chocolate, which the HR
Doctor has always found to be particularly effective! Others
retreat with tea, hiking, music, some intensive sport, etc.
Its our way of changing the atmosphere of our day or our
lives. Sadly, others attempt to escape from personal
responsibility or challenge by means of alcohol, drugs,
bullying, whining or blaming others.
beautiful HR Daughter, Elyse, has a particularly valuable
approach that she describes as the two-digit rule. On her
days of rest, the rule is that no one is allowed to call her
or otherwise disturb her until at least two digits are showing
on the hour hand of the clock and neither digit is allowed
to be a zero. The result is that is the first moment of
emergence for Elyse. This is true even if she is up before
dawn on that day, since the time for quiet reflection is often
best appreciated alone.
HR Doctors case, besides the joy and peace of morning walks
with the HR Dog Kamala, which was the subject of a prior
column, The Peace of the Morning, there are occasions when I
feel the need for the special warming love of my wife
Charlottes Broccoli Cheese Casserole. This usually happens
when I am feeling sorry for myself. This weekend such a moment
arrived. My brand new and bright yellow high-tech mountain
bike arrived, and I was very eager to take it for a spin. Of
course I had a helmet on: Dont even ask.
However, in a wonderful moment of
hyper-klutziness, which would have played very well on
Americas Most Inept Athletes a new show starring the HR
Doctor I got on the bike and immediately took a tumble as I
left the driveway. Perhaps, as one colleague kindly pointed
out, I should get a padded driveway.
sit here comfortably sipping tea and dictating this article
with what is probably a bruised rib. As long as no colleagues
tell me jokes or otherwise require me to move, I am
my plight, the very wonderful,
immediately leapt into action and told me that a dinner
surprise she had in mind would certainly make me feel better.
I started smiling immediately, knowing that it was her amazing
microwave broccoli-cheese casserole. It is a healing dish. You
cant help but feel better, and you cant help but feel warm
and loved when someone cares enough about you to make
broccoli-cheese casserole. It rivals chicken noodle soup in
its curative powers. So, report immediately to the nearest
microwave oven when you feel the need for warmth and
gift to the readers of the HR Doctor, and in an effort to
secure a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, Charlotte has
consented to share her recipe, I am confident that if
President Kim Jong-il of North Korea would only sit down with
President George W. Bush over a broccoli-cheese casserole, our
relations with that North Korea would be thawed immediately.
Perhaps I can take the initiative and invite the prime
and the Palestinian Authority president over to the house for
a casserole as well.
might even try it with a colleague sitting next to me in a
meeting with whom I might have a disagreement. Heres the
recipe with love and respect from the HR Spouse and from
Defrost the frozen chopped broccoli in
microwave on high (800 watts**), uncovered, in a
microwave-safe colander for 9-12 minutes, stirring and
breaking up after 6 minutes. Drain water and continue
defrosting till hot throughout.
Ritz crackers 8-12 at a time in Cuisenaire using metal blade.
I keep them on hand in a sealed jar.
tablespoons of butter into halves for easier melting. Melt 1/2
of butter on medium power** (70 percent) about 12 minutes in
covered 2-quart Pyrex or Corningware dish in which you will
cook. Melt other 1/2 of butter in plastic-wrap covered custard
butter in custard cup with crushed Ritz cracker crumbs. Crumbs
should just be lightly covered in butter.
Velveeta into cubes; set aside in plastic covered
Assemble the casserole in the following
cooked broccoli in bottom of dish and stir to cover with
melted butter. I use a 2 qt. oval or round casserole
of Velveeta cheese sprinkled over buttered
of buttered crumbs.
1, 2 and 3. I usually use less than 1/2 the crumbs on the
first layer so the top layer will be fully covered with
with casserole lid, microeave on Medium High (70 percent**)
power 6-9 minutes. If you assemble ahead and it is thoroughly
chilled, figure 9-12 minutes to heat.
6-8 people. You can also cut this recipe in half to serve
NOTE: This is an old recipe when microwaves maximum power was
800 watts (1980s). So make note of your wattage and adjust