A Week of Working With What We’ve Got

I’ve been on the road and away from home since Thursday. Between the traveling, the awful weather that dumped inches upon inches of snow in exactly the places I was driving, living out of other people’s houses for almost a week, and trying to cook and bake on the fly, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of adaptability.

Thursday morning I was off to school, got out of class at 8:30 pm, spend the night at a friends house, went back to class Friday morning at 8 am. Friday after class was done in the afternoon I drove up to my in-law’s home. Saturday morning I left for Connecticut to stay with my friend who was scheduled for surgery Monday morning. Boo, as I nicknamed her long ago (yes, it is a Monster’s Inc reference), has been having foot/leg/back problems for years, and some doctors finally got around to figuring out she’s been living with a bad disk in her back, and decided that surgery was necessary to fix it. So I thought I’d spend Saturday and Super Bowl Sunday with her, go to the hospital with her Monday, and stay until Wednesday morning to make sure she she has some cookies and some company during her first few days home.

Super Bowl Sunday, the plan was to make a Philly Cheesesteak Stromboli. I took Boo’s grocery list and my own grocery list and attempted to navigate the local grocery store. On Super Bowl Sunday. How do you think that went? Yes, yes, very well, thanks for asking. I COULD NOT find pizza dough. Anywhere. Looked up and down every aisle multiple times. It just wasn’t happening. So, my options were 1) puff pastry dough, or 2) pre-cooked pizza crust. I opted for the pre-cooked crust because I thought that the puff pastry dough would give the finished product a weird, not-pizza texture. Turns out, this was the wrong choice. The pizza crust wasn’t malleable enough to fold into a stromboli shape, so it ended up more like a philly cheesteak sandwich on pizza crust. But it was still yummy, and there were only three of us for our wild super bowl party, so, good enough!

stromboli 3

Then today’s project was cookies. I let the patient pick out the type of cookies she wanted, and she opted for Mocha Crinkle Cookies. While her parents were picking her up from the hospital, I was scrambling to clean her apartment and make the cookies. However, this involved a total of FOREVER looking around her pantry and kitchen trying to locate all the cleaning necessities/ ingredients/cookie sheets/baking utensils, ect. Not to mention, in my desperate need for coffee, I couldn’t find coffee filters. So I ended up using a paper towel as a coffee filter, only to stumble upon the coffee filters after said coffee was brewed. Then I proceeded to spill the whole cup of said brewed coffee all over the kitchen just as Boo arrived home. (I’m sure she would have appreciated the comedy in the situation had she not been in miserable pain – my poor girl). I really had my shit together, as you can tell. It also turns out that we didn’t have granulated sugar, just powdered sugar, and I couldn’t find the proper sized measuring cups, so I eyeballed most of the ingredients. The cookies weren’t done when she made it home, but she did get to lick the spoon, so she was happy. And the finished product turned out pretty good.

mochacrinklecookies

And just in case you were wondering, that plate has a picture of a bell pepper and an onion holding hands and it says “Lettuce Be Friends”

I guess being adaptable is really the key to minimizing stress. Boo wasn’t ever expecting to have the kinds of physical issues that she’s had over the past few years, but she’s handled every new twist and turn and development in a graceful, calm manner. Her attitude inspires me to take my problems as they come and stay calm and collected while evaluating my options and coming up with solutions. Just like her. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, remembering to take this attitude is very difficult. Thankfully I have people in my life like Boo, who are always there to lead by example.

So, that’s what I’m going to really focus on for the next few months, while J and I are buying our first house, while I’m interviewing for jobs, while I’m trying to get through my last semester of school  – working calmly with what I’ve got. No coffee filters? No problem, you can still get a cup of coffee with a paper towel. No granulated sugar or cookie sheets? No problem, powdered sugar and a pizza tray still get you cookies. Unexpected developments don’t have to send me into a depressed panic – I can always work happily with what I’ve got.

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