Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rain drops are falling on my head.

Among the many adjectives that could be used to describe me, you might find words like overachiever, perfectionist and type-A.  It's my reality.  So naturally, when it rains so hard that it is leaking through your roof and you have no desire to go outside and brave the elements, my first response is not to pop a bag of popcorn and curl up in a blanket to watch a good flick but see how many recently pinned recipes I can try before the rain stops. 

It started innocently enough with two.  I had been dying to try those candied nuts because they add 13 cents worth of ingredients to nuts and decide that that is a perfect reason to make the nuts triple the price and only make them so hot and fresh and delicious at sporting events which I never attend because I am always too busy baking.  I also had an intense desire to make home-made bread to accompany the apricot butter I had made earlier in the week.  It just had to be done.

As it turns out, candied walnuts are easy.  Walnuts, egg whites and a dreamy mixture of sugar and spices that is sure to make you weak at the knees if you happen to walk in and smell it while it is baking.
Now if only pictures could capture smells...

So it was on to the bread.  With the help of my lovely kitchen-aid mixer that I still have to pinch myself for being lucky enough to own, the peasant bread was kneaded in less than five minutes.  Excellent.  Nuts? Covered, making-me-melt-from-the-smell-wafting-out-of-the-oven, 17 minutes left. Bread? On it's first rise. Rain? Still coming down at a rapid rate but luckily no-longer deciding that through my roof is it's best route down.  Time for another recipe or 3...

Next was my first adventure into home made tortillas.  I didn't have a tortillera but I did have a rolling pin so I figured it was time to try.  In true beginner style my first tortillas were cute and round and 3 fit on a pan. I cooked them and quickly realized this is more of a gordita than a tortilla and my sad attempts at a tortilla found their home in my trashcan.  Lesson learned.  Flat means flaaaaaat. 

Luckily I had 15 more balls of dough to work with.  Each one got thinner and rounder and more authentic until I landed the perfect one, tortilla number 15.  Can someone please tell me why you always finally get the hang of something when you are on the very last one?  It never fails.  Then when you want to make them again, the touch is gone.  Its a sad but true fact of life.  I would like to skip ahead to expert status after try number one, please and thank you!

So tortillas were made, I had one tortilla out of the batch to be proud of and now it was time for dinner.  After my project of tortillas I needed some redemption, so I clang to the familiar.  My fool-proof-works-every-time dinner that I am known for is chicken parmesan and spaghetti squash spaghetti.  Aaaaaahhhh I breathed in the success.  Everything coming out exactly as planned is a glorious feeling and one I get with little frequency since I don't often bake the same thing twice. My torturous love of having dinner parties containing 15 brand-new recipes brings my blood pressure to soaring heights, but it is common. 

Five recipes later the rain had stopped.  I sighed.  Relaxation is obviously a foreign concept to me. In the news, the news reporter announced the beginning of monsoon season and ample days of rain to come.  You know my first thought was what I was going to cook next.  The answer to that is probably everything.  Me and the grocery store are going to become quite good friends with all of this rain hanging around.

Sometimes I wonder as I know I should be relaxing why I can't or why I would want to.  Relaxing for me takes more work than staying busy.  Sitting on a couch requires someone to duct tape me there so that I cannot move.  Even at work instead of a chair at my desk, I have an exercise ball so that I can bounce around and stay moving.  Laid-back may never be a word used to describe me but I have learned to embrace my character and all of my quirks that make me who I am.  What becomes the biggest blessing in all of this is those who gather around me who accept this too.  They get my five-hours-of-sleep-3-hours-of-gym-12-recipes-in-the-oven-5-dreams-in-my-head-to-accomplish-tomorrow self.  For them I am grateful and even more grateful for the God who gets me even more, who knows every nook and cranny of who I am up to the number of hairs that exist in my mass of curls that weave every which way on top of my head.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

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