Delicious Culinary Accident

When I was staying at home all day (the first time) two things became my “bread & butter*”: Days of Our Lives and cooking a fabulous supper. I’ve fallen off the housewife wagon again this past week. In fact, I’m watching Days of Our Lives right now. I’m what they call a multi-tasker.  

I have a Degree in Nutrition – yeah I dropped that line – but oddly enough, I didn’t learn to cook in school. I will be the first to admit there have been some disasters along the way. JoMT has never once told me he didn’t enjoy a meal I created. When asked if he likes it he always nods and smiles. I’m not sure if this means he loves my cooking so much he’s speechless, or he uses his full mouth to avoid telling me how much I suck as a housewife. Worst insult ever! I manage to beat him to the first bite of each dish so I know the truth before I ask, and I’m telling you honestly there are some misses.

I have become more risky and experimental, even creating my own recipes. This reminds me, I have to start writing them down! Maybe I’m alone on this one, but there are times where even I am surprised at my skill level.

For instance, the other day I ate leftover pumpkin soup from the freezer. I know I made it from scratch (the pumpkin was grown in my parents’ garden) a few weeks ago, but I have no insight into what I actually threw in there. It was the epitome of a delicious culinary accident and God help me if I can duplicate it in the future. By the way, next Christmas when you’re enjoying a rum and egg nog, throw a little bit of that nutmeg into your dish too. It’s great in squash soups, dipping sauces, and apple pie. Think Swiss Chalet, but better.

In December, I was over visiting my parents and having a relaxed drink and discussion with my dad. My mom tends to talk to herself (more than the average person) and it’s kind of a running joke in our family. It drives my dad absolutely nuts and he has managed to block her out when she’s talking to herself and sometimes when she’s talking to him. Anyway, she was obsessively cleaning her house (no wonder I’m a freak) and she says to herself,

“I smell burning, why? There is nothing in the oven!”

Odd, I know.

“Oh wait, the bread maker!”

Smoke. Pluming black smoke.

My dad is a problem solver. You know that book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”? My dad is from Mars. He saw smoke and, while my Mom was panicking, he unplugged the machine creating the smoke. Easy.

“It’s OK, Mom. It looks cooked.”

Nope. Still dough.

She says, “Maybe we can make buns in the oven.” (This is hilarious because my sister is doing this same thing, but with a baby).

My grandma taught me how to make buns about 18 years ago. That was the sole instance I was exposed to such a thing but somehow it came naturally to me. The buns were quite heavy, however, I’m happy with the way they turned out. It was just another delicious culinary accident.

If you have ever made buns or seen buns being made, you know there is kind of an awkward thing you do with your pointer and middle fingers and your other hand and then you pinch off the excess dough. I won’t spell it out for you here because I don’t want this post to come up in any questionable Internet searches, but I had this graphic conversation with my sister (the one with the bun in the oven).

“I made buns today. Pretty proud of myself. Do you remember how?”

“Oh, awesome! Like this, right?”

As she demonstrates the finger thing I laugh to myself, “Well, there is now no question about how that bun got in the oven.”

*If you clicked on the photo because you thought I was pregnant, get outta here Nosy Nancy. Just to be clear, I’m not.

Lady Leisure Off a Yacht

A Bucket List –> something I never knew I had until I had signed up to do something crazy.

On February 16th, 2014, I set off on a journey of a lifetime. I quit my Oil & Gas job in Alberta with hopes of leading a more simple life on a boat in the British Virgin Islands. Each of my family members had their own way of objecting, but they eventually understood I have to follow these random opportunities just in case one of them turns out to be the one true passion I have been hoping to discover. Jack of Most Trades was the person who pushed me through the fear and supported my every move. He wanted me to go if I wanted to; our window was closing and he didn’t want me to pass up the chance to do something potentially awesome while said window was still open a crack. To put it in perspective, he was willing to give up marrying me this year so that I could chase mania.

Jack of Most Trades has always been rock solid – physically and emotionally. The most manly man I have ever known and, according to him, “Practically Ryan Gosling.” Until the night I left, I had never seen him cry. He drove me to the airport and waited with me until I absolutely had to go through security. He gave me a kiss and after a long embrace, we parted and I saw the tears in his eyes. I have always joked with him that someday I would make him cry, one way or another. It was a bitter sweet moment but next time, if there is one, they better be tears of joy. That night, Jack quickly turned and walked away so I could not question or comfort him. When I saw him again I asked him about those tears. His answer surprised me. He didn’t say he was going to miss me or that he was worried about me travelling alone. He simply said, “You were leaving me and I knew you were never coming back.” If only he could see less than a week into the future.  

After a long day of travelling via road, air and sea; 3 flights, 3 boat rides, and 3 countries later, I reached my destination. Exhausted and cranky, I was given the grand tour of the diving boat. Here is your coffin and here’s your sink shower. Telling a claustrophobic they are going to have to sleep with their face an inch away from the ceiling is like placing a bee hive beside an anaphylactic wearing a flower costume; shit is about to get unpleasant.

I will not go into the details of me deciding to leave a yacht sailing the Caribbean Sea to come home to -30C and snow, because any way I put it, it’s going to sound ridiculous. Three days, the number of flights and boat rides I had endured and countries I had visited in order to get to the boat and also the number of days I lasted below deck. Let’s just say I blew the previous record out of the water which was departing after only 10 days on board. As terrible as it sounds, this experience was nowhere near a “bust”.

It isn’t about the money I spent to be away from home for a mere five days. It isn’t about the career I gave up or the pain I put myself and my loved ones through. It IS about being able to check that one off the ol’ bucket list and being able to tell myself I gave it an honest whirl and it didn’t work out. The “worst case scenario” happened and I’m still here. I’m alive and I’m home with a fiancé who loves me. When I told him I wanted to come home, Jack sent me an email that went something like this:

 “Just come home and put your ring back on; we have 50 years ahead of us. Don’t regret anything. I’m —-‘n lost without you here anyway. We will be fine. You will be fine.*”

And I am, we are – fine. I would say we are more excellent than fine. I have the ring back on my finger that I’ve missed dearly and I’m planning our summer wedding in the mountains.

Just because something is scary, it doesn’t mean you can’t still do it. Go for it. You can’t fail. There is no such thing as failure if you’re learning something you wouldn’t have learned by not trying it. The worst that could happen is you fall down and get a little embarrassed. What do you normally do when you fall down? First of all, I’ll bet you look around for witnesses. It’s almost better when someone watches you fall because then they get to witness the motivational part. Get up, dust off your butt, paste a silly grin on your face and act like nothing happened. Or throw that victory arm in the air – like you just don’t care.

*Check out the photo Jack sent me on my short stay in the British Virgin Islands. See? Ryan Gosling.



Lady Leisure on a Yacht

It turns out I am going through a 1/4- 1/3rd life crisis. In less than two weeks, I’ll have my last day at my new Oil & Gas job and I’m headed to the beautiful British Virgin Islands to cook and clean on a chartered yacht. If you just said, “Wow”, you’re not alone. I would say about 95% of people I have told about this last minute adventure have had that same word slip out of their bewildered looking mouths. I can’t say I didn’t think it once or twice myself. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s happening.

You might be wondering, “Why you?” Popular question; my Mom posed the same one. Thanks Mom, it’s a wonder I have any self-esteem at all . . .

Without asking the Captain of the yacht, I can’t give you a definite answer of why I was chosen. I can only provide my take on the situation. If you have been following my blog at all, you know I like being a housewife and in my opinion, I’m a great one. The yacht adventure gives me the opportunity to pursue this and of course, the wonderful climate doesn’t hurt. I am not a risk-taker; I have always been very calculated in making all of my life decisions. That’s a good thing, but taking this leap could mean an even greater future.  Yesterday, my doctor told me, “You never hear older people complaining about doing too much travelling in their younger days, they are always saying they wish they’d have done more.”

I think this is a big reason why I’m leaving my fiance, friends, family, and job to pursue this new experience. I’ve never done that one big, once-in-a-lifetime thing just for myself. Some may view it as selfish, but this is something that could change my life in a very positive way.

And the other reason I’m going? To get away from this awful thing they call the “Rat Race”. Afterall, I AM Lady Leisure.