Improv.

Sometimes you just *have* to have this certain thing– a specific meal, maybe, or a specific outfit, or something. And sometimes you just don’t have the ‘ingredients’.

Sometimes you have to improvise.

Like Monday, for example. While I was at work I was offered some pizza dough that had reached the sell-by date, and as I accepted three bags, my mind whirred back to a conversation I’d had with a friend of mine who had recently gotten into baking all deh things. She had made miniature pot pies in a muffin tin, and suddenly I knew what I wanted to make for my lunch the next day.

For the rest of my shift I mentally sorted the ingredients I would need into multiple categories of Haves, Have-nots, and Maybes, until finally I arrived at my mother’s kitchen and could set to work. I found arecipe for my starting point, and proceeded to disregard most of it πŸ˜› Instead of Bisquick for the bottom, I used savory sourdough-style pizza dough. Instead of frozen vegetables, I used Vidalia onions and heritage bell peppers from a local farmer. I used lemon pepper, sea salt, and dried parsley; I sauteed chicken, added water and everything else, and made my own stock. Basically, I did everything I always claim to hate doing, but secretly do enjoy, as long as I cook on my own terms πŸ˜› Recipes are more of a suggestion than anything else…

While the stock/broth/pie filling boiled and reduced, I decided to use my third and final dough to make a special breakfast for me and my baby sister to share the next day. Originally I wanted cinnamon twists, but we were out of cinnamon… As I pondered what do substitute, I heard my sister say something about chocolate frosting, and I had my idea πŸ™‚ I spread out some tin foil on a cookie sheet (so it wouldn’t stick) and laid down a layer of cocoa powder (instead of the traditional flour) and rolled out my pizza dough. Then I mixed chocolate chips, granulated sugar, and butter in a bowl and pulsed it in the microwave until it was smooth enough. That mess of delicious was then spread over the dough, then rolled into a tube-thing, and set in the fridge to rest for a bit.

By that point the pie filling was ready, so I set up my muffin tin. A layer of cooking spray, some pizza dough in the bottom of each muffin space, some aged cheddar, a scoop of the filling, more pizza dough on top, then into the oven. After that, I took the dessert back out, cut the tube into cinnamon-roll-esque shapes (chocolate rolls <3), set them up so there was space between them, etc, and put them in the oven, too. By the time I went to bed I had my lunch packed for the next day, my mother’s lunch set aside along with my sister’s snack, and breakfast for all three of us wrapped up and ready to eat the next morning.

Improvisation. It’s a good thing πŸ˜‰

———————-

So I’m sitting here and staring at that ‘draft’ post I wrote last night– all those words in italics? Yeah, I typed those on my phone last night, and saved it to post here today, presumably from the warm comfort of my home, after adding in hyperlinks and witty photographs or something. Funny how things work out…

When I typed that, I had yet to receive a text from my father reminding me that we were expecting a snow storm and that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to pick me up. Fast forward almost precisely 24 hours and I’m most certainly not at my house, unpacking my suitcase and setting up my sewing machine so that it sits next to my Keurig with the precise amount of space so it’s not in the way. No, I’m at my grandmother’s, still kinda cold and wet, and about three clicks away from crashing and falling asleep on my keyboard.

gift2 018

The day started off normal enough– just chillin’ at my mother’s house with her cats (the one in the photo is Rex; Reeses wouldn’t sit still long enough for me to take her picture), doing a little crochet before work. Grandma came right on time, I went to work, everything went smooth (if a bit slow), and that was that, whatever. But all day all I heard about was the expected storm.

“I’m not worried,” I said, pretty much to no one but myself… No one else really listened, anyways, but it didn’t really matter; I was mostly trying to convince myself that I would, in fact, make it home to a warm dinner at my mother’s, and then to my dad’s, where I would unpack all my things, open my mail, and fall asleep in my own bed.

Mid-afternoon it started to snow hard, and I started to worry, even if I did keep saying I wasn’t. I don’t like the snow; I was not dressed for snow; I hate being cold with a passion. Still, it didn’t look too bad; the snow wasn’t sticking, really, and I figured I’d be fine.

4:30-ish I start getting a barrage of texts from my mother and grandmother, and suddenly I’m not going home. I’m going to the factory to help my grandfather with mail orders again, and then to my grandmother’s house to sleep, and then being brought home the next day, so my mother would not have to drive and get me from work, and so my father would not have to drive to mother’s house to get me, and so my grandfather could have some help. By 5:00 my mother had dropped off the rest of my mini pot pies to eat for dinner, and at 6:45 I was in the truck with the woman who closed the store tonight, driving to the factory in incredibly bad conditions. When I entered the factory at 7:00, the snow was already at least three inches deep everywhere, even on the not-yet-plowed roads (which were pretty slippery).

I tried to get a picture of the snow-covered parking lot, but my camera kept focusing on individual snow particles, so this is all I got:

gift2 026

I ate at the factory, and my grandfather bought me a fresh, delicious cookie, which was very kind of him πŸ˜‰ And then I packed boxes for three hours-ish…I’m going to hazard a guess that I packed about 40 orders, but I really don’t know for sure. And now I’m here, at grandma’s again, and the snow in the driveway is up to at least half a foot (and when I tripped backwards and fell into the build-up from Sunday + drifting + today, it was up to my knees :P). All I really know for sure is that Sunday I worked 7 1/2 hours, and Monday I worked 9 1/2 hours, and today I worked almost straight through from 9:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night, and I’m now too tired to fall asleep, if that makes any sense at all. At least the extra hours mean I can finally put that Malabrigo order through πŸ˜› Most of the yarn is going into a blanket square swap; I think I’ll choose an extra skein to make myself a pair of mitts– my hands are so, so, so dry and chapped from all the wind and the cold, dry air 😦 They cracked and started bleeding a little today; the lotion just isn’t working this year. Maybe I’ll go with the Volcan colorway and make myself a pair of Trek-inspired Tuvok mitts… or maybe Cumparsita, as the colorway reminds me of Irene Adler/FeMoriarty from Elementary (and, according to this, that’s fitting, as La Cumparsita is a song about a beautiful, dangerous woman….and while this translation doesn’t seem to describe her as dangerous, it does remind me of her affect on Sherlock…:P) But, yeah. FeMoriarty Mitts would be pretty…

Sigh… I need to go to sleep -_-”

 

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