Monday, July 25, 2011

Soothing the beast

I don't know if I've told this story or not . . . forgive the repeat if I have. Frankly, I repeat myself all the time in real life too. So, the rare repeat here is real progress.

One of the reasons I enjoy cooking so much is that at one time it is creative and free flowing but also there are orderly bits. Kinda like me . . . I fold clothes the moment the dryer buzzes and I roll the toothpaste from the bottom . . . but, my desk is piled high with papers.

When I was a student, I figured out ways to cook in my dormitory room. I invented some dishes that these days I'd probably barf . . . but it was cooking within my resources. Then, I had a student apartment and the quest to have "one of everything" for my kitchen began.

One night, a personal tiff between a roommate and her main squeeze turned into an apartment drama. There were tears and illogical statements yelled and doors slammed. And, No Sleep. Frankly, you don't want to see a monkey running on adrenaline and no sleep.

The next morning, I ran to campus early to catch my professor before class. I turned in my homework, and explained that the previous evening's drama would make it really hard for me to be in class.

I then went back to my apartment and did what I always did in times of stress . . . I baked a chocolate cake. While the cake was baking, the roommate returned. There were apologies and more tears. After the cake was finished, I cut a big piece and took it to campus. I presented it to my professor and thanked her for understanding my need to be somewhere other than class.

And, that day I learned that the occasional slice of warm chocolate cake can be a substitute for attending class.

Yesterday, I devoted the whole afternoon to making gumbo. It didn't cure what ails me, but it did reaffirm my abilities in the face of that which I cannot change.

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