Thursday, October 14, 2010

Domestication: the occupation of most of my girlfriends in the nation...but not me!

Hello hello everyone. I would wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, but it looks like the Thanksgiving boat or turkey (for more appropriate Thanksgiving imagery) has flown the coup, even though I have never seen a turkey fly...I don't even think they can, but anyway that is definitely a different discussion. Thanksgiving and even post Thanksgiving is a perfect time to give thanks for the attributes/possessions/people you have in life, also I believe it is of equal importance to give thanks for the attributes/possessions (maybe not people, but if your feeling bitter include them too) in life that you do not have. Confusing??? Believe it or not that was the intention.

I'm sure you are thinking "UMMMMM excuseeeeeeeee me, why the J*@*^! would I want to be thankful for the fact that I do not live in a $4.5 million dollar mansion in Mount Royal with not only the best looking but the most intelligent neurosurgeon in Calgary who I married last week at a beaaaauty of a ceremony in Bora Bora?",  "Why would I want to be thankful for that fact that no matter what I do even though the Starbucks cup is clearly marked "HOT" patience is a virtue that I have not yet mastered so I take a sip and burn my tongue EVERYDAY?" (Not my personal goals/character flaws just examples people)

 My answer is: on the positive side it is good to see what you yourself are lacking in terms of attributes/skills/expertise so you can surround yourself with people who can supplement when and where necessary. It's exciting. Not only can they scratch your back but you can also scratch theirs by teaching them, assisting them and using your skills as required. You get to have some social fun but you get to accomplish something as a team making the whole experience called "LIFE" funner for everyone. Win Win Win!!!!

On the lesser positive (fun) side it is good to periodically step outside of your frame of reference and actually see what it going on with other people in our local, national and international communities. Sometimes it is insanely easy to forget to express gratitude for all we have. When something doesn't unfold as expected personally or professionally it is easy for us to laser beam our focus on that one issue, forgetting that we need to be grateful for the life we are currently living.

This Thanksgiving I had an experience that made me give thanks not only for the awesome domesticated souls that I surround myself with but I was reminded that I need to work on patience. I've known that for years actually, but I need to make it a daily practice. So this whole blunder started when I was watching a very enthralling hour of the Oprah show on my Tuesday at home. Martha Stewart happened to be a guest on this particular episode, she was teaching Oprah how to make variations of the usual bloody mary from different types of tomato juices. Even though I would never consider myself to be an avid Martha Stewart follower when she catches you off guard her charisma definitely draws you towards whatever activity she is performing. Towards the end of my show I found myself looking through my drawers for different articles of clothing that required a crafty fix and rummaging in kitchen cupboards to see if I could make anything creative from scratch for dinner. As I was searching it dawned on me that the upcoming Sunday night was Thanksgiving dinner! I quickly jumped on to search for the appropriate recipe to impress my family with.

I looked at main courses, side dishes, desserts. None of those were very appropriate, you see my family is traditional, (even though we have steak at not only Thanksgiving but Easter and Christmas too) traditional in the sense that if they think they are cooking they wouldn't want me to shock them by bringing any crazy side dish that would through off their thanksgiving roles and responsibilities. I kept searching and by golly I found a healthy replacement for mashed potatoes that I thought looked just tantalizing to the ole taste buds. I sent it to my e-mail and did a small victory dance. Who doesn't like healthy mashed cauliflower in place of the high carb mashed potatoes that claim our energy and make us gain a sickly 8 holiday lbs instead of the normal 5 most of us are accustomed to. (don't answer that please)

When the big day came I prepared mentally by taking a nice long walk to harness my domesticated energy (walking gets the wild out) and I went to the store (plastic money bag in tote, damnit) to buy the necessary cauliflower, butter, garlic powder and other seasonings that the recipe required. The recipe itself was essentially childs play: you steam the cauliflower until translucent then mash it with the butter, soy milk and seasoning. As I was steaming the cauliflower I went on the hunt in my kitchen for a potato masher, after successfully tearing apart the kitchen I could not find one, I was slightly frustrated as this is the one essential non food item that the recipe called for. Not only did the monetary budget not allow for me to run out and buy one, but by this time my time budget was also slightly constrained. I noticed my roomie had a hand mixer in one of the cabinets "perfect" that should do the trick I thought. I attempted to ensure the cauliflower was as tender as possible for easy mashing and tried to premash it with a fork to ensure an easy blend. Ya I guess it still wasn't quite mashed enough because when I stuck the hand mixer in the bowl containing the steamed cauliflower, soymilk, grated cheese, (not mentioned in the initial ingredient list but I wanted to contribute my own ingredient) garlic powder and turned it on, I ended up wearing the entire contents of the bowl. I stood there for a few minutes, draped in the mixture, imagining the compliments I would get on not only my unique fashion sense but the my new perfume fragrance "La Flower de Cauli" with slight hints of fomage for added texture. (people who describe scents and wine always use strange descriptors that seem inappropriate so I'm just going with it.) I realized that I definitely would not be the envy of my sisters at dinner, pulled a salad kit out of the refrigerator and hopped in the shower. At this point I was done with domestication, not bothering to even premix the salad in a bowl first I showed up at my parents house and handed my mom the salad with a pouty look on my face. "Very nice to see you dear, thanks for bringing the salad." she cooed in a very genuine tone bringing me back down to earth and out of angry "I'm a domestic disaster" land.

It is because of such issues  at some point I may write a book "Domestication for Dummies" (Original is my middle name) usually when I try to falsify my kitchen craftiness (I almost spelt craft with a K - corporations rule the world) by creating meals that appear domesticated (Pillsbury baked goods, pre-marinated meats that you quickly throw in the oven, meal kits that come with step by step instructions) I am highly successful. I have fooled many good friends on multiple occasions into thinking that I totally have it together when it comes to home economics, including but not limited to my home economics instructor in grade 12. You just have to ensure that there are specific things in your house like flower, sugar, baking powder canisters and lots of fancy appliances that are meant for cooking that would lead guests to believe you made the entire meal right down to the tortillas from scratch. You also must ensure that the trash is taken out prior to your guests arrival, most of the pre prepared food is really bad for the environment containing tonnes of hard to open packaging (don't worry I use safety scissors) - don't totally blow your cover. Take that shiaaaat out of your house but put it in the neighbor's garbage bin. Anyway that is the basics but I will go into details if I ever get around to writing that book. Now I will men in black you, by that I mean if you ever get invited to a dinner that I offer to cook you will not remember ANY of what you just read!! Merci.

The moral of this post is I'm very thankful for my patient friends that take time to make me dinner, steam my clothes when we are going out as a gang or gaggle if you will. You know who you are and I'm thankful for your skills and abilities. In addition to not being Robert Munisch, I ain't no Martha Stewart!


(Fun Fact: its my goal to mention Starbucks in every single post, I can no longer support financially so I have to demonstrate that they still have my loyalty even over seven eleven which now holds a very special second place when it comes to my favorite coffee venues)

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