We are all bound by time, constrained by details, demands, and necessities to put off those dreams we most yearn to embrace. We make other choices.
Indeed, we may have no choice about how 95 percent of our time is spent. But life happens no matter how we live it, so between the craziness, the exuberance, and the tragedies of life, there are gaps. There are moments. 10 minutes. 30 minutes. An hour. There are moments that we do control, even if we’re not aware of them.
That time making the perfect meal, those minutes crafting a transcendent sentence, these things are not a waste. They’re an investment, an infusion of joy. And when they fill the gaps well enough, they enliven all the other moments in between.
I was going to be funny here, but, instead, in utter (okay, mostly utter) seriousness, here are my top five legitimate reasons for putting off your writing and the top five for putting off real cooking. Note: these only apply to those who are truly passionate about these pursuits, and, of course, there are exceptions.
Legitimate Reasons Not to Write
1. You are suffering from serious illness or sleep deprivation.
2. Flying monkeys have stolen your computer, burned down your house, and are dive-bombing to prevent you from using smoke signals from the fire to write your manuscript.
3. Your family needs you more (always a valid reason, but remember to differentiate between “need” and “want”).
4. You truly don’t believe you have anything worth saying—and don’t want to find out if you’re wrong.
5. The thought of failing scares you more than the thought of never trying.
Legitimate Reasons Not to Cook
1. You’re married to a fabulous cook who will make anything you want.
2. The insurance company still hasn’t ponied up for the last time you burned down the kitchen. (Notice the fire theme in these excuses.)
3. You believe that a box with sixty unpronounceable ingredients will provide your family with a healthier or tastier meal than you, a pan, and six things from your Fridge. Come to think of it, perhaps that should be a feature on Pots ‘n Pens: Six Things from Your Fridge. ;)
4. You’re eating out somewhere that doesn’t have a mascot, a jingle, or a “Value Menu.”
5. You’re working on your novel.
Bonus Reason for Either
6. I need to _________________ instead today. But tomorrow, I will definitely take time to _______________ my heart out.
Okay, since I’ve stalled long enough myself, here is today’s recipe for Egg Casserole. There are countless versions of this, but what I like best about this variation is the perfectly dense yet fluffy consistency.
1 lb. ground sausage
2 c. diced potatoes
1 c. diced onion
½ c. chopped green onion
1 finely chopped bell pepper
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 oz. (½ c.) milk
12 oz. (1½ c.) evaporated milk
2 tsp. dry mustard
4 slices white bread, cubed
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350˚. Stirring often, cook sausage and potatoes in a skillet on medium high heat until sausage is starting to brown. Add onions, greens onions, and bell pepper, and cook a few more minutes until sausage is browned. Mix in sage, salt, and pepper, and let cook for one more minute. Drain.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in milk, evaporated milk, and mustard. Then add sausage mix, bread, and cheese. Once thoroughly mixed, pour into greased pan. (I used a 9x13 glass pan.) Cook at 350˚ for 40-50 minutes, until egg is firm.
Get going. Don’t put it off!