I don’t know about you, but I feel like my life becomes completely INSANE when I’m about to leave town. Things intensify at work as I try to keep everything afloat while I’m gone, laundry and packing have to get done, and there always seems to be a million little things to do before I board my plane—rides to arrange, trash to take out, birthday presents to buy. In the midst of all this madness, I had two peaceful moments that I’m trying to savor. The first was standing in the kids’ book section at Barnes & Noble, cooing over all the adorable children’s books and picking out a few good reads for my four-year-old niece. I could have just plopped myself down right there, with a big stack of picture books, and read until they kicked me out of the store. Some days I miss being a kid.
The second moment was ironing clothes for my suitcase. My mind slowed down as I pressed the wrinkles out of shirts, and I thought about the happy moments at the end of our family parties, the moments after dessert has been served, and everyone is full and happy, relaxed and laughing. Those moments, I thought, are when I really feel like we all belong together, me and my family. And when I feel like it’s almost impossible for me to be there with them, it’s the after-dessert moment that keeps me going. It’s knowing that there will be a chance to relax after all the travel, the party prep, the excited kids, the presents, the unicorn pinata(!)—after all that, we will take deep breaths and relax.
I’m taking a deep breath right now. You should, too.
Before I hop on my plane, I wanted to leave a list for us. Over the past few weeks, I came up with five delicious things to do with a tub of sour cream. Perhaps you, like me, can’t resist a sale and find yourself carrying home a pint of sour cream and only the vaguest idea of what you might do with it. Here are a few ideas, all of which I taste-tested—for your sake, of course. Only the best for my readers!
* Mix together a tablespoon of sour cream plus half a teaspoon each sugar and cocoa powder. I ate this with a banana for dessert—delicious! It’s also yummy straight off a spoon.
* Mix sour cream with unfancy yellow mustard and ketchup. Eat with oven fries. My sister and I call this sassy sauce! And it is sassy—a little sweet, a lot tangy, and a bit creamy. It’s even better if you’ve got a cold hard cider or a beer to drink with your fries.
* Put a spoonful of sour cream on top of a red lentil soup, especially if the soup is very low-fat and virtuous.
* Add a tablespoon of sour cream to scrambled eggs to make them creamy and delicious. I had this for dinner tonight—it was a mighty fine last-night-in-town meal.
* And finally, make some apple muffins! Not too sweet, laced with warm spices and a sprinkling of sugar on top, one of these craggy-topped, soft-crumbed goodies will be accompanying me on the plane tomorrow. I can’t wait.
I’ll be back in a week or so, with the recipe for these baked beauties. In the meantime, be good while I’m gone, take care of each other, and float on into fall.