Put One Foot in Front of the Other

It’s been a little over a week since I was downsized from my job. I don’t care how many different terms you use or how I actually felt about my job; being downsized sucks. I’ll definitely look at it as a blessing, but that will take some work. Therapy really. The therapy that works best for me right now is cooking.

I started small: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: 

What makes these cookies so yummy is, the oatmeal is ground fine, there is no white sugar, only dark brown & light brown and you add 1 tablespoon of vanilla instead of the customary 1 teaspoon. All of which gives the cookie a little bit of heft, some caramelization and depth of flavor. 

They were scrumptious,  but I probably ate 2 out of the entire batch and sent Zoë to school with extras everyday.

The box filled with the contents of my “cubbie” arrived. Sigh. 

It’s so hard to see a years worth of work life-stuff in a pile in the bottom of a box. 

Sadly, my mugs were broken, but happily, the punching bag one of the Sales Reps sent me was intact! Little did she know how much this would come in handy! 

I spent much of last week tidying up. One way to lessen the distractions while trying to job hunt, write winning cover letters and send out resumes.

Zoë came home from school one day and as it was nearing dinner, asked if we had any feta cheese left. She’s a huge fan. I said yes, why? She begged me to make something for dinner with it. I was feeling so uninspired, but made a cup of tea, opened the fridge to see what I could throw together and came up with a winning dish.

In one pot, I made some rice. In a pan, I sautéed some chicken sausage, cherry tomatoes, sliced sweet onion and spinach. Once the sauté was complete, I added the feta, broke it up, added the cooked rice and stirred to combine. The cheese melted slightly. I added salt and pepper to taste. 

It was a huge hit! Zoë loved it. Phew! Not bad for winging it.

Saturday was on the horizon. I had a date planned. A special meal cooked by me was on the docket. It was not to be, my date canceled, he had a lot he was dealing with. I was blue. The menu included smoked paprika glazed short ribs and butternut squash risotto. Another time maybe. Now what to make for dinner? Gosh I don’t know, must think about that. How about a nice hot soak in the bath and some homemade apple moonshine to think about it? 

That was just the ticket and my vintage, collectible glass from the infamous Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus was the perfect receptacle for this cold, smooth moonshine. Sorry, cannot give out the recipe or reveal my source! Just know it was terrific and one glass will suffice.

I was going thru my mail the other day and came across the weekly grocery fliers. There were some good deals but nothing much excited me. Sometimes, when going thru a stressful time, cooking & eating are the last things on my mind. So, believe it or not, I must convince myself to go out and go grocery shopping.

Zoë was with me an extra day today and home from school due to Rosh Hashana. Chickens were on sale at Eastside Marketplace. Right now it can take a major effort for me to go out, buy that “chicken and prep it”, but I needed to get out of the house so off we went. Upon arrival, Zoë made a beeline for the cider and samples. Saddened because the snack  sample had peanuts(!!allergic!). Jesse, the Produce Manager took notice and found us a little bit later in the seafood department. He told Zoë he felt bad she couldn’t enjoy the snack and gave her this huge pumpkin! What a kind gesture and awesome customer service! Honestly I wanted to cry right there, but I smiled and we thanked him graciously. 

After picking up some research books at the library and coming home to check e-mails; I put my apron on. 

Roasting a chicken is easy as they come. Preheat your oven to 425degrees. Take out the bag of giblets. Rinse your bird inside and out and pat dry with paper towel. I coated with olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano. Loosen the skin and tucked some garlic slices in. Insert some lemon wedges in the cavity, and some thyme sprigs. Put in a roasting pan and surround with cut up Yukon gold potatoes and onion wedges. Cook in the oven ( for a 4-6lb chicken) for 90min or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken, reads 160F.

It was and can be so hard for me to start cooking when I’m blue, but once I do get started and the dish is cooking or the chicken is in the oven roasting, and I get a whiff…..well I feel better already. 

Tonight’s chicken was a huge hit. The skin on the bird was crispy and divine. The potatoes were slightly crunchy on the outside, but fluffy and scrumptious on the inside.

Cooking is therapy. This was Roast Chicken for the soul.

Best start for tomorrow? A nice cup of coffee, 

and then just put one leg in front of the other and go. 

2 thoughts on “Put One Foot in Front of the Other

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