(Inspired by) the Food Channel

“I’m unaware of how poor I am until I search my cupboards for optimism and find none.”

Scratch that.

I hate how I go for ‘cryptic’ in an attempt to polish up ‘crappy.’  Between a cancelled vacation, my husband being laid up all month with a bad back, waking our four children up from their summer comatose state for school, keeping up with household chores, mowing the lawn, etc., etc., I’m no ray of sunshine.  I even catch my cynical self thinking, Come on, Bethany Hamilton, your arm was ripped off by a shark! Were you really so darn positive?!  I roll my eyes and let the kids watch the movie in the living room.

Extended family asks how I am handling everything.  I lie and say, “I’m good,”  but I know I’ve got to change my attitude, for him, for them and for me.  Right now, of course, there’s nothing to eat and everyone’s starving.  Divinely inspired (I believe) by the food channel, I decide to do something I’ve never done before.  I will wing it, and trust my instincts.  I will scrounge for what we have in the fridge (nothing new), but this time I will boldly toss together new and exciting combinations before serving it on my ever cheerful heart-rimmed plates—relics my newlywed days.

Like an unclaimed portion of Alaska in the freezer, I discover frozen brown rice huddled alongside fish sticks. Who cares if the kids won’t want it, I’m making it anyway.  I think barbecue sauce sounds good.  Not sure if it will go with fish, but I vow to go with what speaks to me.  I plate a round bed of the heart healthy rice and then drizzle sauce thick as molasses (is it expired?) in zigzags over it and lay a few fish sticks on top.  What this needs is some happy oranges.  I release smiling mandarins from their holding can and cut them into even smaller pieces along with the fish. I will throw in some coriander (whoa, that’s not typical), and yes–dill weed.

Voila–my plate of sunshine is a feast for the senses and the soul.  So, I suppose this experience sort of fits the old cliché “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” only with a twist, “If you can’t take the heat, get inventive in the kitchen.”   I’m thinking sunny-side up eggs for breakfast might be a nice change from scrambled. Tomorrow might not be as bad as it seems. Hmmm, is my optimism returning? I know, I know. From cryptic to cliché–gag. But let’s not be cynical. Go eat something.

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