The Road to My House is Paved with Good Intentions (Part 1, I think)

01 Dec

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This is an ode to unfinished business. Broken promises. Good ideas that never made it past the idea stage. Starts whose stops came prematurely. Beginnings with unimpressive endings. If you’re thinking: Wait. That sounds suspiciously like Amber’s life, you’d be right. If you’re thinking: Wait, that sounds suspiciously like my life, you’d be my new best friend. Like, I’m working here to raise mediocrity to a new level.

First I want to thank my family for staying out of the ingredients that I marked with SAVE FOR RECIPE, like that package of swiss cheese, even though the cheese molded, I never made the alleged recipe, and I have no idea what recipe that cheese was even for. But let’s don’t start talking about recipes that never made it past the print stage. For some reason, I can’t remember why, I get recipes delivered to my work email account. At first I was kind of annoyed because it broke my work rhythm, but then I was kind of grateful because it broke my work rhythm. I’ve printed a (high) number of those recipes, folded them in half, put them in my satchel with a plan to stop by the grocery store on the way home for ingredients, driven past the grocery store on the way home, and cleaned them out of my bag months later when I moved them to the recycling bin. (I’m sad about the loss of that peach-and-brie quesadilla one, because that sounded weird enough to be almost interesting.) But those aren’t the problem so much as the time, money, and refrigerator space that were wasted with food that never got “et” because it never got made. Asparagus, parsley, chile pepper in adobo sauce, and don’t make me bring up that cauliflower out in the backup refrigerator in my garage (and by “backup” I mean the fridge the previous owners of our home left here, and for good reason since it has two spots on the dial that work: room temp or frozen-to-ruin).  Thinking about that cauliflower will only make me think about whatever that brown stuff is that seems always to be on the bottom shelf which I keep meaning to clean and never do…or maybe I did and it came back…I honestly can’t remember. And next I want to apologize to my family for the big fat lie that there was some illustrious entrée (I only cook entrées, as it turns out) forthcoming from all those ingredients I forbade you to eat, mostly because I bet whatever YOU were going to make from them would have been tastier and more filling than what I ended up making, which was nothing.

And no, all those cookbooks in my cookbook collection, the ones I pour over and think hard about and make lists from and have multi-colored tabs sticking out of—those are not predictive of future meals either, so don’t get too excited about them. They say as much about some plan that will come to fruition as do the stacks of catalogues in our family room and living room (a.k.a. the “sacred room” because there is no television but lots of books and quiet in there) that have pages folded up to create their own version of tabs. These tabs are indicative of the clothing items I’m never going to buy, plus various kitchen items that I’m also never going to buy but that’s OK because they were never going to meet an ingredient anyway.

And yes, I think it’s safe to say that those bins of photos—the ones that are already framed for god’s sake—are never going to make it up on the wall in our house, where we’ve lived for I guess five years now, but then they never made it up on the wall at the last house where we lived for three years. Hey remember when they were up on the wall in the house before that? That was sorta fun, wasn’t it? Let’s just keep that memory alive. Plus all those dinners I made at our last house when I was first into the crockpot thing—my son remembers that because he swore we had beef stew every night even though I hardly ever made the same recipe twice and even though it was decidedly chicken that we had every night. But prepared with different ingredients I’d like to point out. I bet he longs for those days of the same ol’ same ol’ now. Yeah. Well.

And since all the things I’ve not completed are apparently too numerous to fit into a single post—I have lots more scribbled on the 3×5 card I was filling out last night while in bed and drifting off to sleep at 9 pm with the lights on—I think I’ll continue this humiliating theme next week.


Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Families, Feminism, Motherhood, Parenting


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9 responses to “The Road to My House is Paved with Good Intentions (Part 1, I think)

  1. K.A. Dorgan

    December 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    This has been one of my favorite posts of yours. The reason? I found it a refreshing revelation to celebrate “broken promises.” So often I find it distasteful when I drop the ball, fail to live up to expectations, turn back in my journey (whatever cliche is appropriate)…but your post made me consider that perhaps it’s heroic to reconsider, to pause, to simply stop. Especially if the promise, journey, or ball is problematic, painful, or poisonous.

    Thank you!

  2. Jennifer Grant

    December 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    What a satisfying post to read. Just threw out buttermilk and quince paste and chipotle peppers myself while stressing about end of the semester things I really won’t bother to get to until the last minute anyway. It’s nice to feel for a second like that might be okay.

  3. Patrick Cronin

    December 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Dearest Partner: I’d rather have all the frozen and green cauliflower in that 2 temp refrigerator in the garage. for meals you’ve never made then be partnered with the great follow through chef of your dreams. Your broken promises are the stuff of love and your peach and avacado that was not to be lives in my fantasy like a promise of spring. Go on planning and color coding your cook books and keep on driving past the super market with ingredients unpurchased and your partner and your children will go on loving you through every meal unrealized because where it matters you are the creator of a loving home like no other.

  4. Christy

    December 2, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I love being irreverent. But I hate being irrelevant. I love being irreverent because at the end of the day your actions belie your intentions.
    -Esai Morales

  5. Lila Gail Walters

    December 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I finally gave up on one of mine and put the raspberries on Skip’s cereal this morning. will I ever run into that recipe again? of course not I have never had that happen before!


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