Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cookin' and Readin', Breakin' the Sched

Over the past couple of days, I've ditched my curfew, allowed my facebook status to remain the same for over three days, and swept the floor every night. By ditching these seemingly mundane activities that seem to be a regular part of my schedule, I have been able to go back to my roots and do things that I've always tremendously enjoyed but have done too little of: baking and reading.

Of course, growing up, the bulk of my young years revolved around anything that didn't have to do with TV. Seeing that we only had four channels, it was much more entertaining to run around the woods with my best friends Sarah and Willa, play baseball with brothers (using the trees as bases in my backyard), or, on those wintry mix days, to have a tea party, read, or bake. In turn, I figured out some pretty crafty ways on how to have a blast without all the technical garb.

Yearning for those feelings of accomplishment knowing that I did something that required the use of my own creative skills (as opposed to becoming a vegetable in front of the TV or Facebook), I decided to bake. I was also feeling completely stressed out, and so for these reasons I decided that baking a cake would do the trick. Even though I knew I would barely eat said cake, I was making it, darn it. John and I trekked over to Target to pick up supplies on Thursday night...and only three hours later, I had a cake!

I made a triple layer chocolate cake (courtesy of Emily's Grandmother (in-law) which included the very cumbersome task of hand grating three bars of Lindt Chocolate Bars and chopping up 1 cup of pecans for the frosting. After smoothing the last of the frosting to hide the cake entirely, I felt accomplished. I felt like I had used all of this negative stressful energy and transferred it directly into the cake.

Typically running does this for us, but I don't run all the time, and I didn't feel like running even more than I already had in the morning. Really, it was a way for me to do exactly the opposite of what I have been doing with my free time - which I would consider be nothing because my facebook surfing has gone too far. Since I keep thinking I am getting dumber the further I get from my college graduation, I feel these urges to stimulate my mind - and baking definitely does that, especially if it is a new recipe (and the Chocolate Cake was).

Funny - too - because several people mentioned to me that I was so motherly since I love to bake cakes for people and bring them slices on their birthdays (Billy). I think it also has to do with the fact that I own two aprons and most definitely wear them when I am concocting some sort of new dish. Regardless, my reputation among the running circle has now moved from crazy ginger girl to aspiring Julia Child. Okay, Okay. I won't go THAT far, but they are probably wondering if I'm addicting to the Food Network.

That was the cooking expedition.

The next thing I did was read "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon in less than three nights. On Tuesday night, I stayed up until 11:30pm to read a book. Was this a bad idea? Probably, considering I had just finished a semi-tiring workout at 730pm, was racing four days later in a (predicted) winter storm, and that the stated time was two hours past my normal bedtime hour. Combined with the fact that I woke up this morning at 538am to meet the Dowd group at 6am, that tallies up five reasons why it was a bad idea to finish my new favorite novel.

...Ah - but it was so worth it. I almost escaped in the fantasy of the book, forgetting my own realities and trashing them out of the window. Curfew? Rubbish! A race on Saturday? This book is more important! The race on Saturday will go great, because Julian Carax made me believe so in "The Shadow of the Wind."

but I digress....

Coming back to the roots does take a little effort, but some disruption to the typical schedule is always good, and, in fact, beautiful. Now I just need to do it more often so that cooking and reading are mere replacements for my Facebook addiction.

Ta Ta for now


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