I love things that are impromptu and special, don’t you?
Like an unintended event that caused two friends to have time together – unplanned and totally unique?
I had a day like that recently and it turned out to be a fun day filled with surprises.
The original plan for the day was to clean out two drawers (it’s a process), cook a new recipe, try to sit and write something personal, bathe the dog and trade my rental car for another.
Instead, I found myself getting dressed quickly, lunch at a new restaurant with my friend, a walk about town (complete with a tad of networking) and a new discovery. I didn’t get the car returned, but I did make the phone call. There’s always tomorrow, right?
So, about the discovery.
I have a wonderful reputation for NOT cooking much. When I have, over the last 10 or 25 years, there hasn’t been much to brag about. Instead, I’ve entertained quite a few with my screw ups. We’ve laughed over ingredient subs (because we lived 8 miles from town) that didn’t work, ingredients left out, burning biscuits, gray dressing and I could just go on and on.
So much so, that when the covered dish dinners were planned, everyone told the hubs what to bring and suggested I might bring the ice, tea, paper goods, plastic ware, etc. It worked for me!
Now, things are different. It’s part of my adjustment to not working … some call it retirement, some call it unemployed. I call it a new season. So lately, I’ve focused my energies on cooking healthy meals, eating at home, trying new things and resurrecting the meals I used to cook “before”. I still choose to stay away from the Oatmeal Cookies… so humiliating.
So back to my day.
While walking around town, we ventured into a few little shops. Adorable. My favorite was the Farmer’s Wife. An indoor, air conditioned (thank you) sweet little produce market complete with a selection of wines, beers and healthy treats. Veggies everywhere, a just-right mix and amount for a cute little market.
The owner is so knowledgeable about her family-farm produce that I just couldn’t keep up with it all. My mental notes were not clicking. I was too relaxed and enjoying my friend. I zeroed in on this beautiful pale green, velvety cucumber… as long as my arm! Honestly, it was smiling at me. It was beautiful and I was amazed at how heavy it was. She told me all about it, and I forgot it’s name. Her description was perfect and I felt an urge to give into the tempation. I couldn’t imagine what I’d do with a cucumber that large. But I had to have one. I grabbed two of the cleanest yellow squash I’ve ever bought and knew this was going to be an interesting evening.
So, first let me say… next time, I’ll buy this one on the way to the car… not on the way to shopping! It’s big enough to make a difference. Like I said, it was an impromptu day.
Once I got home with my cuke, I had to decide what to do with it. It wouldn’t fit in the refrigerator. Had I forgotten there are only two of us now and neither of us eats too many cucumbers? I immediately photographed it and text the pictures to my very best foodie friends. I guess I’ve had my head in the sand, because they knew exactly what it was. I’m even more excited now.
I cut the tip off and it’s more solid in the middle. The seeds are so tiny around the outside of the slices. I cut about 10 slices and proceeded to gather some ingredients I remember mama using on her cucumbers. Olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, parsley, cherry tomatoes, purple onion slices and how beautiful it looked. I added a little kale and spinach under it, tossed it all together and there ya go! Not the new recipe I had planned for tonight, but a new recipe I remembered from my childhood. I don’t know if I ever really made it myself, but I can just picture her doing it now. Her hands were just like mine are now. I remember the way she sliced the cucumbers (she sliced two at a time). I remember her washing the onion after she peeled it. I remember how she covered the vinegar bottle opening with her thumb to let the proper amount drizzle out all over every single slice. Mama loved cucumbers. Into the frig for about 20 minutes and I just couldn’t wait any longer.
Well, the texture was a little different. The slices were crisp and the fresh fragrance was “melony”. I think I added a little too much vinegar but I can adjust that next time, after all I have plenty. After cutting 10 slices, it still looks whole.
So, any covered dish dinners coming up? I’ll donate a cucumber salad for your event. Ha! I’m off to grab my computer and research some cucumber recipes. I have lots to use and it’s so tasty, I don’t want to miss it.
Sometimes our plans are just that… our plans. I love it the way God makes us see that ours are not necessarily His. Beginning with the ‘unintentional’ and ending with a beautiful day of friendship and the gift of sharing a new discovery with my family and willing friends, the day was way more successful than I could have ever hoped. Remember, it’s about living better!
Feel free to share your impromptu moments below. I’d love to read them.
As for tomorrow? Bring on the impromptu!