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Goodbye emergency cooking—for now

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Thanksgiving eve is as good a time as any to squeeze positive life change out of a mini crisis meltdown, wouldn’t you agree?

I just needed some plant based something that could shamelessly accompany cousin’s Real Deal Turkey at our Thanksgiving feast. An alternative who’s elegance extended beyond looks and delivered expected flavor…

I considered emergency mode. For several years my cooking prospered under the inspiration of creativity required by chronic procrastination and lack of preparation. I even came to believe that this approach to meal prep honored my wiring–a love of change and challenge insulated by a deep seated resistance to structure and committing to something so limiting as a weekly menu. 

Then, I hit a rut and it didn’t work anymore. Was it the move to another country? Midlife meltdown? Procrastination consequences catching up with me at last? Whatever the cause, I’d lost my inspiration, resented the chore of feeding my family, and felt miserable that I was missing the chance to love my sons through their almost grown and gone tummies.

Now I stood in front of the veggie food freezer section at Big Chain Grocery Store surveyed the remains.  Buffalo wing alternatives?  Pseudo chick shreds.  There would be no buying a ready made option.

Two realizations came together and I stopped to notice them.  First–yes! I was open to buying something guaranteed to be good enough instead of resisting practicality because, “if I don’t make it from scrathc it won’t count/be good/etc.  Second–help! That is not an option now.

Pushing pause, I steered clear of the “why did I put this off, when will I ever learn, what am I going to do” cycle and noticed what was going on.

Adrenalin would not be helpful at this point.  It would simply overwhelm me instead of providing fuel to push ahead.  It would come across as panic and mess with my orderly thought processes.

There was the reflex to just throw something together… go home and see what’s in the cupboard. Escape the overwhelming feeling at this late Thanksgiving eve hour in a busy Big Chain Store.

I stayed with the moment.  “That won’t turn out very well…” I payed attention to the voice inside. 

OK. Regroup. Why am I even doing this?

Thanksgiving. Family. Good times around a table of abundant goodness.  

It wasn’t about me showcasing 

I left pulled out my phone and wandered past the empty green bean bin (oh dear!) and around the picked over yams.

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