During these sparse, empty cupboard times the phrase ‘making do’ keeps coming to mind. I’ve discovered that I am not gifted at this. Other people can make gourmet meals out of scraps, high fashion from rags and shop-worthy cards from things that were just ‘lying around’.
There are some who are not realistically making do though. You know the types- ‘all you need to make this simple meal is olives, fresh herbs from your garden and a small handful of things that have been languishing in your pantry.’ You know, like strong white flour and a box of yeast. And a bottle of amazing prosecco to wash it down with. Friends, I do not have a pantry, and, unlike Nigella or Mary, I DO NOT have strong white flour.
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A few days ago the Tesco man was unable to bring the naan I’d ordered, so I thought, fine, I’ll make it myself. I didn’t have the yeast or enough of the type of flour I needed but I thought I could wing it with the soda bread flour my husband had come sheepishly back with the other day. I optimistically left the dry, unkneadable ball to ‘prove’ for fifteen useless minutes, peered at it and then threw it out.
This morning I decided to make my best friend from school a birthday card. I was only sticking a photo onto card, what could possibly go wrong? Ha. The photo was bigger than the card so I thought I would just trim it. Even me and scissors don’t mix well. The result, as you’ll see in a few days Rebecca, looks like a five year old did it. I hate crafts and in these fuzzy, unmotivated times, nothing is suddenly, miraculously going to come together.
It’s a little disappointing because I would say both my grannies would have done very well at this. One with her ability to make soup out of things she scavenged in the woods and the other with her ‘waste not want not’ mentality. That woman could make a tea bag last at least three times.
One thing I have learnt is to appreciate everything that arrives through my door from the weekly Tesco shop. Seeing the blue self-raising flour in the bag last week was a very happy moment. A month ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
Beyond groceries and cards, I’m trying to appreciate the above and beyond parts of my life- the luxury (mostly) of having my family close by, the delight of knowing I will check in with my parents every day, the treat of stopping and sitting down with a good book. These things are so much better than flour or baking successes.
I probably won’t come out of this desert time with a new skill, or the book I wish I had the focus to write, but I hope I will end it with more appreciation for the gift of the people around me.
Like my granny, I hope I won’t waste it.