As part of my New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to try the gratitude challenge that some people have done in the last year. Some did it for 10 days, others for 12. One friend, Tara, did it very inspiringly for 100 days. Me? I’d like to do it for 365 days but that’s unrealistic even for me. But 5 days out of 7 should be doable. Yep, I’m crazy. But this is the year I “Commit to the Quest”. And if I’m going to commit to the quest, then I have to actually commit. So that will be 52 weeks, 5 days per week, for a grand total of 260 gratitude posts for the year. One, two, three…go!
Today I’m grateful for five things.
First, I am grateful to my mom for teaching me how to make breaded pork tenderloin. While mine isn’t as good as my mom’s used to be when I was under 25 (the recipe ingredients changed a bit, didn’t quite taste the same after that, it’s basically just pork tenderloin dipped in egg and either ground-up Premium Plus crackers, ground up dried bread, or store-bought bread crumbs), it is my favorite treat for myself. Made it tonight for dinner, which is only the second time in two years, and almost a year and a half since the last time. I told Jacob it was my favorite, just like pizza and won ton soup are his favorites (not in that order), and that my mom used to make it for me when I was a kid. Jacob had two bites and swore he “loved” it too. I honestly just about cried. Miss you Mom. (And yes, I used your meat tenderizer tonight, thanks for the inheritance hehehe).
Second, continuing the theme of nostalgia, I am grateful to my friend Cheryl. Back in the day, somewhere around the mid-90s, Cheryl was into ceramics, and I got her to do me a favour. I had her make a bunch of ceramic trees for my mom, my sisters, and myself for Christmas. I miscounted who would want one and ended up giving mine away, but when my mother died, I re-acquired hers. I put it up this year, and it was a nice reminder. A bit kitschy, I admit, but at least it wasn’t a dancing anatomically-correct reindeer.
Third, I am grateful that my wife likes to try new recipes. Tonight we tried one from the 2013 Milk calendar (weirdly, it was in our mailbox THIS fall!!!) called “crispy-topped vegetable casserole”. Basically chopped veggies (broccoli and carrots tonight and a bit of onion) mixed with a white sauce of milk and cream cheese and topped with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. The result was tasty, but too much work with the white sauce to add it to our repertoire or work to adapt it. There are better recipes out there. Mind you, the Epicure steamer helped a lot with veggie prep so we’re encouraged.
Fourth, I am grateful to the City of Ottawa which provides a skating rink at Centerpointe. No hockey players, no trek to the canal, not crazy busy to get anywhere near it, just a simple design with a bench in the middle, some huts to change in, and ice.
Fifth, and perhaps more important than the others, I am grateful that my life is in a place where I can take the time to stop and be grateful.