https://embed.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius I keep forgetting this TEDtalk exists. I had seen it first when I was in college learning to cope with the high expectations of creativity: that you have this creative resivoir that never ran dry and always pumped out … Continue reading
Why can’t people just be happy for her? It was her third marriage. People kept reminding her and anyone else who would listen to their mouth flap. Yes, it was her third, not that the number counted toward or against … Continue reading
I started drinking cappuccinos when I was 8. My aunt had a cappuccino maker and used to sit my brother and I at the breakfast bar in her cottage and make them for us with two shots of French vanilla … Continue reading
I think what’s strange about moving into a home is going through all the things someone else has left behind. This evening I found myself with a fist full of recipes. All hand written. Some in cursive. Some in a sloppy but legible print. Some detailed and others not so much. Several recipes were repeats. I wondered to myself who this Vern was and how did Vern get so good at making this candy? And why were there six copies of it all hand written in this pile. As I pawed through them I read the titles of the end results. “Refrigerator Pickles” was one I was familiar with. “Potato Chip Cookies” sounded odd, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to hang onto that one. “Lemon Basil Chicken” was another, and it sounded so strange when I read the ingredients, I decided I had to taste it.
Considering that I had no food in my new home yet, I decided it was best I went grocery shopping. It has been such a long time since I cooked something I had almost forgotten what it was like. Then again, in my apartment, I couldn’t use my oven because it smoked so badly I couldn’t cook anything without setting off the smoke alarm. I cleaned the thing six times too. Never got better.
Things were different now though. I had an oven now, and from what I could tell, it was hardly used or really really well cleaned. So I went grocery shopping and picked up some groceries. Way too much money later (because I made the mistake of going to the grocery store while hungry), I was sitting in my vintage 1970s throwback kitchen (with a back splash so bad it was almost too good to get rid of).
1 cup Miracle Whip
2 table spoons of Lemon Juice
1 tea spoon of dried basil
3 pounds of boneless chicken breasts
Combine to make dressing and pour over chicken and cook at 375 degrees for 45 min.
It sounded so odd. I hadn’t made a sauce like this out of Miracle Whip. Then again, it wasn’t too far off from using a “cream of…” soup over chicken. I hadn’t ever thought of doing that same kind of thing with Miracle Whip and I was super curious as to how good it would be. So of course I made it, but added French Onions on top as an added flavor.
It was really good.
I’ve decided to try out more of these recipes that were left behind. I’m super curious about these “Potato Chip Cookies” and the note of “(fair)” put at the bottom of the page in a different script than the rest. I mean they sound so bizarre that I think I’ll probably love them. Because who doesn’t love cookies and potato chips separately right? Why not kill two birds with one stone?
The things some people leave behind.
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We chattered as we drove, talking about life, love and wedding details. She was glowing. Happy for everything. Happy that we were able to be together for this wonderful moment. Happy that we all could get away from work and have some fun. Happy that we didn’t have to stay in the area and could go on an adventure.
Happy we could get a wedding dress…for free.
The home it’s self was 3 floors high, with a plantation style wrap around porch. Mint green siding and dark shutters with glowing lights from inside welcomed you into a relaxed living space with quaint country decorating. The driveway was practically a mile long. The estate, where both her husbands jewelry store and her mansion sit, along with several barns. Sat on a hillside surrounded by fields. It seemed out of place in the middle of nowhere. The kind of home one would see in the south. Large and lovely.
When I heard about her ministry, I was expecting someone to come to you with outdated or vintage wedding dresses that she would help you make into a dress that worked. Who gives away wedding dresses if they’re actually stylish? I mean REALLY just GIVES THEM AWAY.? I suppose the divorced would. But that was beside the point. I assumed that she would probably just pass off something a few seasons old…or decades, and kind of hope you and a seamstress could make it work.
I was mistaken.
Her basement is a bridal showroom, full of contemporary dresses, all donated from bridal shops all over the nation and individuals who just happen to find them at places like Goodwill each season. After you choose a gown, she sends you off with it, to alter it as needed. The only money you spend is on alterations, if the dress even needs it at all. She specializes in dresses with sleeves and high necklines, but also has a large selection of strapless dresses she insists on showing you how to alter with straps, all the while lovingly telling you how sleeveless dresses are “ungodly” dresses. She refuses gowns donated by divorcees, believing them to be “ungodly” dresses as well, and therefore bad luck.
Despite how some of our theology differs, I enjoyed her. She was lovely, jovial, and extremely helpful. Not to mention a blessing to offer the kind of ministry she does for so little, and out of her own home. She made the experience of bridal gown shopping stress free for my dearest friend, who looked absolutely stunning in the dress she picked.
I even teared up a little. Not gunna lie.
As we were walking out, thanking her again and again for a lovely experience, she asked me when I would be coming to see her. I wasn’t sure how to respond at first. So I simply replied “When he pops the question.” She smiled, and assured me “He’d be a fool not to do it soon.” I laughed.
We all took a picture together with our stylist before we piled back in the car for a two hour ride home.