Last week, due to the the pressures of parenting, puppy-raising, and work, I had made a deliberate decision that I would try to make my life easier by taking some shortcuts in the kitchen. I entered the grocery store and filled my cart with items I don’t normally buy, some of the kids’ favorite easy meals (ahem… macaroni and cheese in a box*) and time-savers like rotisserie chicken, all in an attempt to maintain my sanity and not put too much pressure on myself.
It was then, in the dairy section, that a very lovely fan of mine recognized me. As I was grabbing the heavy cream from the shelf for my Roasted Tomato Soup, she asked, “Do you have a blog? Alaska from Scratch, right?”
We chatted a while, having a very nice conversation next to gallons of milk and containers of yogurt, and then she asked me what was on the menu that particular week. I glanced down at my cart and I’m sure all the color drained from my face in embarrassment. I explained to her that it was kid-friendly fare for the next week, sheepishly pointing to my out-of-character, not-so-from-scratch selections.
Then I went on to explain that I had a plan to make some amped up grilled cheese sandwiches with sliced green apples and bacon along with some homemade tomato soup, because the kids all love a good grilled cheese sandwich.
No matter how many times I get recognized in public, I always get embarrassed. My face turns bright red and I hope, deep down inside, that the real me is not a disappointment. That’s the truth. On this particular day, this fabulous fan of mine caught me at a very real, very vulnerable moment. And I thank her for that, for having the courage to talk to me, for allowing me to be transparent with her about my real life moments.
*A special note about macaroni and cheese in a box. When I was young and food insecure, I survived on things like boxed macaroni and cheese and packages of ramen noodles. I have a deep sense of indebtedness to these inexpensive convenience foods for helping me make it through those tough years. While I try to cook from scratch most of the time for my family and blog about it, I don’t poo poo anyone’s decision to buy macaroni and cheese in a box. As you can see, I buy it myself sometimes. I just needed you all to know that.
Oh, and that rotisserie chicken I bought? It made a spectacular pot pie. Recipe coming soon.