I started packing more than a week before my flight. I admit it; I’m a slow packer and I’m incapable of doing it all in one go. To make matters worse, I’m a very messy packer. (I”m so glad that you’re not here to see it because I think it would drive you crazy.) I like to make piles of things that I should pack, but for some reason or another they’re not ready for the suitcase yet. So I have piles of things all over the room. A pile of shoes, a pile of clothes on the bed, a pile of toiletries, etc.
I’m also a very paranoid packer. I always have to write a list because I’m afraid that I’ll forget something. I’ve learned my lesson. After forgetting important things for a trip in the past, you tend to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Things that I have forgotten to pack in the past:
- Underwear – This experience had been mentally scarring. Scrubbing your underthings in the hotel bathroom sink is not my idea of a vacation.
- Journal – I usually never travel without a journal, but depending on our plans, I never usually find the time to write. One time, I decided to leave it at home. Big mistake. I regretted the decision so much. I ended up jotting down my thoughts on my Blackberry – which wasn’t convenient or fun.
- Scarf – I’m a bit prone to getting sick easily when there’s an abrupt weather change and I get chilly. The worst is getting sick in the middle of a trip.
Things that I usually never forget to pack:
- Books – Usually before I leave, I go through my bookshelf and pick out a stack of books to read. But now that I have an e-reader with a long battery life (for me, that means that I can read more than a book and a half in between charges), I don’t have to add 10 pounds to my luggage.
- Cowboy boots – My boots are super worn out and loved. They’ve traveled to the beach and to the woods. They’ve been to Asia and South America, with a brief stopover in Europe. It doesn’t matter what the weather will be like because I’ll bring them regardless.
The fuller my suitcase gets, the closer my flight feels. My big suitcase is almost ready to go. I’m just going to weigh how much it is right now and see if I can cram a few final things in it before I seal it off. My smaller suitcase is only halfway full, since I’m planning to dump most of my toiletries in there.
I’ve been really good at eating healthier for the last few weeks. I would have thought that now that I am back to cooking for one, I would revert back to my college eating habits.
When I lived back at the dorm, my cooking routine was severely limited to quick, cheap, and easy meals such as mac and cheese, lots of pasta, lots of rice dishes. I rarely bought any vegetables or fruits because most of the time they spoiled before I was able to use it all. I made the most of my money and I hated seeing food go to waste.
Surprisingly, I am able to keep up my cooking and eating habits while you’re away. I’ve even cutback a little and started eating less eggs for breakfast and incorporating even more oatmeal, greek yogurt, and fresh fruits.
I have reduced my purchases of fresh vegetables though. As much as I love fresh green beans, I can’t eat it fast enough on my own. I’ve opted to buying frozen broccoli and string beans because I know they’ll keep.
After my nerve-wracking interview on Thursday, I decided to reward myself through food and drink. It’s been ages since I’ve been to Trader Joe’s for wine and since it was on the way home, I decided to stop by. I forgot how awesome the deals are and I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of cheap wines to buy. I ended up buying a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and another bottle of Chilean wine for a later date.
I was looking forward to my dinner all day. I had bought a great piece of ribeye steak from Trader Joe’s. I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper and cooked it on a hot skillet for a few minutes on each side.
The steak was the perfect complement to my pesto. I knew it was a great idea to freeze your homemade pesto sauce. Usually, the sauce just isn’t the same after the next day. As yummy as it is, it gets a lot drier in the fridge and when it gets heated up. I ended up defrosting the pesto sauce for an hour before cooking the pasta. I put the container in a bowl of hot water to speed up the process. The pesto was still cold by the time my pasta finished cooking, but my fresh hot pasta managed to warm up the sauce when tossed together.
A plate of pesto and steak and a glass of red wine was the perfect end to a stressful day.
I actually wondered how long it would take before I crack and decide to bake.
It’s so easy when you’re here. I don’t have to feel guilty about baking a huge batch when you’re here to eat it all up for me. Or at the very least, help me eat it all up.
What makes this banana bread different from the others is that I used frozen bananas for the first time. Right after you left, I stored blackened bananas in a plastic bag in the freezer. I knew that eventually (just two weeks later, apparently) I would crave banana bread.
Using frozen bananas isn’t that much different from using ripened ones, minus the fact that I had to wait an hour for them to thaw before I could mash them. On the plus side, mashing was effortless because the bananas were super soft. My banana mixture came out thicker than usual, but this was probably because my bananas were still cold and less juicy.
I usually don’t make my banana bread with nuts, but I felt extra adventurous today and toasted some walnuts while making the batter.
I may have baked my banana bread a few minutes too long, but the end result is still super tasty. It isn’t as moist as usual, but that’s something a spoonful of Nutella can fix.