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100 Happy Days: Day 101


I’ve just completed the 100 happy days challenge, which I posted on my Instagram account (https://instagram.com/norecipelife). In case you haven’t heard of it, the basic idea is that you post at least one picture a day capturing something that made you happy. It was kind of fun, and definitely interesting, but more often than not I found it kind of annoying. Just another frustrating thing I have to do that I don’t want to.

In theory, participating in the 100 happy days makes  you think about good things in your life, with the intention that it will take focus off the negative things and make you grateful for what you do have. I love that idea. It’s great. But the reality didn’t really work out so well.

A large part of this not working out as planned was the time in my life I chose to do it. Because I work from home there are a lot of days I see absolutely nothing interesting whatsoever. Due to a lack of means to go out and do exciting things, bad time management, and a pretty uneventful social life, there really didn’t seem to be anything worth sharing on a lot of days. I’d search around for something and usually it would just be a picture of food, or I’d google image search for something cool and be happy about that instead of anything in my real life. A lot of my pictures wound up being of food, or coffee, and while I don’t have a problem with that really, it is kind of boring and seemingly pointless if you look at them all together. It got to a point where I was like, is food really the main thing that makes me feel happy at this point in my life? Because that’s kind of sad. On my penultimate day, the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality in all 50 states, and it was awesome to be able to include that in my set of pictures. I was very glad that happened on the 99th day. However, the next day I posted several pictures and ALL of them were food-related.

Lesson number 1: If you’re going to start this challenge, you should try to pick a time when something interesting or exciting is already built into your plans, so that you have other things to share than just food. Vacation, graduation, party, I don’t know. Something like that. Or you could actually have a social life, unlike me.

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Homemade Pizzas of Yore


I’ve probably mentioned that one of my absolute favorite things to eat is pizza. If I really HAVE to pick a favorite food, that would be it. You can do so much with it and it just tastes SO good. I mean, do I really need to explain why I love pizza? No, I didn’t think so.

Now quite some time ago (although it was recent when I first started this post in early January), we’ve had two occasions of pizza-making gatherings at my apartment. The first time, I bought some ready-made Pillsbury pizza dough, the kind the comes in those tubes you have to break open.

We did three halves marinara and one half pesto.

We did three halves marinara and one half pesto.

 

There were two cans of dough. “Cans of dough” seems like quite a strange thing to say, don’t you think? Oh well. So, two pizzas for four people. I can’t remember if there were leftovers but considering the amount of toppings we added, there was definitely plenty to eat that night. There was chicken, chorizo, avocado, mushrooms, broccoli, cheese of course, and probably quite a few other things that I’ve forgotten by now.

 

Since one of our number was vegetarian, we made sure there were several sections without meat as we got creative with our topping combinations. As I said at the time (or something like it), one of the perks of making pizza at home is that you can do really interesting things with the toppings that would probably take fifteen minutes to fully explain if you were placing an order.

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(The kitchen light was highly uncooperative, as is my camera, so unfortunately the pictures aren’t very good.)

The instructions say to pre-bake the crusts a little. We did not do this, but we were still satisfied with the end result. For my tastes, this crust does not make the optimal pizza. It tastes almost exactly like the crescent roll dough, which is great for crescent rolls, but not the right base for pizza in my opinion. I will be much more likely in the future to buy the pizzeria-style dough that you can usually find somewhere near the deli section when I buy premade dough again. However, this Pillsbury option would be a good choice if you wanted it to be a little faster. You don’t have to let it sit out at room temperature or spend time flattening it out–just unroll and go. In that, at least, the doughboy has the advantage.

Let's not forget the wine. This bottle was pretty tasty, if my memory serves.

Let’s not forget the wine. This bottle was pretty tasty, if my memory serves.

 

The second pizza-making occurrence yielded a much more delicious result. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have any pictures–or if I do, I can’t find them. That time, one of my roommates made challah dough and we used that for the crust. That can result in a very thick crust unless someone wants to spend ages rolling it out, so if you like thin crust this might not be the way to achieve it. However, it tasted incredible. I can’t remember what we put on it anymore, but it doesn’t matter, because I remember that it was wonderful. And the lesson is to live with someone who likes making bread.

Monday Madness


I was hometown-bound this weekend for the wedding of an old friend, someone with whom I was very close in my teen years. The wedding was very lovely. The ceremony was outside and, luckily, the weather was perfect. The reception was in a hall, very nicely arranged, good food, fun dancing.

I spent some time with family, puttering around town, having lattes and pizza and such. It was an enjoyable time. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done anyway, I wasn’t worrying about being unproductive, so I was pretty relaxed and unstressed.

Then I got home and all the things I don’t like about my living space were there to greet me. I am so fed up, but I really don’t think there’s anything to do about it…

I’ve been thinking about what I want in life and wondering how to get it. From what I can tell, there are some people who are really good at getting what they want. I don’t understand them at all. I can’t figure it out. If getting what I want requires the cooperation of anyone else but me, it usually doesn’t happen.

Time always seems to be the biggest problem. I need more time in the day that’s open for sleeping, and longer breaks from real life to relax and try to organize my life into schedules or routines that actually make some sense. Instead, everything just piles up until I have no idea how to sort through all the wistful wishes and necessary chores and get anything at all done.

All I can do is rant about it on the internet. How productive and healthy.

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