Elaborate meals have always overwhelmed me. I’m convinced that getting the main dish, the side dishes, and the rolls to all finish cooking at the same time is nothing short of witchcraft. Something always ends up overcooked or undercooked. What’s intended to be moist and tender is dry and tasteless. The marinating is rushed. The time needed for something to set is fudged and the whole thing falls apart.
Right now, all of my efforts at practicing creative reuse on a large scale – county, school, community – are like meal prep going terribly awry. Nothing is ready at the same time.
This week, I picked up some of the best (and the most) donations I’ve received all year. I have incredibly generous friends who mail me things and others who work out multi-step deliveries (giving things to someone who will hand them off to someone else whose spouse or coworker will see me at some point and make the delivery). A small company, closing its doors after 55 years in business, heard about my work through a friend and invited me to come and glean whatever is left. And I chose to see the momentum behind this rush of supplies as a sign that I’d finally found my sweet spot – where my passion and the world’s needs intersect.
But tonight I ran into the same challenge I always do: no room in the inn. I have access to some shared space, but no key (so my access is limited) and just floor space (so I can’t organize or sort or even see what I have – just store it). Once again, the back of my car is full. My husband is driving around with a corner cabinet in the back our van, because it’ll be perfect (as soon as I have a place to put it). There are a gazillion books piled under our piano, three or four half-completed projects in our living room, and some donated furniture sitting on our front porch.
It’s just so flippin’ frustrating to have one part of my meal ready to eat and the rest still in the oven. I’m hungry! What’s more, this meal could feed so many others. But timing is everything and apparently it’s going to be a while before anyone gets to eat what I’m making.