You know all those neat tricks in lifestyle magazines that promise to make your life go more smoothly if you are able to put in a little bit of effort to get organized, plan ahead, et cetera? The tips like laying your clothes out for the week on a Sunday, or storing all of the cleaning supplies needed for a room in that room for quick touch-ups, or keeping all of your shoes in their boxes with a picture of the shoes inside affixed to the top so you don’t have to search through a jumble of shoes to find the ones you want. The tips that would be so great and helpful if only you didn’t have to do make sure that all of your laundry was done and put away by Sunday night, or if you don’t have any storage space to spare in the bathroom for yet another roll of paper towels and bottle of Windex, or if you can’t fathom getting so many pictures of shoes off the digital camera, uploaded onto your computer, and ordered through a website or printed out at home as a priority activity.
I collect ideas like this, and magazines containing these promises of domestic simplicity, and will happily pass them on to people that ask for suggestions along those lines, but do them? Usually, no. As I mentioned the other day, I do meal plan and do some prep ahead of time. I have bought into that system, and it works. The biggest factor there though is that I have a partner who cleans up my messes. I only have to invest time in the planning, shopping, and prep – he scrubs the pots and cleans the counters. Pretty sweet deal.
There is one other tip I have adopted that earned a place as the One Fabulous Thing of today: making a batch of cookie dough and freezing the majority of it in cookie-sized portions for later baking. Freaking genius.
In honor of the SuperBowl yesterday, I made beef stew in the crockpot and mixed up a batch of Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough in the mixer. I cooked six of them (hey, it was the SuperBowl! Three each is appropriate, I think), and dropped spoonfuls of the rest of the dough on plates that I carefully placed in the freezer overnight then transferred into a large freezer bag.
Tonight, I realized the beauty of this plan as I pulled four portions of dough from the freezer, preheated the oven to 375°, and in about 15 minutes sat down with my husband to enjoy the fruits of my earlier labor.
These warm cookies gave me hope that, with the right sort of payoff, I can continue to shift some more of my habits to put in extra effort ahead of time to make things go more smoothly later. Maybe with all of that extra time I can make some more cookie dough…
So, Fabulous Thing #39: Happiness is a warm cookie.