1,000 Miles – The approximate distance between my house in Baltimore and my parent’s place in Florida.
18 Hours – How long it took me to drive those miles.
2 Hours – The amount of time I spent in Savannah, Georgia having a spot of lunch and a break from the drive south. Also the same amount of time I spent in Jacksonville, Florida for lunch and a break from the drive north.
240 – The number of the hotel room I spent the night in at the Quality Inn in Florence, South Carolina both times (how odd is that?)
$10.69 – My contribution to Paula Deen’s retirement fund in the form of the purchase of a set of wooden cooking utensils from her store in Savannah.
12 – The number of times I stopped for gas. Also, the magical number of how many Diet Cokes it took me to get down and back.
4 – How many audio books I checked out of the library for the drive.
1 – The number of audio books that happened to be in cassette tape format (as if).
3 Days – The duration of my cooking marathon.
16 – The number of different recipes I prepared – Blueberry Pudding Cake, Cinnamon Rolls, Coffee Ice Cream, Double Chocolate Pudding, Spaghetti Sauce, Pulled Pork, Baked Pasta, Vegetable Soup, Mushroom Soup, Salisbury Steak, Stuffed Peppers, Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Sweet and Sour Pork, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Squash, and Roasted Potatoes.
1 – The number of recipe fails. Not a bad percentage.
In a frightening example of how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my dad cooked up not one but two batches of thick cut bacon for random snacking. One batch was glazed with maple syrup. The other was coated in local orange blossom honey. Does anything say ‘I love you’ more than sweetly glazed bacon?
Now that I’m back and have unpacked all the pots, pans, and random gear I took down with me, it’s time I get back into my own kitchen and get busy. It’s where my mojo lives. It’s where I speak volumes without saying a word. It’s where I know that I can find order and comfort in spite of the disorder, surprises, and challenges that come my way. It’s where I feel most at home.