I took it easy today. I had bigger plans of what I was going to do and with a day like National Something on a Stick Day, your possibilities are endless. I had visions of all those kind of foods that are great served on sticks: corn dogs, kebobs, savory skewers, even pizza (yes they make pizza on a stick). We could have made fondue and Lola and I could have fed each other cheese dipped bread on long sticks in front of a roaring fire. You know, our typical Tuesday night dinner. However, life decided to intervene today and suddenly my schedule made my vision of stick dinner a little harder to achieve.
I started training at a new job this morning. Nothing fancy but something back in the hospitality world that will help pay the bills. Today was the first day of training and that will be my life for the next two days as well (and then more after that). I had to be there at 9:30 so I was dressed and ready at 9:00 in my first day of school clothes and I was dawdling. I didn’t want to go. I was tired from our Monday travels and I was suffering from something that that Lola and her sister Katie call ‘jomit’. That’s a combo of the word job and vomit and it’s that uneasy feeling in your gut about facing your first day at work. Really it’s about any uneasy feeling caused by work – how it hangs heavy on your head and turmoil in your stomach. It’s almost palpable. That’s what I had this morning. But after some needed consolation from Lola who had to drag me out from underneath the bed where I was hiding, I headed out the door and down the road. It had been the first time I was driving to work in almost eight months.
All things considered, it was actually a pretty good first day. I met everyone with a smile. I was given the tour. I filled out forms. I was given information. So much information. And I kind of shadowed people around. It’s a new world. They weren’t very specific on the details of my first day and I thought it was going to be just a few hours of paperwork and tours. It ended up being the full shift and I was there until 6 pm. Plus they weren’t really clear on the whole lunch break thing either, so I kind of skipped it. There I was on my first day for an eight hour shift having only had two cups of coffee all day and nothing to eat. I’ll know better as I get ready for tomorrow. But today, a hunger was growing inside. All in all, it wasn’t that hard of a day. I got a feel of everything that I’ll be doing and when the warm weather comes along with the tourists, I’ll be pretty busy. I liked the people that I worked with and everyone seemed pretty friendly. We’ll see where this road will lead. Right now, I’m just glad it will lead to a paycheck. I’ll keep you posted.
When I left at 6:00, I was in full-on hunger mode. I texted Lola that I was on my way and that I was going to stop at Clement’s Market on the way home to get something for dinner. I still had visions of grabbing a few of their beef kebobs that they have in their butcher case and then grilling them up when I got home. That would be easy enough. But when I went to the butcher, they did not have kebobs available today. I could have bought the steak separately along with the peppers and vegetables, but at this point, that was too much effort. I was too hungry. I went to their prepared food section and got Lola a bowl of chili and then I got myself a container from the hot food buffet. I almost started eating chicken wings right there, but I was able to compose myself and wait. I did however select the most random of items – obviously my hunger brain was picking my choices. Wings, scalloped potatoes and mac and cheese. When I got it all packed up, I made my way to the checkout counter but swung through the bakery section before I went home. That’s when I found the answer to my celebration dilemma. Cake pops. Sure, I could do cake pops. I picked up a package and then made my way home.
I pretty much crashed through the front door eating wings as I walked in. I gave Lola a very dramatic “I’m famished” response as I walked through the door. She got me my slippers and my whiskey sour, and I sat down at the table and started eating, not even waiting for Lola to join in. I was too hungry. She was actually not even that hungry, but she did listen to me as I told her about my day. She’s a good listener. I tried to give her all the details and she empathized on all my concerns and thoughts. Then she told me about her day too. Even though chicken bones were flying through the air as I plowed through my meal, we had a nice little moment of being a family. Listening, talking, eating and just enjoying each other’s company. It was a nice little moment.
Later, after I washed all the wing sauce and chicken flesh off my face and my hunger had been battled, I busted out the cake pops. These were a new product that they started carrying at Clements from a dessert company called Ticklebelly, which is also what Lola calls me when she is feeding me fondue. To use their words, these were actually cake bars, not cake pops, but they were little slices of cake on popsicle sticks that were covered in a frosting. I’ll give them points for packaging, because they looked great at the store with each package containing four bars lined up like soldiers in their clear plastic containers. Clements had a few different flavors available including salted caramel shortbread, cookies n’ cream, and dark chocolate. I opted for vanilla bean which was described as soft vanilla cake dipped in a sweet vanilla bean confectionery coating, finished with a touch of colorful sugar sprinkles. That just sounded good to me at the time (and if you recall, at the time my decision making abilities were not at their optimal performance levels). The first bite was kind of interesting because I didn’t really know what to expect. The outside coating was a candy dip so it had a sweet hardness to it. When you sink your teeth in, you break through the coating and then into a very soft and moist cake inside. I think because the stick felt like a popsicle stick, I was kind of waiting for a more firm inside (like an ice cream bar), so the softness was a surprise. It was sweet and tasty. The vanilla flavor was present throughout and I thought it was actually pretty good. I’m not exactly sure why I needed it on a stick. I’m usually ok with cake being a non-portable food, but I could see them being great at a cocktail party or one of those places where you can’t sit down. Some sweetness on the go. Lola was not a big fan. She didn’t like the taste of the cake, but she was skeptical heading into her first bite, so it would have taken a lot to win her over.
That was my Something on a Stick celebration. It wasn’t the biggest celebration I have done or the most intricate, but it still counted. Plus I showed myself that I can still do this celebration thing while doing other things as well. It wasn’t easy. I’m going to have to find a new rhythm to it all. A new schedule. I’ll need to plan better. And I’ll need to eat lunch too. You may see some changes here, just some needed adjustments to accommodate a new schedule. The celebration will continue, it will just be different. That, I suppose, is life. I’m on a new road now and I just have to adjust to make it a smooth ride, but I’ll keep driving forward and trying to find out where this road will take me. Having food on a stick will come in handy while I’m driving too.
Next Up: National Lemon Chiffon Cake