I’m a generally optimistic person. Along with my modesty, it is actually one of the traits I like most about myself…
Last night I went to sleep with the hopeful mindset that it wouldn’t be raining when I woke up. After all, how much water can clouds even hold?
Answer: Apparently quite a lot.
Not only did I wake up to rain, but it only increased in strength throughout the day. Annie was wrong. The sun didn’t come out “tomorrow.”
Thank goodness for my flexibility (Oh, did I forget to mention that? So now we know I’m modest, optimistic and flexible), I simply readjusted my plans and went on with the day.
First up was the breakfast I have seriously been waiting weeks to eat: Oats in a jar, or OIAJ.
I was nervous about quite a few aspects of spending two months in Germany. Greatest of my fears was that there would be no peanut butter. So, being the prepared person I am (modest, optimistic, flexible and prepared, for those of you keeping track), I packed my own jar of PB.
After six weeks of dipping fingers fruits and veggies into my beloved spread, I finally neared the end of the jar. Rather than be mourn the death of my PB, I celebrated it in style, à la OIAJ.
Worth the wait…
(Note: Before I create any concern for how I would fair for two more weeks of PB-less living, allow me to rest your anxiety: My family actually has PB. For more evidence, keep reading.)
Flying high off my amazing breakfast, I decided to take on my greatest challenge in Germany: Me vs. the Kitchen.
- Obstacle One: Finding the courage to ask my host parents if I could use their ingredients to bake something.
- Obstacle Two: Figuring out how exactly to explain what I was baking. Note: “Cookie” translates to “Keks.”
- Obstacle Three: Locating necessary ingredients, converting measurements and baking temperature.
- Obstacle Four: Mixing everything together and hoping for the best. My reputation was definitely on the line.
To my relief, the cookies turned out better than I even imagined. Crispy, crunchy and everything I had been missing…
Peanut Butter, Nutella and Crossed Fingers Cookies
- 2/3 C brown sugar
- 1/3 C instant oats
- 2 T whole-wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 3 T peanut butter
- 1 T Nutella
- Mix together brown sugar, oats and flour. Mix in egg, peanut butter and Nutella.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Grease cookie sheet and place tablespoon-sized cookies about two inches apart.
- Bake in 180 degree Celsius (approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.
Suffice it to say that my host dad, who was unfamiliar with the concept of peanut butter and chocolate cookies, was impressed.
If I translated correctly, I think I’m allowed to continue living here…
The rain continued to fall, but I was determined to get my run in for the day. I may have picked up an extra 10 pounds of water in my shoes, but I managed to complete 3.5 miles.
A quick shower, quick lunch and long quick nap later, I dug deep and found the motivation to go to Munich. After the promise I made yesterday, I figured I had no choice (modest, optimistic, flexible, prepared and truthful…).
My friend, Rebecca, and I walked around town for a few hours, dodging into stores when we wanted to avoid the rain.
Just as with exercise, sometimes it is hard to find the motivation to get out, but I never regret it once I do.
I got home just as my family was heading out the door to dinner. They invited me along, but I knew tomorrow was going to be a long day, so I declined (modest, optimistic, flexible, prepared, truthful and responsible).
Plus, their absence just gave me opportunity to invade the kitchen. I considered a few recipes I’ve had mentally bookmarked, but I listen to my hunger and a sandwich was really speaking to me.
Tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, pepper and a fresh cheese spread all on toasted whole-grain bread… What more could a girl want (other than another cookie and a little sunshine)?
OK, Annie, I’m giving you one more chance.
(Finally tally: Modest, optimistic, flexible, prepared, truthful, responsible and generous.)
Question: What challenges did you take on today?