It was 3 o’clock in the morning and my mind was reeling.
Worst of all, there was no particular reason for my anxiety. One minute I was fast sleep, the next I was wide awake. No bones about it…
For the next two hours, I fought my restlessness and tried various strategies to lull myself back to sleep. All of which were absolutely futile.
What’s a girl to do?
I went with the obvious answer to that: Pilates.
Thirty minutes later, my limbs were stretched, my mind was cleared and I was ready to go back to sleep… For one more hour.
That time around, the alarm clock’s blare wasn’t very welcome. Still, I felt the mental pressure to get up and get productive.
The next few hours followed in similar sequence, with me rushing from one thing to the next.
I got home with just two hours to kill before heading back to campus for my long copy editing shift. I had barely stepped inside my house, before feeling overwhelmed with all I wanted to do and all I needed to accomplish in that time.
Just as was the case with my unplanned 3 o’clock wake-up call, my mind was reeling.
“Review homework. Update planner. Check out upcoming assignments. Clean out my backpack. Pack my new bag. Check the mail. Pay the bills. Empty the dishwasher. Make new ice cubes. Put away laundry. Organize my room…”
What was going to happen if I let a few of those things slide?
Was the world really going to fall apart? No.
Would it help me stay sane? Yes.
So, with a leap of faith, I made myself relax and focus my attention on one thing: creating a comforting dinner.
- 2 slices “day-old” whole-grain bread
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 C grape tomatoes
- 1/2 t sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, optional
- Slice the tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Place, face up, on a lined baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle with sugar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bake tomatoes in 225 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then, keeping tomatoes in the oven, turn the temperate up to 300 degrees and allow to continue baking for at least 40 minutes. They will be done when they look dried and shriveled.
- When tomatoes are almost done baking, toast the bread (I used a conventional toaster, but the oven would work) until it is browned.
- Cut the garlic clove in half and remove the paper-like outer shell. Rub the garlic halves all over the toast.
- Then, top the toast with warm tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
- There is no comparison for fresh, summer tomatoes. But, in a pinch (aka, every season other than summer), sprinkling a little sugar on the tomatoes helps bring out the more subtle sweet tones.
- Rubbing garlic on toast (or anything else) has to be one of the best tips ever. That way, the essence is absolutely there, but there are no stray bits of garlic to accidentally bite into.
It wasn’t until I was savoring the sweet tomatoes and garlic-infused toast that I realized there was actually a moral to my dinner story: Take a little time to slow down and
smell the roses roast the tomatoes.