An adult? Maybe sometimes?

I've always been very organized.  My dad even said he saw me becoming an architect way earlier than I did because I was his only kid rearranging her room furniture once a year (or more).  I was always looking for the optimal room arrangement- maximizing floor space for playing with Becky, creating a private place to talk on the phone, a fluffy and comfy place to read...  I like things in their place, and always have.  Being organized doesn't make you an adult.
Moving into an on-campus apartment my sophomore year of college forced me to learn how to cook and take care of myself.  Having a kitchen but paying for the dining plan (and it's terrible food options) wasn't smart.  I had to learn how to shop for food, and how to prepare said food.  I started off with a lot of Lean Cuisines (no freezer space left in an apartment of 4 girls), but with many phone calls to my mom I slowly learned how to do things myself in the kitchen.  I distinctly remember 3 phone calls regarding this:  Phone call number one was when I asked how to cook chicken in the oven and was told "I don't know, 400, 425, 375... 15-20 minutes...  I just check it when I think it might be done".  There was a lot of cutting open the chicken to see if it was done yet before I got to the same comfort with cooking chicken in the oven.  Phone call number two was calling to ask how she prepares asparagus "the way I like it".  And she knew what I was talking about (roast it in the oven with a bit of garlic salt and olive oil), and somehow can keep her four kids food preferences straight (still).  The third phone call was how to make her chicken scampi for me and my boyfriend at the time.  I wanted to impress him probably for an anniversary, and as my mom read the long list of spices I needed to buy, she finally said "how about I just run down there and bring you a bag of these, all measured out?"  I insisted she didn't have to, but sure enough, before the BF showed up later in the week, I had a little sandwich bag, twist-tied closed, with all of the spices I would need in all their correct quantities.  Ready to just pour into the butter sauce.  As you can see, learning to cook for myself still did not make me an adult, especially with all of the phone calls and help I was receiving from mom.

Moving to Colorado for grad school, and not knowing anyone out there didn't make me an adult either.  I had classes where I made friends, I still technically lived in campus housing, I didn't have a car.  And when I did graduate, have a car, and have a job, I still didn't make enough to support myself fully (the recession was terribly hard on the architecture profession).  And having a job not related to my degree didn't make me feel like an adult.  And then moving back to Maryland and living at home while I figured things out a bit certainly didn't make me an adult either.
I moved into my own apartment and have been living there for over a year and a half now.  And you know what makes me an adult?  Two things happened on the same day that made me feel like a grown-up.

1.  I was washing a spatula when I realized the flexible plastic part was torn along one edge.  I tossed it.  I figured why waste my time with a torn spatula that is only going to get more broken.  And I have others.

2.  I threw away a pair of running socks that have holes in the toes that I just keep wearing even though I should have tossed them months ago.  I wondered why I was wasting my time with these socks that will only lead to blisters.
It hit me, and I suddenly realized I didn't have a college-kid mentality anymore.  These things were no longer useful, so I should get rid of them.  Wait, what?  I shouldn't try to glue the spatula back together?  Keep those socks around to try to patch up at some later date (never)?  Yeah, that was when I realized I was growing up. 

Are you disappointed?  I bet your "growing up" stories involve buying a house, having kids, getting married, getting a dog.  Mine is pretty lame in comparison, haha, sorry about it.

Also I make things like pot roast.  The Pioneer Woman's recipe was simple and delicious.  I'm definitely making it again.  And I followed her suggestion to cook the potatoes separately- so I served the pot roast on top of mashed potatoes.  If you feel like you might be an adult some days, make this!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

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