“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.” - Henry Thoreau
I just received my long awaited acceptance letter to BYU's Study abroad program in LONDON! This means that I will become a Lady of London from the middle of June to the middle of August. It's funny to think that six years ago I was strolling around London and Scotland with my mother completely unaware that I'd be returning one day. I remember longing to return with a study abroad program, but I can't believe that this dream has actually become a reality.
London has a special place in my heart. It gave me my very first taste of Europe. I still remember perfectly gazing out the window of the Tube on our way to our hotel from the airport. I saw autumn leaves and black "British" looking cars driving on the opposite side of the street, and I thought to myself "So this is Europe." Since then, I've enjoyed quite the love affair with Europe. I've had the opportunity of returning to Europe twice on various cruises and expeditions since that autumn maiden voyage totalling my number of European Countries visited to an incredible 13! (Although, I only spent a day or two in the majority of those countries)
Is it disgusting or incredible that this will be my third consecutive summer traveling to Europe? I can't decide, but I don't know how I became so lucky as to have the opportunity to travel this much. I have to give a huge shout out to my parents for #1 - birthing me last so that I could have all the travel perks of being the youngest child #2 Instilling in me a passion for travel and learning #3 Supporting me in pursuing my dreams #4 Being willing and able to fund a lot of those dreams! I owe you big time!
So tune in with me this summer for a much more exciting blog about a bright eyed beauty becoming a Lady of London town!
Some of you may already know that I have decided to major in Humanities with an English emphasis. Upon hearing my major, the most common question people pose is "So what do you want to do with that?" The second most common question is, "So what exactly does that entail?" I am going to answer the latter of the two questions with an excerpt from an essay I read today.
"Humanities ask troubling questions, heighten consciousness, start revolutions in the mind, challenge the status quo, and raise expectations for ourselves and society. The humanities should be cultivated, not for intellectual adornment, even less to legitimate existing social and political institutions, but as instruments of self-discovery, of critical understanding, and creative social imagination" - Veninga
So take that and add a bunch of art, architecture, literature, history, philosophy, religion, essays, film, music, theatre, and dance, and you've almost grasped the beauty that is my major.
While I was at the store the other day, I noticed a great sale on pork loin roasts. I grabbed one and envisioned a delicious Sunday dinner. It was going to be my first time actually cooking a roast in the oven, but Mom always said that roasts were super easy. Sunday morning, I took my roast out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw out. I carefully looked over my roasting instructions from my oven manuel, noticed that my roast was about 3.4lbs, and followed the corresponding line over to the appropriate cooking time of 35-45 minutes.
I came home from church and immediately became "Holly Homemaker" complete with apron and high heels! It was about 4:15, and I figured if I could get the roast in pretty quick, I'd be able to get it all done before the CES fireside at 6:00. This is where the madness begins. First, I noticed that my roast is still quite frozen, so I ran it under hot water for a good while. Then I seasoned it and put it in the oven (setting the timer for 40 mins). During that 40 minutes, I proceeded to make delicious mash potatoes, gravy, and green beans. When the timer hit about 7 minutes left, I checked the roast. To my utter horror, it wasn't cooked! I called my mom to see what the trouble was. As I talked with her, I discovered my awful mistake.
In tiny writing, the instructions said that I needed to cook the roast 30-45 minutes PER POUND! Not total!! How could I be so dumb? So, there I was with my side dishes all ready, hungry, and overwhelmed at my stupid mistakes. I had two options: 1.wait another hour or so for the roast to cook. 2. take the roast out and cut it into pork chops and fry them up. I went with option 1, and began running door to door in the cold, in my apron, in search of a meat thermometer (which I didn't own).
An hour or so later, after the fireside was practically over, I went to check on my meat. It wasn't up to the right temperature yet! I called my mother for maybe the 7th time to ask for help. She informed me that I should have thawed the roast out at least overnight if not for an entire day. How was I supposed to know? Suddenly, I began really despising my dream of this easy roasting business. I amped up the oven temperature and just waited until the glorious red arrow on the thermometer hit 160. After a long stressful process of trying to learn how to make homemade gravy over the phone, my roommates and I were able to sit down and eat dinner. The meal was delicious, but I was emotionally and physically fatigued!
I did everything wrong, but in doing everything wrong, I think I now know how to do everything right. Sometimes making mistakes is the best way to learn. I'm glad this terrible experience happened now, and not in the future when I was cooking a meal for my husband and In- laws! (THE HORROR!)
So here's what I learned:
1. Thaw out a roast at least the night before...in fact, just don't freeze it at all!
2. The cook time given is times the weight of the roast, not total.
3. Don't cook all your side dishes too far in advance
4. Own a meat thermometer
5. Making home made gravy the perfect consistency is harder than it looks
6. Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself to keep from crying
Happy New Year! One thing I love about a new year is the resolutions people make to try to be a little better in the upcoming year. Whether or not we fulfill all these resolutions is another story, but the initial desire to set goals is wonderful! I actually decided to have some New Year's resolutions this year. I always try to set a few in my four main categories - Mind, Body, Spirit, and Soul. I usually always want to eat better and exercise more, read my scriptures more, go to the temple more...just a lot of things "more." However, one of my resolutions this year was to date more...a lot more ha ha.
So I had this great plan to go to my new class, sit by a cute guy, introduce myself, turn on the charm, and hope for a miracle. Anyway, there I was on the first day of class, I open the door to my Spanish class, glance around the room, and there's not a single boy in the room! No Chicos! (No boys). Then my next class had a total of two boys. My big "charm" plan seemed to be going down the tube. At least my second day of class held a lot more promise and a lot more boys. However, I'll admit that I'm one of those students that actually loves to sit on the front or second row, and I've now learned that most of the boys sit in the back for some reason. Oh well! Any suggestions?
Well, here's wishing all of you out there best of luck on fulfilling whatever resolutions you've made this new year!