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Solution- A means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation. This past weekend I was asked to take on a job that definitely took me out of my box, a challenge to say the least!!! I felt so honored to be asked that I decided to step to the challenge and said yes! So, I flew to Texas, on my way to feed 60 people who were attending a weekend retreat, yes I did say 60 people!! I have worked weekend retreats before, maximum attendees being 25. A lot less than almost 3 times that amount. I was told that I would have plenty of support staff to help me, knowing that this would be a huge task for just one person. Needless to say I got my butt kicked this past weekend!!!

From this experience I learned quite a few things about myself, besides the obvious, one person cooking for 60 is too much!!! I won't go on and on about the dynamics of the weekend and where the mistakes, hiccups, miscommunication....took the weekend, but all in all I am proud of myself for taking on this challenge and completing to the best of my ability. This is all we can ask of ourselves in life with any given job, task, challenge, is to give it your all and be the best you can be in these situations. This is where my word solution comes in, and where I fell short of being my best. As a hostess when entertaining or a cook for a gathering, the last thing you want to happen is to run out of food, a cook or hostess biggest nightmare!! The first lunch of the weekend, this is exactly what happened! This sweet girl who was in charge of putting the retreat together came running in letting me know that there wasn't enough food left for the last few people in line. I looked liked a deer in headlights, we both did, just standing there staring at each other!!

Solution!!!! But... I didn't go there, I went into complete defeat mode, judgment mode, criticism mode. Thinking she was sharing this with me as criticism, that I failed as the chef. Taking me way too long to figure out that she was sharing this with me so that we could come up with a solution to remedy the situation. Why is it that when we come up short, or miss something we automatically feel that we failed and feel defeated, looking for blame or excuses. Rather than dealing with the situation with maturity and using our brains to come up with a solution. Solutions work much better than standing in failure, pity, feeling sorry for yourself, defensive. Solutions, always the better way to go, the only thing that will change the situation for the better, or help with a problem. We need to do or best to keep our emotions out of the way, this way we have a much clearer head to come up with a solution to make things better or right again. I thought that this was the person I was, raising three kids, I always went into solution mode, but no this time. Big lessons learned this last weekend in many ways. I hope we can all learn by our mistakes and grow from them, leaving us better than we were before.

Bruschetta (from the garden)


1 loaf of bread (french baguette, sour dough, italian, gluten free…)

6 tomatoes, finely chopped

½ cup basil leaves, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium size bowl place the chopped tomatoes, basil and garlic. Stir to combine

Next add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mix all ingredients well, and let stand for about an hour, covered in plastic. This helps the flavors blend before you eat it.

Slice your bread, you can toast it or not. When ready, spoon the mixture on top, you can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top if you choose (I try to keep most of what I make dairy free). Enjoy


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