[Still] Playing to My Strengths

So, on Monday of last week, I had all these ideas floating around in my head.

It was one of those days where I wanted to do everything at once, writing out to-do lists and creating strategies for cooking, cleaning, and parenting.  I had such a hard time staying on-task as I tried to get the house clean, because I’d start thinking about something that I wanted to get done, and the next thing I knew I’d be reorganizing a drawer or looking something up online.  But the house was dirty, dang it, so I tried not to indulge myself, pushing my ideas out of my mind and fighting to focus on the [boring] task at hand.

One or two days later, I was having trouble figuring out WHAT to do to make our home run more smoothly.  I needed a strategy.  I sat down with a pen and paper, but I had nothing.  Blank stare.  I didn’t want to think creatively.  I COULDN’T think creatively.  More than anything, I just wanted to be handed an assignment, so that I could plunge ahead on some mindless task while giving myself a chance to mentally relax.

Wait a minute, thought I.  Maybe I should have done this on Monday, so that I would have a task for today!

That’s when I realized: I almost always have brainstorming days on Mondays.

How do I know this?

Well, when I’m having one of those super-energized, creative thinking type days, I try to think of fun ways to choose my housework tasks.  And one of the fun ways that I often choose a task is by seeing what chore day it is on Home Ec 101.

And it’s almost always Laundry Day.

So, in keeping with my strategy to “play to my strengths,” I decided to make this Monday a planning day.  Of course, I did some housework, but I kept a pencil and notebook handy, and I gave myself permission to stop whatever I was doing whenever I thought of something that I wanted to remember or brainstorm about.

What were the results?  A plethora of lunch ideas (we never know what to eat for lunch around here), and a relaxed, enjoyable day.

I’m gonna have to make a habit of this!

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WFMW: Banana Bread Made Easy

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First of all, let me just let you all know that, while this button says Rocks In My Dryer, this week is actually being hosted by Don’t Try This At Home, so that’s where the button will actually take you.

Okay, this almost seems too obvious to post, but since it took me so long to realize the advantage of this method, I thought maybe a few of you would appreciate it, too. Don’t slap your forehead too hard!

Okay, so here’s what you do. You line your bread pan with a generous amount of tin foil. Like so.

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See how the foil reaches the bottom of the pan on the OUTSIDE on either side? So the original piece was about as long as 5 times the width of the pan.

When the banana bread (or other quick bread) comes out of the oven, you can easily lift it from the pan using the foil edges. This allows it to cool more quickly, so that it will be ready to slice.

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When you’re ready to store the loaf, you can simply fold the foil back over it to seal out the air and keep it moist.

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Look at your pans! No scrubbing!

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Remind me why I ever made banana bread without foil?