How to Save a Drowning Orchid

I have never been very good with flowers. I even managed to kill a harmless, small “cannot kill” Ikea, cactus.  That takes quite a special kind of Killer talent. After ridding my house of any beautiful, living blossom, I actually felt relieved. I knew that there would be no little white bugs flitting about my house. No fear of anything being knocked over. No need to wonder if I had watered (or drowned) any plants. And surprisingly, my family did not die from lack of flora breath in the air. All was well.

Fastforward 10 years.  We had just completed a much dreamed about kitchen renovation.  Being an avid fan of makeover shows, I realized there was always a stunning arrangement of fresh flowers to accent and complete the transformation.   After years of plant freedom I decided that I was older and wiser and would somehow miraculously inherit Mother Nature’s whimsical and illustrious talents.  Whilst grocery shopping one day, I saw a magnificent white orchid that asked, nay, demanded: “TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER.”   Nope.  Overdramatizing (a little).  It looked really bright and happy and cheerful and appeared to say (if flowers could speak) “I’m yours.  Take me home”.  I was happy.  My new flowerage (?) was happy.  My newfound blossoms would reign over my new regal domain.

My orchid was astounding! I was amazed at the elegance and beauty of each petal and how it seemed to lord over my new dream room. What started as five blooms became six blooms and then seven and then eight. Amazing too, that the Curse of the Serial Plant Killer did not strike. For weeks I ensured that I followed the instructions: just a little warm water daily. I did well. Always just enough. And it always stood there beautiful and proud.

One day, while rushing about, I realized that my majestic orchid looked…well…droopy. When was the last time I had watered it? Two days? Three days?  How did I forget to add that ounce of warm water?  To compensate for my lack of care, I dispensed a whole waterfall of life giving liquid. That would do the trick. That decision was the beginning of the end. What was once beautiful, elegant, sturdy flowers became serial floral demise.  Whole blossoms began dropping. One at first, then two at a time. It was over. Serial Plant Killer struck again. Egad! “Waaaahhhhhh!!” I screamed out to the sky: “HOW DO YOU SAVE A DROWNING ORCHID?!” That death sentence actually made me suddenly ponder the similarities between plant life and human life.

How do you save a drowning orchid? How do you save a person that is drowning in fear or unhappiness and is having kneejerk reactions to life? How do you get them to search for that lifeline that will drag them out of their drowning fear or anger or hurt or regret that they feel? Oftentimes we forget about those around us and when we finally remember them we give a “quick fix” through gifts of sorts and then move on believing everything will be fine.

Love, like water, needs to be given daily. It doesn’t need to come showering down like a big party then leave you feeling hung over and alone for days after that. A nice, kind, gentle, daily dose is what keeps true love on the right path.

True love is about friendship, kindness, and understanding. It is always there, like a slow trickle of water that will never leave you feeling dried out or thirsting for love from others.

My dear orchid, I am sorry that I let you down as I now know that I let myself down. Tough lesson, but a lesson well learned. I need to take time to love myself. Don’t love myself only on some days and not others. I am always worthy of love and by loving myself and not expecting it from others, I will never thirst for it or hope that I am worthy to receive it. My water trough of love will always be full. And by having great love for myself, my love for others will be stronger and the love I receive will be even more appreciated.

Rest in peace, my dear orchid. Lesson learned.


Pizza Presto

I LOVE pizza!  Always have and always will.  To me, there is something just so tasty and comforting about pizza.  If you get the right sauce combination, you know, not too spicy, but fragrant enough with the right herbs, you have built the best base to start your layering of a fabulous pizza masterpiece. 

I have purchased frozen store pizzas to mangia.  Then I switched to making my own homemade dough (via bread maker).  I found it was much tastier.  On quickie dinner nights,  I have purchased a slab pizza, from the local bakery.  It is a baked slab with just pizza sauce.  I add my choice of delicious toppings and..voila!  Dinner in 30 minutes. (I love chopping and slicing everything by hand.  Makes me feel like a real professional chef!)

My Vegetarian Mushroom Red Pepper and Green Onion Pizza pre-oven time.  Look at all those colours!

Then there was the day that I was craving pizza and had no dough.  I also had no desire to wait for homemade dough, and absolutely no desire to go to store to buy some dough.  What to do?

 Necessity is the mother of invention. I foraged through my fridge and found Greek pita bread.  (They are different from regular pitas in that you can’t stuff them.)  I noticed that they are the thickness of a thin crust pizza and really, all I needed was a vessel that would carry my pizza toppings.

So it began.  I  pulled out a pita, put on pizza sauce, layered some shredded mozzarella on top, topped that with chopped onions, then some mushrooms, and finally tomato slices.  I decided to forgo the pepperoni that day.  That adventure could be saved for another day.  Instead of turning the oven on, I put that into the toaster over on 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Molto bene!  Fantastic!  Personal pizza ready in 20 minutes.  Mmmmmm!

This discovery has also assisted me in many ways since.  Since they are really “personal size”, I could top each one with whatever the kids liked to have on it.  Some preferred more meat, some preferred more veggies.  In the end, there was something for everyone.

This has become my go-to hot appetizer as well.  I cut each pita into 8 wedges and ta-da!  Little mini pizza hors d’oeuvre.  Very pretty too.

Vary the recipe as well.  Use Bononcini or goat cheese instead of mozzarella.  Use an olive oil, with garlic infusion, instead of pizza sauce. 

Pizza really is a versatile dish.  Easy to make, easy to eat, and just makes your taste buds feel sooooo happy.

Hmmmm, I’m kind of craving some pizza right now.  Mmmmmm.  How about you?

My Vegetarian Mushroom Red Pepper and Green Onion Pizza AFTER baking!