and I use cast iron pans. We do dishes in a plastic tub with water heated on the stove. So I plan meals that require a minimum of preparation, can be cooked in a maximum of two pots, and doesn't have to be watched/stirred every two seconds.
Anyway, one of the things I planned on cooking this weekend was chili. Usually, I make chili from scratch, but I saw a mix at the grocery store that looked both easy and halfway decent. I quickly glanced at the back, saw that the instructions called for adding 7 cups of water, bringing to a boil, and simmer for 25 minutes. So, up at the cabin, I am throwing dinner together. I browned some ground beef to go in it, and was reading the back of the package again, and noticed "and whisk in 2 6-oz cans of tomato paste". WHAT???? TOMATO PASTE??? DAMMIT. So, I looked, just to make sure, and nope, I don't have any tomato paste. So, I asked Ryan how many cans of tomato sauce did he pack for the sloppy joes we had eaten the night before? One. Exactly how many I had told him to. DAMMIT.
James had been thinking about going to the store for ice cream. So, I asked him to pick up tomato paste while he was there. So, off he went for the 1o mile drive to the store. Back he came 10 minutes later. He wasn't going to the store. It had warmed up considerably, and had been raining. This turned the hill we live on into a solid sheet of ice covered in a thin layer of water. It turned out that even before starting to head down the hill, he had little to no control of his van. And there was a person in the ditch that also apparently had little to no control of their vehicle. Deciding (in an uncharacteristic moment) that discretion is the better part of valor, he came home, and informed me that I would have to make chili without tomato paste.
Chili without tomato paste? EEEWWW. I fussed over this a few minutes, and then thought about it. We had the ground beef. We had chili mix, and after reading the ingredients, found that it consisted of beans, rice, and spices. So, I made the chili, minus the tomato paste, and we had southwestern style soup. Topped with cheese and eaten with tortilla chips, it was tasty. Maybe not as yummy as chili, but no one complained.
I guess the whole point of this is that sometimes you have to make do. You don't always have everything to make the recipe exactly as called for, and this goes for more than just dinner. It goes for just about anything in life. With the uncertain times we live in, with problems ranging from global warming to recession, we might find ourselves needing to make do with less than what we normally would. And you just have to say, "DAMMIT" and make it work.