There’s something about the holidays that can really make a female feel insufficient, isn’t there? And, in our modern, voyeuristic world, it only seems to be getting worse. This season, I’ve listened to many lamentations about Pinterest–most of which go something to the effect of “Pinterest makes me feel like a bad person. I mean who has time to do all of that stuff? People who have no life I’m sure! I mean, I can’t even look at it anymore…etc.“ And, friends, I can empathize! I was once there myself, but then I had a realization…
Pinterest is not a person. A few years ago, when Pinterest really started gaining popularity, I found myself feeling like a slacker and a nobody whenever I perused all of the lovely things pinned to my homepage. Pinterest was having the opposite of its intended effect; I was saddened, not inspired. In truth, I felt a little helpless: How could I ever keep up with this stuff? In my mind (subconsciously, of course), there was some magical person (okay, some magical woman) out there who rose early to do yoga and pray before her family awoke, plated three balanced and fancily-prepared meals a day, crafted in her spare time, read a book a day, wrote witty memes and penned timely thank you notes with Emily-Post-like precision while her children napped, traveled to far away places in high fashion and high heels each weekend with her preciously well-behaved family in tow…and she was stunningly beautiful and naturally skinny (of course). It’s an obvious truth, but it took some hard-earned heart-to-hearts with myself to come to this liberating realization:
Pinterest is not a person. It’s people.
The truth is that Pinterest is comprised from millions of people’s lives, and if you really study your most coveted pins, I’m certain you’ll come to the same conclusion I did: Most people are really good at only one or two things. The reality is that, despite how you feel in your heart, NO ONE is doing all (or even most) of the things that get pinned–not even the sleepless-est of women out there. (Whew! We’re off the hook, ladies!) Forcing myself to admit that truth allowed me to erase away this feeling that Miss Pinterest exists, and–surprise–all of Pinterest’s lovely things became inspirational again!
I say that Pinterest is inspirational again (and I mean it), but there is one caveat: We all have a particular subject, or a particular board, that feels helpless to us, don’t we? Whether it’s crafts, fashion, home decor, photography, kids’ activities or holiday stuff (a popular one right now!), there’s something in our Pinterest lives that we feel insufficient about. For me, it’s cooking. I am a terrible cook! I can manage desserts decently, but put a chicken breast in front of me, and you’ll end up with fajitas. Or something in the crockpot. And that’s about the extent of my abilities there. (Part of the problem is that our lifestyle here at The Shove Household is conducive to my not needing to cook: Ryan travels a lot, E.V. eats toddler food, and I’m happy with a Greek salad most nights.) However, I find myself constantly pinning recipes (usually anything that says “easy” or “fast” or “healthy” in the title), and over the past year, the more I’ve pinned about cooking, the more my attitude has started to change from self-torture to defiance: I say that I can’t cook, but the truth is that I could if I wanted to; I just don’t…
So, in light of starting afresh in 2014 and in an effort to prove that even the most disheartening of Pinterest topics can be inspiring, I’ve decided to not suck at cooking anymore. I’m not aiming to be a chef in any sense, but I figure that a good place to start is to occasionally blog about the recipes I do attempt. The hope is that people will be inspired to join me in tackling an area (a board) in their life that seems insurmountable, and, at the very least, I’ll be sharing some good recipes for people to enjoy. The one thing I promise is that whatever I post will be easy enough that even I can’t mess it up. (And now that I’ve sufficiently jinxed myself…)
So, friends, here we go! My first attempted recipe for “Two Minute Microwave Chocolate Peppermint Fudge” seemed like an appropriately-themed choice since it’s December. (Plus, considering it said both “two minute” and “microwave” in the title, I figured I could handle it.) And before you remind me, yes, this is technically a dessert (an area in which I’m not completely inept), but since I’ve never made fudge before, I decided that it counted. :)
(Two Minute) Microwave Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
- 28 oz. of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 21 oz. Condensed Milk
- 1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
- 3 Candy Canes (I used Andes Peppermint Baking Chips–which are chocolate–instead because I don’t love candy canes. :) )
- Place candy canes in a food processor or crush inside of plastic bag. (which I didn’t have to do)
- Place chocolate chips in a large bowl.
- Add condensed milk.
- Add peppermint extract.
- Microwave for 1 minute and then stir.
- Return to microwave for an additional minute.
- Mix until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a greased 8X8 pan.
- Top with candy cane pieces. (or Andes chips)
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.