Saturday, September 5, 2009


I have a list in my mind of all the expressions I could string out on the page right about now that could describe my current state of mind... Lemons? Lemonade. Door closed? Window open. Etc.

But, instead, I'll say this... Breadcrumbs. Far more accurate, and, pleasingly, far more creative an opening to the story leading up to why I used it!

I have been waiting, waiting, waiting for the FBI to clear my fingerprints so I could apply for my Visa to go to Chile for ten months before making final vows. My ticket is for 11 September. The paperwork only got returned to me this past week while I was visiting my grandparents for three days. Yesterday, I gathered all of my other papers which I'd already put together, added the new sheets, got my money order, my photos, and headed to the consulate. Turned everything in and in talking to the gentleman who is now my contact there found out that they mail the paperwork to Chile first and they decide there whether to issue the Visa--another three to four week process.

I have been working on all of this now for several find out I might be waiting yet another month simply makes me grumpy. To say nothing of the uncertainty of when exactly I'll be going and therefore not being able to tell those expecting me when I will be arriving! And, knowing that the possibility exists that the Visa will not be cleared.

However, while I was waiting to be called in to the offices, I watched a video playing about the Lake District in Chile--stunning, informative, and I'd even say lyrical. One of the topics they covered was food--making particular mention of the German influence in the area. A pastry chef went through the process for making the most delicious looking apple dessert with a topping he made by melting butter in a pan and adding sugar and flour until all the butter was soaked up and the mixture turned crumbly. That he then sprinkled by hand over the top of his apple lusciousness.

I'd never seen the topping done that way! But it makes great sense to me--the butter will melt again in the heat, help keep the crumblies moisturized, and let everything get toasty brown without flying away when you take it out of the oven. As a side note, I also learned in this video that it is the sulfuric acid in an onion that makes you cry. Who knew? Neither of those things would I have expected to learn on a trip to the Chilean consulate at the UN Plaza in New York City.

Fast forward to me being the cook for dinner tonight and deciding to do homemade mac and cheese. Spending time alone in the kitchen is a great way for me to relax and think and be creative all at the same time so the fact that I was doing it today after finding out that it might well be another month until going away was a good thing. I'd sauteed diced onion and mixed that in, diced some tomatoes and chiles, mixed those in, added cheese, mixed more, poured an egg-milk custard on top...and then had a culinary AHA!

Breadcrumbs on top! No, no, not shake them on and hope they stick and! We were going to melt the butter first, mix in bread crumbs until the butter was absorbed, crumble the mixture with a fork, and spread them over the top! Ha! Crusty goodness on mac! Incredibly satisfying! I love learning something new and being able to use it myself to see that whoa! Yes, it really does work when it's my hands doing it!

The wonder is in the science, in the materials used working together...not entirely in the hands of the one doing it. This is something I know, but I find it endlessly fascinating to watch it happen.

And I would not have known about it unless I'd gone to the Chilean consulate and had word of a delay in my journey.

So, back to the opening... sometimes, when one thing poses a challenge, you learn about breadcrumbs.

How delicious a way to grow in patience and understand more clearly what so many in our world go through all of the time.

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