On the morning of the first day of every month, I sit down with a mug of coffee and sketch out the coming weeks. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, work travel…they all get penciled in so that I can look forward to them or prepare. This week I flipped the page of my beloved 2012 calendar (my mom makes one every year with pictures of family on every page) and realized that March is a blank slate. March 2012. I have nothing planned. Not a thing.
Sure there are some deadlines and a possible outing here or there, but nothing “big” enough or certain enough to plug in to the calendar. Even here in Thailand (where holidays tend to spring up out of the blue), March is an unbroken stretch of five-day work weeks. In a rare instance since moving to Thailand, we have no weekend trips planned. In fact, Frank will be out of Bangkok for work for a large part of the month. Honestly, the whole outlook bummed me out. Even the happy promise of “Spring Begins” printed on the calendar on March 20 holds no season-change joy here in MudvilleHumid-ville.
It looks like I’m going to have to make my own fun in March. February went out with a bang as I spent the last couple days of it in Northeastern Thailand on a trip for work. The Northeastern provinces of the country are so very different than this modern capital where we live. People live in close communities and are surprised to see a foreigner.
It was a great trip that included a gorgeous dinner on a lake (at which I failed to take pictures of all of the incredible seafood and spicy salads we ate) and watermelons that were perfectly ripe and sweet as pie. I treated my driver and colleague to three bowls of the best soup noodles I’ve had in Thailand to the tune of 80 baht. (I also failed to take a picture of that. In fact…I took no pictures of food at all. Bad food blogger…bad.)
The prospect of an uneventful March made it all the more fitting that Frank and I should start it off with some sort of mini-event. A pizza night of the most relaxed proportions. Our friends, Natalie and Ryan, came over for beers and a handful of free-form pizzas that we rotated in and out of the oven and ate straight off cutting boards.
But the real show-stopper was Natalie’s dessert. Soft, fresh, chocolate chip cookies.
But these weren’t just any chocolate chip cookies. No…these chocolate chip cookies were tucked around sweet goodness…some filled with Oreos and a couple with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Absurdly good. (I’m told that these are all the rage on Pinterest…which I wouldn’t know since Pinterest has mysteriously “marked my account for deletion.)
If this is how the rest of March will go, my empty calendar will be no match for the unscheduled moments of laughter and cooking and slowing down. It’s going to be a good month.
(Especially since Natalie left us with world’s cutest St. Patrick’s day plant…and a few extra of those stuffed cookies.)
Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.