About 27 months ago I suffered what I now lovingly refer to as my Mid-Life Crisis or simply, The Crisis.
There were several things going on my life that contributed to The Crisis.
Our then 17 year old had just gotten his driver's license.
The Best Husband In The World was just diagnosed with an incurable, life-threatening autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.
I quit smoking and was gaining weight overnight (for the first time in my life)
I had a stressful job that had me travelling on a regular basis while trying to serve a sales force of over 2,000 who 50% of the time made unreasonable demands and the other 50% of the time made impossible demands.
We were planning a family trip of a lifetime to Iceland - yes, Iceland. The Best Husband In The World's dream trip - a Geologist's Disney World. Land of the midnight sun, the aurora borealis, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, icebergs and volcanoes, all wrapped up in one tidy island. All the trip needed was micro-planning by the minute - by me.
I became a grandmother.
Oh, yeah, and I was fast approaching the 1/2 century mark.
What's a girl to do?
I did what any normal, red blooded American would do. I had a Mid-Life Crisis.
Now, the way I looked at it, there were several ways of responding to The Crisis.
1. I could have an affair. But I was already having the love affair of my life with my husband. How much passion could a middle aged woman muster? So, check off affair.
2. I could change the color of my hair. Oh, that was easy enough done. 90 minutes in the chair of my favorite salon and I emerged a red head, gone was the natural light brown I was born with. I was somewhat authentic since my youngest son IS a natural red head and besides, only your GYN knows for sure!
3. I could trade in my super practical 50 mile a gallon, Honda Civic Hybrid mom car:
and get a souped up luxury Saab convertible.
New red hair flying in the wind, I put the pedal to the medal and drove this little baby girl off the lot. The whole transaction was painless, exhilarating and FUN! For about 4 hours. Then I realized:
1. A two door vehicle is not convenient when you have to constantly drive kids and their friends around.
2. The dog could never travel in a white leather interior.
3. A six speed manual transmission in New Jersey, land of the traffic jam - was building up my right bicep to Arnold Schwarzenegger proportions.
4. A four seater car with teenagers and friends doesn't add up to enough seats per bottoms.
5. Nine months out of the year it's too cold to have the top down. The other 3 months it's either raining or too hot.
6. If I didn't want to look like Carrot Top being electrocuted I would have to wear a baseball cap when driving with the top down - not a good look for me.
So, the 27 month lease is up this week. The Crisis Car is going back to the dealer.
It was fun. It was pretty. It was fast. And it so did not fit my lifestyle. (I am keeping the red hair, brown / gray roots and all)
Lesson learned, from now on when I feel The Crisis calling my name I'll stick to the exciting adventure of fooling around with common foods, like this BLT gone wild.
Not Your Mama's BLT: serves 4
12 slices Whole Grain Bread, toasted lightly
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 4 slices
8 fresh basil leaves
1 red tomato
1 yellow tomato
2 cups arugula, washed and dried (or mixed baby greens)
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked, sliced thinly
8 pieces panchetta (Italian Bacon), cooked crisp (or you can use turkey or regular bacon)
1 ripe Haas Avocado, pitted, then crushed (keep it chunky)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper
Thick slice the tomatoes, 4 slices each.
In a shallow pan, layer the tomatoes, basil leaves and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl toss arugula with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Lightly toast the bread. Spread a tablespoon of the mashed avocado on four pieces. Divide the chicken among the four pieces. Top with 2 bacon slices, 1/4 of the arugula, then a piece of toast. Next, layer in the tomatoes (red and yellow on each), basil and mozzarella cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon of the avocado on last piece of toast and top the sandwich. Slice in half on the diagonal.
Serve with watermelon slices and fresh corn on the cob.
Hmm.. maybe a little something with an automatic transmission and a moonroof....