We’ve been struck with a spring malady at the farm.
The whole–April Showers Bring May Flowers–baloney that happens in the spring has turned into–Well It’s May And The Damn Rain Needs To Stop!–because it causes a problem in my kitchen.
Little ants start making their way into my kitchen EVERY YEAR in the early spring.
Heebie Jeebies sprout up under my skin.
And my head starts to itch.
I try spraying the little buggers and the surrounding areas with non-toxic lemon juices and vinegar/water sprays that I put into an old children’s hair detangling bottle.
I see an ant…BAM!
Spray it dead!
I also currently have chili powder covering the backsplash behind the toaster and my kitchen-aid mixer because I saw Betty doing it at the bagel shop she supervises for my husband.
Because you know…ants do like Asiago bagels and blueberry muffins with extra crumble topping.
Well, it was raining a lot a few weeks ago and I seemed to have the ant situation under control.
And now, well, it’s been sunny for a week.
Nice and warm and breezy.
Sunday I woke up to an active trail of ants heading right into the kitchen cabinet that’s full of… EVERYTHING SWEET.
The peanut butter.
The marshmallow fluff.
It’s not raining!
Why are the ants in the sugar?!
I had to clean all of the stuff out of the cabinet and throw some things away and I had to drop down under the kitchen sink to get the poison.
I hate using toxic things in the kitchen.
But, I also hate having ants in my Nutella.
I cleaned out the very top shelf which contains all of my baking goods.
Why do I have coconut?
The most important question is really…
Why do I have five bags of coconut?
I don’t even like coconut!
I have had this thing happen to me lately where I buy double.
Sometimes in triplicate.
I go to the store to do my grocery shopping and, while I do usually travel with a list pre-typed onto my iPhone, I get to a certain product and think…is this on my list?
As I stare at the bottles of canola oil and check my list and see that it’s NOT on the list, I find myself with riddled with doubt.
I think I need more canola oil, but it’s not on my list.
Do I need it?
Why do I think I need it?
Didn’t I see any empty bottle on the kitchen counter that Man-Farmer had set there after making me a batch of stovetop popcorn?
I better buy it because I think we are out.
I get home and open the pantry and SHIT!
I already have canola oil!
In fact I already have two unopened bottles of it!
I once had three large boxes of kosher salt.
Because I kept buying it when I thought we were out.
I don’t like to buy in bulk because my kitchen storage area is NOT a grandiose area at all.
I don’t do Costco.
I don’t go to Sam’s Club.
I’m not a Big-Boxer.
So, I do not need three boxes of kosher salt, or two boxes of saltines, or even two boxes of ice cream cones, both sugar and waffle cones.
And I certainly don’t need five bags of coconut.
I guess I have used the coconut, because none of the bags that I have are entirely full.
I have both sweetened and unsweetened.
One bag barely has anything in it.
Why did I keep this miniscule bag of unsweetened coconut?
I guess because it looks so much like parmesan cheese.
And I can never let go of an extra bit of parmesan cheese.
What have I made with this tropical nut shredding?
I’m all out of answers.
I know what I want to do, though…
I loves me some coconut shrimp.
Okay, I think I was a bit excited earlier when I said I didn’t like coconut.
I kind-of, sort-of like it.
But, only when it’s toasted.
And only when it’s toasted and in some granola.
Or toasted in a cookie.
Or toasted on the outside of a big ol’ fat shrimp.
I could never eat a cake covered in it.
I do love the look of a white coconut cake, but my taste buds do not agree with my eyes.
I’ve begun living my adult life with a “when life gives you lemons…make a giant gallon of lemonade” motto.
It all began when Zoe got sick.
We could have quit.
We could have given up.
We could have felt sorry for ourselves.
But, we didn’t.
We pushed forward.
We lived in the sunlight.
We took the bad that was handed to us and made it as good as we possibly could.
And while shredded coconut and cancer in a child can’t compare to one another, I have learned to make delicious lemonade.
It’s easier to see the best within a situation instead of focusing on the unsavory aspects set before you.
It’s never easy, especially when it involves more than extra pantry ingredients.
Especially when it brings death closer to your heart than you dare dreamed about.
Soon, I’ll be whipping up a batch of golden, toasty, coconut covered shrimp.
And hopefully the ants will stay away until next spring…