I have a hard time sticking to a recipe. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that I will pick out a recipe that sounds good, only to realize by the time I’ve started cooking, that I don’t have all the ingredients I need. So you can imagine how a certain page in the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook has become a life saver–it encourages me to be resourceful, playful, daring. It reassures me to try something new without worrying if I’m doing it right. Hey, that sounds like mothering. Cooking isn’t the only place I could use some emergency substitutions. So in that same “Can-do!” spirit–here are some mothering emergency substitutions I swear by:
Don’t have time for a shower? Substitute a dash of baby powder under the armpits and across the chest, and a hat and pony-tail holder.
Don’t have patience? Substitute two deep breaths and a handful of chocolate chips.
Don’t have a urinal for your potty training son? Substitute one rear tire on your car. If you open the back door, no one will see.
Don’t have a dry coat for your toddler to put on after he fell head-first into the half-frozen creek? Substitute your own warm scarf wrapped around kimono style.
Don’t have a barf bag on a greyhound bus? Substitute a burp cloth that you tie up on four sides and throw out the window.
Don’t have the special blankie that your baby likes to twist between her fingers as she sleeps? Substitute one squishy, stretchy mommy neck.
Don’t have a full night’s sleep? Substitute a strong cup of black tea and an afternoon nap.
Don’t have time to go to a spin class? Substitute three sprints down the driveway, four trips down the back stairs, and seven hula hoop twists, and call it a session of “driveaway aerobics.”
Don’t have energy to make dinner? Substitute pumpkin pancakes and call it “Breakfast for dinner!”
What about you? I know every mother is resourceful, daring, and creative. Let’s hear yours!
QUESTION: What substitutions do you find yourself inventing when you don’t have your “necessary ingredients?”
CHALLENGE: The next time you come across a near disaster, think about what emergency substitution you can use. Once again, Mom saves the day.
Edited by Elsje Denison and Sarah Monson.
Images provided by Amanda Hamilton Roos.