Celebrate on the Cheap

None of us have had an easy time since the pandemic hit but there have been small and meaningful victories along the way. I have found that one of the nicest ways to keep spirits up, is to celebrate the small things in life. For example, the handle on my sliding glass patio door recently broke clean off. It was 45 years old, and it simply broke off. Well, new patio doors start at $4800 so that was not an option I wanted to consider. Instead, I found a vendor that, for a few hundred dollars, revamped the entire door, replacing worn out bearings, realigning the door properly back onto the track (no wonder it was so hard to move) and even giving me a new handle for free. We basically got a brand-new door for just a small fee. It has been a repeat moment of celebration that we still thrill at when we open the door because it glides, just glides.

This week we have May the Fourth Be with You (Star Wars celebration) and Cino de Mayo, back- to-back. As I am usually cooking dinner anyway, I always try and make those days a little extra special. I serve Han (Solo) burgers and Fondor fries. Fondor, by the way, is the name of some planet in the Star Wars franchise where an Imperial manufacturing center with large shipyards is located. Anyway, you get the idea. I end the meal with Wookie chocolate chip cookies for dessert because my partner simply adores a simple and well-made chocolate chip cookie. For Cino de Mayo, I go all out and serve a Mexican feast. My partner loves basic ground beef tacos just the way I make them so that, along with homemade cheese enchiladas and some simple sides, and we have a grand time enjoying a holiday that actually gets celebrated a lot here in California. For sides, I make homemade tortilla chips in the air fryer which cost next to nothing to make but are special in taste. Just cut up corn tortillas and cook in the air fryer or bake in the oven until crispy and then sprinkle with spices. Corn on the cob is also getting cheaper every week at the grocery store this time of year so turning corn into Mexican street corn is easy to do and just feels so special. Just cook and smear with mayo and top with whatever cheese you have on hand. Yum. I finish this meal with sopapillas which are fried so that’s an extra hour at the gym but again, a special treat.

None of these meals cost any more money than a typical weekday dinner but it feels so special when you seek to celebrate the little things in life.

So, take a moment and make your simple dinners a way to celebrate the fun things that come our way in life. It costs nothing to make a meal special this way and yet, goes a long way in bringing happiness to those around us.

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