A group of people from my online writing class decided to eliminate the anonymity of the electronic blackboard and have a Saturday meet up. “Carry a copy of Bird by Bird,” was the instruction given so that we’d recognize each other. It worked and that book will always remain on my writer’s shelf. The title comes from a story eloquently told by Anne LaMott about her brother’s struggle with a homework assignment and her father’s enduring advice that he tackle the avian research report by writing about one bird at a time.
It’s a stellar suggestion along the same lines as Bill Hogan’s overused elephant eaten one bite at a time. As a writer, it educates us to keep writing in order to produce and as a life lesson it reminds us that we can endure by moving forward step by step. In fact, the world famous productivity consultant, David Allen suggests that we organize our lives by keeping a list of the single next actionable steps we must take in order to accomplish our goals. Big audacious dreams can be intimidating and also set us up for disappointment but broken into single-action steps, they’re more reasonable and it’s much easier to correct if we get off track.
My single next action? Open the fridge. Count the heads of lettuce. Seven! It’s in season and abundant and while I enjoy a green salad, I can’t consume them in the quantity it will take to use this up. So I’ll heed to the advice of Anne Lamott’s dad, Bill Hogan and David Allen and start with a single head.
Head by Head7 Ways to Use up lettuce
1. Lettuce juice – My juicer is my go to gadget when I need to use something up fast. Throw in a head of lettuce, a few oranges and a carrot or two and presto, I have a lovely healthy morning beverage.
2. Lettuce sauce – Whip up this Emeril special to accompany eggs, fish or in our case, roasted vegetables. There’s no ingredient inside this recipe that I don’t enjoy. In a food processor: a head of lettuce, an egg yolk, 2 tsp capers, juice of 1 lemon, 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, 2 Tbs red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp dijon, basil to taste, 1/2 cup good olive oil, salt and pepper. Slather it on.
3. Lettuce salad – We enjoy dense chopped salads that can be eaten as a meal. Frankly, they’re worthy of a post on their own but lettuce can is a key component.
4. Lettuce soup - was a five thumbs up hit with no two hands on any one body. Easy, delicious, not thought of. Try it.
5. Lettuce wraps – Use lettuce like a taco shell or a tortilla. My husband and kids fill them with seasoned ground beef (locally raised), tomatoes and cheese. I love to slather it with some of Ani Phyo’s Ginger Almond Paté. I won’t give you the recipe though – you’ll have to buy her book!
6. Lettuce grilled – I didn’t feel like going outdoors and so did these on the griddle but they worked very well. I served them with crumbled blue cheese, balsamic and cherry tomatoes halved.
7. Lettuce Smoothie – Efficient, easy, full of goodness. Throw a couple of cups of lettuce into your high-speed blender with other morning treats like a frozen banana and some berries. If it’s too bitter, add a couple of drops of stevia.
What’s in front of you that needs to be dealt with one step at a time?