Musings · Recipes

Happy Accidents

 The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. -Eden Phillpotts

There was a substitute teacher when I was in high school who, as I think about it now, was really a crummy substitute teacher.  He didn’t even attempt to take control of the class or teach anything that the regular teacher had left for him. As a student, though, that also made him the perfect substitute teacher. Funny how perspective changes once you have kids in a school system. I vaguely recall how he looked…somewhat barrel-chested and stocky with thinning, grayish hair…you know, the kind you can actually see the comb tracks in. He also wore what seemed to be very dated suit jackets (white? dark brown? lots of very obvious stitching?) and had a rather leathery face. I bet he had some really interesting stories to tell, if you got to know him. Maybe not, maybe he was just leathery and in desperate need of some fashion-updating but for this post we are going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I can’t even remember his name. Hello, aging. BUT, there was one thing that he always talked about and it’s the one thing I remember about him-Serendipity. That was his schtick. He had a captive audience and his method of passing the time was trying to explain the concept of serendipity to a bunch of half-interested high schoolers for 48 minutes, or whatever the class time was back then. Maybe it was serendipitous (great word, by the way) that he was a substitute teacher of mine. He introduced me to a concept that I absolutely adore. Honestly, I didn’t really contemplate it all that much then, but as I, er, get older, I seem to ponder it more. Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. Happy accidents. Great discoveries that you stumble upon. Talk about adding something special to one’s day. Then there’s even Serendipity the movie, starring John Cusack, which if you haven’t seen, you need to Netflick it pronto. It rivals his boom-box-over-head routine and the whole darn thing is devoted to the notion of Serendipity. It will make you believe. And wonder. And believe again.

Try this today…function as if nothing is random and be open to the notion of serendipity. You never know what might be lurking (in a good way) right around the corner. I love the quote  “Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer’s daughter.” by Julius Comroe Jr. We’ve all been there, at some point. Maybe not in that particular haystack, but you get the jist. Something great ambles into our lives that we certainly were not expecting  but boy, are we happy it appeared. I know, I know, this is all sounding very dippy, but the idea of being open to mystery and a little bit of chance-it’s not a bad thing. Seems like it could make the day-to-dayness a little more interesting here and there. Our lives are so built on planning, timelines and expectations in so many ways that it might be a little wonderful to wonder if there are still some surprises waiting for us along the way. Go with your gut. Expect nothing. Maybe receive something.

And to top us all off today, here’s a serendipitous (there’s that word again) little recipe that I think you all will enjoy. It’s called an Affogato and I first had one of these in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hot and cold come together to create a mouthwatering delight that will have you wondering why you didn’t put these seemingly odd bedfellows together long ago. We can thank Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, for this gem. Again, it’s only 2 ingredients…can we even call it a recipe?

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup hot brewed espresso

Place 3 scoops of the ice cream in each of 2 bowls. Pour the espresso over the ice cream and serve immediately.

Note: If you do not have an espresso maker you can make it in your drip coffee maker for this recipe, believe it or not. Use 1/3 cup of ground espresso and enough water for 4 cups of coffee and presto!

It sounds stupidly easy and maybe not even that exciting. Just. You. Wait.

(p.s.-I will see you all on Monday morning. Going to let you catch up on this week’s posts while I ruminate on some new ideas for next week. Enjoy the weekend, everyone!)


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One thought on “Happy Accidents

  1. Excellent post, and a great mindset with which to start today…or any day! or EVERY day! Walking around Brooklyn yesterday with the ghosts of so many poets I kept hearing Walt Whitman, “as for me, I know of nothing but miracles” I revel in the mystery of it all.
    Awesome blog, April!

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