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Making your 'secret sauce'

My daughter Emma, turned 6 a few weeks ago. One of her requests for her birthday "dinner" was for us to make a Lasagna together. "I LOVE that idea Emma!" I said and made a mental note of making time during the day to go buy all needed ingredients.


Now, if you know a bit about me, you know that my parents are Italian, and my mom is quite the COOK. Almost all I know I've learned from her, especially if it is an Italian dish. Needless to say, there are a few "secrets" about making a good 'Ragu' di Carne' (meat sauce), and one of them is to not only use ground beef (which most people seem to do) but to blend in a smaller portion of grounded pork.

After failing to find that "secret ingredient" in my usual supermarket (didn't think much of it, sometimes it happens), I stopped at the one closest to my office on my way back from work. No success. Hmmm....now that's strange. Of course, I start thinking about all the usual things: Well, is not a big deal.....The sauce will still be yummy...... What does Emma know about how the sauce should taste?


I wished I could have let it go, but the Italian in me held tight to the idea that I had to find all the right ingredients. Thank you for that mom! I am also one that doesn't surrender easy.

As I look, in total shock, at the empty section for ground pork at the THIRD supermarket (unheard of, right?) I knew I had to change my strategy.

So, I headed to the "window" and did what I do best, found someone I could talk to. After exchanging pleasantries, and warming him up to me, I shared my frustration about not being able to find the %^&$%(*! Ground Pork Meat anywhere...He was surprised that they had run out, and nicely apologized about it. As he was about to call on the next person in line, I said: 'Not so fast pal'. I looked around and saw a nice chunk of Pork Shoulder in a tray ready to be sold. "If I purchased this, could you grind it for me?" I asked.

He hesitated a moment and said : "Sure I could!".

I'm sharing this story, because it was a reminder to me that when we want things done, and are willing to get them done we tap into a creative mode that although is there, and readily available to us, is often neglected. If only I had thought of asking that question at the first supermarket! We tend to follow the flow, instead of challenging it. We get told "No" and we are fine with it, even when there's a chance to change the situation into a "YES".

I am starting this new week with a renewed commitment to "out of the box thinking". Are you with me? I would also love to hear about your best "out of the box" thinking story if you're courageous to share!


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