I broke/exhausted a paper shredder. A borrowed shredder, the kind that just sits over a trashcan and only shreds two pieces of paper at a time. Not heavy duty by any means. I went three pieces thick one too many times and it died mid-shred. The pay stubs from 2004 were just too much. Which leads me to the question…why in sam hell did/do I have pay stubs dating back to my days as a pharmacy intern at Kroger?
What was I saving them for? To prove that I worked the hours I worked? To whom would I prove them too? No one cares. At all. I don’t even want to be reminded of the years of going to school full time and working evenings to gather the needed hours for internship and money for rent. What it comes down to is my sick need to collect items in chronological order and my odd attachment issues to non-living things. Pay stubs, magazines, bills, etc…And when I have it complete- month by month, year by year…I have a very difficult time discarding the final product. For 3 years, I saved every pay stub from Kroger and then moved them from space to space for the next 10 years. For 7 years, I saved every electric bill. AND filed them month by month, bundled by year with hair ties. It is quite satisfying to create such collections and it is gut wrenching to discard.
I saved and filed and bundled and never once did I need to reference those pay stubs or bills. Not once. EVER. I think this is an example of where my expectations are not appropriately aligned with reality.
And when the world went to paperless bills my system was forever wrecked, as I am no where near as organized online as I am in the tactile world. The filing went astray and slowed to a halt and I find myself now with two filing boxes, that are mere eyesores, staring at me from a corner of the spare bedroom. They have not been tended to in over a year, nothing added or subtracted – I now live in a complete online billing world. Someday I will talk about how scary and uneasy that system makes me feel.
My want to rid my life of unneeded/unwanted items and my fear of needing something after I have disposed of it is spinning havoc in my brain. All of this shimmied up to the distinct knowledge of what it took to organize such an assemblage of meaningless crap is what landed me on my living room floor, surrounded by piles of paper and a shredder. I sat cross legged, hesitant to place each piece of paper into its hungry mouth but knowing I must.
Perhaps I was a hoarder in another life. Or this one.
I made myself a snack – this project was gonna take some time – we are talking 12 years of bills and pay stubs, sustenance was gonna be necessary. Toasted crusty bread and caramelized apples carefully heaped atop tangy goat cheese was on my radar. A fancy no-fuss snack that elevated a task that was meant to be a drag to something more of an occasion.
Until I broke the shredder…
I then just ate each slice of bread smothered with goat cheese and sweet apples watching yet another episode of Gilmore Girls, ignoring the piles of bills that remain on my living room floor. Now what stands between me and that necessary purge is a trip to Staples. I’m gonna need more goat cheese.
- 3 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 Large Apples (honey crisp or granny smith), diced with skin on
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 1 large French baguette
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- juice of ½ lemon
- In a nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, stir in brown sugar. Add apples and toss to coat well. Let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes (or thereabouts) until apples have softened and the liquid has turned a brownish golden color and has thickened. Stir in fresh thyme. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium sized bowl.
- Meanwhile, squeeze lemon juice into goat cheese and mix well.
- Preheat broiler of oven. Slice french baguette on a bias into 1 inch pieces (about 12 to 15 slices, perhaps). Place slices on a cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place bread under broiler and toast until golden brown - KEEP EYE ON BREAD!!!
- Once toasted to perfection,, remove from oven and when cool enough to touch, slather each slice with goat cheese. Gently heap caramelized apples onto goat cheese.
- Serve and enjoy immediately.