Monday, May 21, 2012

The Little Things

Nick's wonderful calzone

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that seem to make the biggest difference in how we feel; my husband, Nick, reminded me of that in the best way possible yesterday.  He made calzones, which really made my day and improved my emotional state.

Saturday was a really busy day for us.  We left our house at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until a little after midnight, so it was also a long day.  We started our day by taking Emma for her yearly checkup and shots.  We were very happy to hear that she’s officially in great health and full of energy.  Emma’s vet is much closer to my parents’ house than ours, so we had plans to visit them and for Emma to run around and play in their yard with their dog. 

In light of the recent trouble with my grandparents, we also had plans to go with my parents to look at several nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  My mom especially is very afraid of my grandparents ending up in place where they won’t be happy or well cared for, so I think she really just wanted two extra pairs of eyes and ears.  We didn’t have appointments (my mom wanted to see what it was like when they didn’t know someone was coming to check them out) at any of the places we went, so weren’t really able to talk to the appropriate people about admissions, or anything like that, but we were able to walk around most of the places and get a feel for how things were there.  We were able to eliminate one place from the list of possibilities, but ultimately what we learned was that we have a very long way to go and it’s not going to be easy.  We also spent some time helping my mom sort through and organize insurance policies and other paperwork pertaining to my grandparents’ long term care.

We also visited with my grandparents while we were there.  It’s frightening how much my grandfather has declined.  It had been about two months since I’d seen him, and he’s like a different person now.  It was hard to reconcile the fact that the man screaming at my dad over everything and nothing is the same man who taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels. 

All in all, it was a very long, very emotionally draining day.  I was so happy to finally get home Saturday night, or technically Sunday morning, and crawl into bed.  We slept in Sunday morning, but I still couldn’t seem to find the motivation to do much of anything.

I usually cook the vast majority our meals.  I enjoy cooking, and it usually works out much better with scheduling and timing for me to do the cooking.  Nick does the vast majority of the yard work.  I know it’s definitely an old-fashioned and sort of stereo-typed division of labor, but it works for us.  Except yesterday I really, really didn’t feel like cooking.  I spent most of the day curled up on the couch with a book or watching movies. 

Enter my sweet husband.  He makes wonderful calzones.  They’re usually kind of a Friday night treat on the weeks he doesn’t have to work Fridays, and they’re definitely his specialty.  I LOVE them!  I also don’t seem to make them as well as he does.  He says they’re extremely easy to make, they don’t take very long, and they’re usually pretty cheap to make since I tend to stock up on the ingredients when they’re on sale. 

Nick made the calzones for lunch and for dinner yesterday, and they were awesome.  Not only were they delicious, but they were such a relief because they meant I got to spend the day on the couch resting and kind of emotionally rejuvenating.  Yesterday, for me, the calzones were better than a dozen roses, or any other purchased gift could have been.  HE said it was no big deal to make them, but it made a huge difference for me.

Here’s his calzone recipe:

A Calzone which in Italian means stocking or trouser is a delicious pizza in an easy to eat pocket. This recipe deviates from the traditional recipe by incorporating sauce and olive oil inside the Calzone.

Makes 2 Large Single Serving Calzones

You Will Need:
1 pack thin-crust pre-made pizza dough
Spaghetti sauce, any kind works but garlic tomato is best
2 cups Mozzarella cheese (grated)
1green pepper (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic powder

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
2. Cut pizza dough in half
3. On greased or aluminum foil covered cooking sheet unroll each half of the dough to form 2 equal rectangles
4. Sprinkle small amount of garlic powder over ½ of each rectangle
5.Place 2 or 3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce, ½ the green pepper, ½ the onion, and 1 cup of cheese over half of each dough rectangle leaving an 1/8 of an inch around the edge uncovered
6. Fold dough in half, covering the toppings, and pinch the edges together
7. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each rectangle
8. Sprinkle each rectangle with a heavy amount of garlic powder
9. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes
10. Serve with olive oil for dipping


  1. Sounds wonderful...could you send him over here to make a few for us?

  2. Does he ship calzones to lazy people like me?

  3. I'm so hungry right now--and I just ate lunch. ;)

  4. That sounds delicious and it does look easy. What a sweet thing for him to do! In our house it is the opposite, hubby does all the cooking and I pay son to do our yard work :)

    I am so sorry about your grandparents and the days ahead. It would be "ideal" if they would embrace the fact of going into assisted living and look at as a blessing rather than as a burden or defeat. Another blog I follow, that is the attitude their aging parents have adapted. Blessing that grandmother doesn't have to cook or clean, etc rather than defeat that independence has been lost. My in-laws took the defeat path and I think it caused a lot of turmoil within the immediate family (I was one step removed and removed myself from a lot of the situations for various reasons). Where they lived though in assisted living was a wonderful place, clean and they were well cared for.

    Like I told my hubby in dealing with his mom who had lost a lot of her memory and was definitely not the vibrant mom he knew from growing up, etc., I told him to find an age to remember her by; not the last few years of her life when she was dealing with several medical issues, but to remember her from "the good old days" so to speak. Maybe you can do that when you think about your grandparents......

    it is a difficult time and I am so sorry


  5. It is definitely the little things that make it all worth it. :) I am sorry to hear about the decline of your grandparents. You at least still have your fond memories of them and like betty said above, I would focus on those rather than how you see them now. :) chin up!


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