“Mom! Just throw them away. We bought them and it served its purpose. Now it’s time to let them go. If we need them… we’ll buy them again!”
We closed out Ramon’s apartment in Tulsa three weeks ago. I did not want to rent and drive a U-Haul truck or rent a pick up truck for that matter. I figured… if we rent a pick up truck… are we really saving some money or are we spending more?
I did a comparison.
A regular pick-up truck rental alone, would have cost us around $400 with insurance plus gas. A 10’ U-Haul truck would have cost the same + gas. I don’t think I could drive a U-Haul truck for 7 or more hours. Imagine how slow that would have been? No way. Besides, I have never driven a U-Haul truck before and I don’t think I’m going to risk my life doing it.
And how much are the stuff in Ramon’s apartment we’re trying to bring back home? Probably $800 worth of stuff, including his books he considered useless. He lived smart and on bare minimums while in Tulsa. Our original plan was to rent furniture. But then he had a better idea. So… instead of a computer desk, we bought two conference tables – plastic folding tables from Office Depot. The cost? $130.00. He said:
“You know what mom. I was reading about this guy who reviews bed for a living. He sleeps in an air bed. He said ‘air beds’ are comparable to real beds that are more expensive.”
So he opted for a $70 queen air bed. I don’t agree that it’s better than the $900 Serta Mattress. But it’s still better than sleeping on the floor.
We bought an office chair, again from Office Depot. Plastic folding chairs from Sam’s Club, TV trays and other miscellaneous items he needed. All these we can get rid of when he finish school.
So… my best option was to just drive Ramon’s car – a small compact car and load whatever we can in it. Everything else must be thrown away. This is easier said than done.
When it came time to throwing things away… I had a very difficult time. I physically felt ill throwing perfectly good things in the dumpster. I know… I should have called Goodwill or Salvation Army and arranged for pick up… and in fact I had. But they are never available on short notice.
So I had no choice but to throw 98% of that was in his apartment.
My son, Ramon looked at me in frustration whenever I told him…
“Don’t put that in the dumpster. Just put that on the side so people can take it. Put a sign on it that says I’m Good Take Me.”
I was to the point where I wanted to knock on people’s door and say:
“Hi… we are moving and we have all these things… and they’re in perfect condition! Could you please take them? If you don’t want all of them… just pick what you want and what you can use. Please! Please… don’t let me throw them away…”
My son thought I was a nut. He was like…
“Mom… this is America. You don’t do that here in America. You’re going to insult people if you do that!”
“But Ramon… look at these. Those tables… people could use that. What about those chairs… we paid $28 for each of those. They’re good and sturdy. They can use that. What about these…?”
It’s been three weeks… I still feel bad about throwing all of those things. I physically get sick to my stomach thinking about all the things we threw away. I remember how poor I was as a child. Very poor. We scavenged anything useful. Even plastics that shore up on the beach. So all the things we threw away? They’d be considered luxury items!
“Mom… com’on, mom. It’s OK. You’re not in the Philippines anymore. You’re in America… Let it go… Let it go…!”
That night… my husband, a good husband that he is, let us stay at the Marriott Hotel and ate room service…
Marriott Hotel… a nice five star hotel in Tulsa. Though i didn’t like their towels. There weren’t thick and soft like they should have. I can’t believe how cheap their towels were! (That’s Ramon… resting after a grueling day of emptying his apartment.)Cream Brulee. I already took a bite… but decided to take a pic anyway. I skipped lunch that day and was starving… I dove right into the entree, a Cedar Plank Salmon with Champagne Mashed Potatoes. Just when I took the last bite is when I remember that I should have taken a picture. I was too busy eating. Ramon ordered corned beef sandwich (i think), fries and fruit sorbet. Again… I was too busy eating that I forgot to take pictures. Shame on me! He ordered two more desserts after that – another fruit sorbet and cream brulee before going to bed.
We woke up the next day, checked out… and drove back home…
After almost 7 hours of driving… I was too tired to cook anything fancy. So I decided to make Salisbury steaks. But when I got home… I didn’t have everything i need so i had to improvise. What i made what sort of Salisbury Steaks… with mushroom gravy. It was surprisingly good.
Salisbury Steaks with Mushroom Gravy
1½ pound ground beef (90% lean) – use good, quality ground top sirloin
1/3 of 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup – use the rest for Gravy – see below
½ cup crushed crackers – I use Keebler Toasteds Crackers
1 large egg
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ – 1 tsp. ground hot pepper – optional
¼ medium onion – finely diced
4 garlic cloves – smashed, peeled and minced
¼ cup cooking oil for frying
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Form into 8 portions and form into patties.
Heat a large non-stick skillet and add the oil. Fry patties until cooked, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in 200°F preheated oven.
Mushrooms Brown Gravy
1 TBSP. butter
1 – 6 ounce jar sliced mushrooms – drained
2 packets McCormick Brown Gravy Mix
2½ cups water
2/3 can cream of mushroom
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. ground hot pepper (optional)
Heat a sauce pan and add the butter. Saute the mushrooms until light golden brown.
Empty the packets of gravy over the mushrooms and whisk while gradually adding the water. Keep whisking until the gravy mix dissolved. Add the cream of mushroom. Whisk until creamy. Add sea salt, black and hot pepper.
Bring gravy to boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Turn the heat down to low.
Serve two patties for each person. Drizzled mushrooms brown gravy over the Salisbury Steaks, and with roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes. I ate mine with rice. 🙂
Tess’ Kitchen Secret: crackers, garlic and onions. Easiest way to crush crackers: place crackers in a large Ziploc bag. Close bag and roll a rolling pin over the bag several times until crackers are crushed to desired consistency. Or you can lightly pound the bag with a mallet until crackers are crushed.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!