Have you ever been preparing to leave your house, and it just seems like you can’t get out the door? You think you have everything you need and you get in your car and right at the last minute you realize, “oh no, where are my keys?” or “wait, where’s my phone?” or “I’d better make sure I have the Garmin; LBD’s with me and she’s probably going to get us lost.”
There’s a phrase for this: “preliminary leaving.” My mom started this years ago, and it stuck since it worked so well (long story as short as I can make it: I think she got tired of my dad and me constantly complaining about she and Heath not being “ready to go” when we were supposedly “ready,” anytime we were about to leave the house together for any reason. Eventually, whenever we thought we were ready to go, she’d just say, “ok, preliminary leaving; hang on & let’s make sure we have everything.” Then, it became a task. A thing. Something else of great importance to do, that I could take part in. She knew me way too well to know that sort of trick would work on me. I don’t think I complained about leaving late ever again – we were doing preliminary leaving procedures; we couldn’t leave until they were done!)
Today, with my close family & friends who go places with me often, this is a known part of the getting-ready-to-leave ritual. Here’s how it works.
Whenever you think you’re ready to leave the house, you should verbally state the phrase “preliminary leaving!” Say it with enthusiasm, and say it loudly. Everyone needs to hear the declaration.
Upon declaration of “preliminary leaving” status, all relevant persons must consciously and conscientiously join you in preliminary leaving procedures, which include, but are not limited to:
* double checking to ensure items of importance are where they need to be (wallets in pockets; cell phone in purse; tickets in glove compartment, etc.)
* one last bathroom trip
* last minute route planning (which may include a route change pending traffic situations)
* a final outfit check (in my house, we have to make sure that Dave and I don’t match. It happens on a weekly basis. We have a tendency to wear the EXACT SAME color shirt/pant combo. It’s a serious problem. I’m sure if we have children, one day we’ll thoroughly embarrass them by dressing alike on purpose, but for now, we’ll try to maintain what little cool factor we may have left)
and, most importantly:
* the securing of beverages and food for the journey. In my house, this means, at minimum, ensuring a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle is filled with fresh water and in my hands for the trip.
Upon declaration of “preliminary leaving procedures complete,” then you are ready to begin your journey. It’s helpful in making sure you always have what you need, and you’re ready to go out the door in confidence that you’ve forgotten nothing – you’ve left a specific time available for you to remember what it is you might forget on the way out. I’ve been known to write down a preliminary leaving checklist, even – but you don’t have to take it that far.
Here’s where today’s recipe comes in: my dark chocolate & almond snack is almost always what I reach for in preliminary leaving procedures: food category. I hate to leave the house without a snack. And, this is something I can whip up in about 5 seconds, literally on my way out the door. It’s a perfect, filling combination of fiber & fat, and it’s one of those snacks that just makes me happy. I always have the ingredients on hand, always in my freezer (nuts keep better that way). I hate to even call it a “recipe” because it’s so easy.
Dark Chocolate & Almond Snack
Grab a handful of raw, unsalted almonds. Place in a ziploc bag. Grab a handful of dark chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli). Place in the same ziploc bag. Zip up the ziploc bag; enjoy as needed.
That’s it. The end. See? Not even a real recipe. But it’s a great little tasty snack that I hope you’ll enjoy the next time your preliminary leaving procedures call for an emergency food item to take on the run!