Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beautiful Morning Light

My kitchen window faces the east and mornings in there are gorgeous.
Yesterday took me to the farmer's market where I found a few ordinary things (that snakey looking cucumber and 3 tomatoes).  But I was really hoping for some fun and colorful things. So I went to the Jubilee Market (to which I will dedicate an entire post, later) and came home with purple and yellow carrots, a huge radish, yellow bell peppers, hot peppers, banana peppers, tomatillos, rainbow chard, purple kale and my new favorite. Do you see those yellow looking dudes that the snakey cucumber is wrapped around? They're white cucumbers. And they are crisp and sweet and downright delicious.
I gave these guys a bath in the morning sun. Some of them will become salads, some will become stir fry and some will become pico de gallo.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pizza and Kindness

Ryan took this photo when we went home a few weeks ago. I just wanted you to see it.

Don't misunderstand what I'm about to tell you, I am the happiest I have ever been in my adult life. But I feel so out of control of myself. I wake up when I wake up. I eat whatever garbage happens to be most easily accessible. I run primarily on feelings, emotions, impulse. I play Draw Something--incessantly. I have not done anything even remotely resembling exercise in months (unless you count the fact that I sometimes walk the two blocks to the coffee shop). I have a lot of good ideas but nothing that I've been able to follow through on. My list of hobbies is growing larger and larger despite the fact that I put little to no energy into completing anything. I haven't blogged regularly in weeks--which I know is an absolute heartache to you.

I just did my dishes for the first time...
... in two weeks.

I need to take control of myself and I'm going to start by going back to a habit that I had when I felt the most in-charge of my body, of my attitude, of my emotions. A few years ago, I spent about six months as a vegetarian. There was something about being so active about what was going into my body, that gave me the confidence to know that I could be active about other things in my life as well. It was during this time that I exercised five times a week, went on long walks, wrote in my journal every night. I had a very good handle on myself and I was proud of the woman that I was. I felt strong.

So after I did my dishes, I made lunch.
Zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, feta and caramelized onions (all from last week's trip to the Farmer's Market) on a pizza crust. It feels good to create something. It feels good to fuel yourself on the fruits of a neighbor's labor. It feels good to be good to yourself.
So be good to yourself. Treat yourself the way that you expect others to treat you. Feed yourself well, offer grace to your mind and to your thighs, say kind things to your features and be grateful for the body that takes you places and keeps you alive and allows you to see and hear and taste and do not take those senses for granted. Respect yourself and I'll respect myself and we'll end up doing one another favors.

XOXO Libby

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ingredients and Content are Two Different Things

This Forth of July we decided to go super traditional and have Korma Coconut Curry for dinner. I must say that it was great. I'll get to why in a minute but let me confess, right now, that I don't know how to cook Indian food. I have one jar of curry spice in my kitchen that my little sister left here when she lived with me and I have never used it. I don't know how. I find it intimidating and as long as stuff like this exists, I feel like I don't really want to/ need to learn the fine art of Indian cuisine. Is it lazy of me or do I just not feel like messing with something that is super yummy (to me) even if it's not completely authentic? I still haven't decided.
Steam your brown rice while you're watching Sherlock Holmes, saute mushrooms and onions and green peppers (later add in some frozen shrimp or chicken or tofu or not) and in about 15 minutes (minus the 45 that it takes to make rice), you have a completely satisfying, Forth of July appropriate ("appropriate" is relative) meal for you and about three other people (depending on how many veggies you add to stretch the sauce).

Here's something that I think I want to say, though, about food. It doesn't have to be fancy to be important. In fact, a lot of what makes a meal memorable and beautiful has nothing to do with the ingredients as much as what's going on around there.
Like this past weekend was wonderful. Ryan and I went back to small-town Kansas where we grew up. We drove through dirt roads and he told me stories of when he was little, we drove through our home town and talked about where our old friends lived. It was a weekend of nostalgia and I won't forget the way that we surprised his grandma by staying the night and, since stores are at least a half hour drive away, she dug through the pantry to make us super simple chicken salad sandwiches on white bread with pickle relish and mayo. And it was delicious. And it meant a lot to me. And I felt really, really happy.

So my coconut curry was 80% done for me. That's okay. It was delicious and the jars make perfect drinking glasses and I was sitting on the couch with someone who loves me very much and these seemingly little things make me very happy. These days.