So, its been over a month and no new posts from me. Still haven't posted the blood orange marmalade recipe! I rock ;) Oddly, that brings me to the topic of this post - how much I am happy and at peace with myself lately.
I had a mini-staycation last week (for me that means two days off in a row - weekdays so I'm not necessarily out and about the whole time), and I discovered this awesome food blog My New Roots. Sarah (B!) is from Ontario, went to a holistic nutrition school in Toronto (a school I myself have looked into), and now is a cook at some vegetarian restaurants in Copenhagen. Her blog is filled with nutritional information, delicious vegetarian recipes, and beautiful photography. I found a link there from Heidi at 101 cookbooks, another of my favourites. Prompted by my 48+ hours of uninterrupted ME time, and my readings on My New Roots, I cooked up a storm of healthy things! I also started doing yoga on a MUCH more regular basis again.
I made roasted spicy chickpeas (to eat when my salty/crunchy cravings hit), cooked some lentils and quinoa to turn into salads to bring to work, started some broccoli sprouts and got my juicer out of its 6 year cupboard hibernation. For dinner I had garlicky roasted mushrooms, sauteed red chard (also with garlic!), and french lentils. From the basic lentils I also made this curried lentil salad.
After these lovely few days, I had to go back to work every night this past weekend. But I had so much positive energy! I've also been reading another amazing blog lately - Waiter Rant - and I'm working my way through the archives. Slowly. It is beautifully written. Steve now has a couple of books, and is obviously an accomplished writer. He also went to seminary school for theology earlier in life, and while he (thankfully) doesn't ooze religious views into his writing, there is certainly a philosophical slant to things. And despite the title (I'd heard of his book, and was skeptical at first) he illuminates both the funny/cynical side of serving, while integrating many heartwarming and also sad stories. It has made me even more conscious and passionate about what I do. Steve has a post at one point about serving being an outlet for shy people - something we can do that allows us to connect (for short periods of determined time) with others. On a related note, I was talking with some friends (during our post-work drinks-decompression) about how our society is so isolated - how awkward it is on the subway sometimes with everyone trying to stay within their own cell phone/book/newspaper/ipod bubble and avoid eye contact. I remarked that one thing that makes serving so wonderful is the fact that each and every day I have the opportunity to connect and impact dozens of people. Dozens of strangers.
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty blissed out. All of which is a very long and drawn out explanation for the topic at hand (gee, maybe I should update more often!) Today is Valentines Day. Some of my friends (and I'm sure many, many people) are moping about, sad and/or bitter to be single. Me: I'm at peace. More than at peace, I'm thankful, and happy. I love my life, my job, my friends, my family. I'm excited for my future. I'm enjoying living each day, giving to myself, expending my energy on ME (along with all those guests!) I'm genuinely happy for all those people who are in truly loving relationships, but I know that is not what I want right now. Or, at least, it is not something I feel lacking of. That said, I'm happy I had the night off (class in the morning!) to give back to myself. I made a nice meal:
No recipe. Its just roasted golden and regular beets, VERY thinly sliced chioggia (or candy cane) beets, some baby greens, tarragon and mint. With blood orange, buffalo mozzarella and some olive oil, ramp pickling liquid and fleur de sel. Very pretty, very tasty. Now some wine, a salt bath, and a wine book.
I hope everyone out there had a wonderful day as well.