The last 3 weeks have brought a lot of change into my life, while not really changing anything at all. Curiously hard to explain really. I had spent months gearing up to pursue this very “once-in-a-lifetime” thing that ended up falling flat. That left me with all these plans that just didn’t come together. I had not only imagined myself going through with this thing, but pictured what my life would be like on the backside. Being back to my daily routine has apparently left me appearing rudderless. My spouse, among others, has been asking the question “What now?” I don’t really know, to be honest. Not really sure I had a clear vision for Plan A, much less Plan B. I guess if you aim for something really big, everyone assumes that you must have been dissatisfied with your ordinary life. I am afraid that it also looks like I simply ricochet from one thing to the next. There are so many things in life that interest me that I am often compelled to pursue them all, at one time or another. I don’t feel like I am flitting from one shiny object to the next, but from the comments I have gotten, I assume that I must be doing just that. I thought I was just rolling with it…
For the time being I am going to paint. Not the van Gogh kind either. I am simply going to repaint all 1,200 square feet of the lower level of my house. And then I will go back to cooking with more zeal than I have in the last month. Right now, I just like having the monotonous task of painting that allows me to be in my own head for a bit. Don’t get me wrong, this has been some seriously hard work. There were a couple of days where I was painting ceilings and by the end of the day I could barely lift my arms to take my shirt off. In point of fact, my husband took me to dinner for my birthday last week. We went to a restaurant that I had wanted to go to for some time now. The plan was to eat early and then take in a movie. We got there around 5:30. I whispered to him on our way in “What do you bet that we are the only people under the age of 65 in this place right now?” We weren’t by the way. Anyway, we enjoyed a nice, long dinner and desert. By the time we were getting ready to head out to the movie I was wiped out. I asked for a rain-check on my chick-flick and asked that we go home to bed. I knew I would have slept through the movie anyway. I had just worked too hard that week painting. The upside to hard work is gratitude. I am grateful for how beautiful it all looks now. I am grateful that I am able-bodied enough to do the work myself. I appreciate that I have so much.
I don’t want to say that I haven’t also been cooking, because boy have I! I just haven’t been good about making the time to blog about it. With the kids being back in Tae Kwon Do and me painting, I am barely getting to my email every few days, much less blogging. While I don’t have any recipes to share (I have them, just don’t have the time right now to include them), I thought I might at least share a few photos of some of the things I have been cookin’ up.
I made a really big salad nicoise. This was traditional for the most part, but I didn’t add any olives and this was only because by the time I got to them the salad looked too huge already. The family LOVED this. Crazily enough, my 4 year old LOVES anchovies. Go figure. I was just glad to have something that came together easily and that was light. I had started to tire of eating so much beef lately.
I bought Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table at Christmastime. I have just gotten around to reading through it though. I picked out a couple of things to try out. I made a batch of canned salmon and canned potatoes. After making them, I was figuring out what to have with them. I had purchased a loaf of crusty bread and was going to do a salad, when it occurred to me that this would make a wonderful alternate version of a salad nicoise and it was. We all loved this. I left the salad in it’s various components, since it seems that everyone ended up picking out something they didn’t like. This made it easier to let them serve themselves what they wanted. Overall, it was just different enough from the tuna version to be interesting in it’s own right. I will definitely make this again. Besides, I love seeing jars of beautiful food. I LOVE IT!
Last but not least, I made Dorie’s Fruit Gelee. This was super refreshing and it was so colorful. My kids all picked it apart for one reason or another, but I loved it as-is. I would take this to a potluck anytime! It was so lovely to look at and tasted just as good. Thanks Dorie!