It’s that time of year again. The time I pine for that precious little reprieve known as Spring Break. For a teacher, Spring Break is a most blessed and sacred time in our yearly cycle. However, the meantime, that eternal stretch of time between the here and there, can be a little difficult to endure. This is hardly a new story and I know it’s been told before, but here I am stuck in the meantime, seeking a little solace in the kitchen again.
Hello November. And welcome Autumn! I’ve been anxiously awaiting your return. I hope you can settle in and stay awhile, for I do so enjoy your company. I adore your seasonal sensations above all others, you know. Your cool, crisp air kissing my cheeks, the golden glow of your color palette, those wonderful spices of yours that tickle my tastebuds and the warmth of your cozy embrace. Oh, do stay…please? And join me for a cup of tea?
Sometimes I get the greatest satisfaction from the simplest of things. I often have this experience with food. I love those moments when you create something beautiful and delicious and it fills your body and soul with delight. I have not been having many of those satisfying kitchen experiences these days. Lacking excitement and filled with frustration, my healthy food explorations have been uneventful and devoid of delightful discoveries. So, when I unexpectedly experienced one of those increasingly rare moments of culinary satisfaction, I decided I better milk it for all its worth.
Well Summer has definitely made her way around and seems to be settled in for the season. With temperatures above a hundred we are beginning to wilt around here. Welcome July. There are many things I love about my summer season, but the heat is not one of them. I don’t know about you, but when the mercury rises, my appetite drops. I don’t desire much but sweet summer fruits, simple salads, smoothies and such. So, here are a few suggestions for healthy and refreshing ways to keep your cool in the midst of this summer heat.
It is that time of year again. Spring is in the air. The light has shifted with the clock and that little leap forward brings the morning sun through the kitchen window at just the right time. That beam of spring sunshine resting on a bowl of nature’s most beautiful bounty, highlighting those vibrant colors just as you saunter, sleepy-eyed, into the kitchen on a lazy weekend morning…I am suddenly struck with a realization. A deja-vu sort of moment. I have been here before, no? I recall the first time I was so smitten with this spring sensation that I felt compelled to express my silly delight in all things green and bright. That was the day I started my blog, nearly one year ago.
From month to month, year to year, we follow the cycle of seasons. Food, clothing, activities and daily life all seem to have their transitional points along this seasonal cycle. Winter celebrations, spring break, summer vacation, fall fashion. Ski sweaters and root veggies, short sleeves and daffodils, hiking boots and stone fruits, backpacks and apples. We all have our favorite points along this cycle, we all look forward to our own favorite season. But flu season? No one looks forward to flu season.
I haven’t written about food in a while. And I can’t say it’s because I haven’t been spending time in the kitchen. A large portion of my everyday is devoted to preparing produce, cooking up recipes, washing dishes, washing dishes, washing dishes. That hasn’t changed. I grocery shop on a daily basis and our produce box is still providing us with weekly organic delights. But still, things have been feeling a little uninspired in that favorite nook of mine lately. New recipes are at a standstill. Homemade energy bars and hummus have been replaced with the packaged variety. Meals are cooked and consumed without even a thought to pause and pose them for photos. My heart just hasn’t been in it lately, I don’t know why. Yesterday morning I happened to emerge from my cave of an office just in time to catch that one, elusive stream of morning sunlight as it made it’s brief daily pass by the kitchen window. And I suddenly realized that my recent lack of inspiration and creativity in the kitchen is simply a matter of light. It is the light that brings color to my foodie realm.
I love this time of year. Whether it’s spent watching snow fall with my kinfolk, or roaming through sagebrush with my hubby and hounds, Christmas is always a special time for me. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am or who I’m with, as long as I can give a gift, I am happy as can be.
With August nearly done and a new school year begun, I keep expecting a shift to occur. You know, those subtle changes that come with the changing of seasons. The air gets a little crisper in the early morning hours. The light begins to change and long shadows fall a little earlier. Mother Nature hints that autumn is finally making his way around. In the desert, it is a very subtle shift, nearly imperceptible. But you can feel it, if you’re paying attention. And I, for one, have been attentively and not-so-patiently awaiting that shift. Unfortunately, Mama Nature’s not quite ready to indulge, so summer is still very much in full swing in these parts. C’mon, Summer. Cool it!
I got this beautiful bunch of crazy chamomile in my produce box a couple weeks ago. It had so much personality, blooms pointing this way and that, like something from a Dr. Seuss book. Sometimes we get things and I think, “Oh! Look at this lovely gift from nature…I have no idea what to do with it!”. I enjoy being creative with my food and I am always looking for new and interesting ways of using new and interesting foods. However, I am ashamed to admit that sometimes those random, out of the ordinary, organics go to waste in this busy household.