Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reads & Eats

When life feels too big for its britches, when I'm lost inside my head or adrift in questions that can't be answered yet, I come back to two things: Books and food.

Yes, my family. And always, Jesus.

But as for tangible things that can be held in my hands, these are what center me.

I've been doing a lot of reading in recent weeks, and a whole lot of food-dreaming. (If that tells you anything about the condition of my heart.)

Life is not especially hard right now. It's actually wonderful. Exciting. Relatively peaceful and ripe with good thing. But it's moving quickly and the days are somehow both too short and too long.

I'm trying to listen to my body when it barks that 6 hours of sleep isn't enough. I'm working on it. I have to think it's helping.

But I might yank this rope around from both ends forever. Sleep-Read-Sleep-Read.
One means rest and the other means a different kind of rest.

I have to believe there's room enough for both.

 And in between it all, I dog-ear recipes and pin All of the Pumpkin Foods. My Wal Mart "Le Crueset" is getting the work-out of its life, bubbling soup, boiling pasta, browning chicken, simmering stock.

We're eating out less than ever, and it's working well for us. These days, dinners are simple. We're into one-pot options that keep us lingering around our beat-up table. We shove the remnants of the day to the far end, and huddle up with mis-matched napkins and tap water.

Dinner doesn't have to be perfect to be meaningful and important.

All of this - the books and the food and the faces gathered 'round - all of it amounts to food for my soul.

Here's what I've been chewing on lately.

This was my first attempt at this recipe and it'll stay in the rotation. It was quick and so delicious. We topped ours with thinly sliced cabbage and my home-canned pickles. For our sides, we had roasted cauliflower and sweet-&-sour sauteed cabbage, because I like all of my side dishes to be colorless, apparently.

I've talked about this soup a hundred times, but it is our hands-down favorite. And this time, it looked a little different because I didn't start it as early. The veggies weren't all cooked down, so there was more texture, which I happened to like. Either way, it is phenom. My people lap it down hard.

“New Testament faith cannot be practiced in private. Either the faith will destroy the isolation, or the isolation will destroy the faith.” - Dirty Faith by David Z. Nowell

"If you are a woman in crisis, there is no better place to seek advice than women. Women are like full, ripe orchards of apple and peach trees. Women are museum guides telling you the hidden meanings. Women are ponds. They look placid and simple, but my gosh*, they teem with life and information an inch below the surface. There are incredible microcosms of information in those waters; there are hundreds of species of information. Women are encyclopedias, they are oracles, they are entire self-help sections of Barnes & Noble. Women! If you have a question or need advice, gather some women together. They will help you." - A Year and Six Seconds by Isabel Gillies (*my edit :) )

"While the parents of black and white boys have many experiences in common - protecting their emotional well-being, channeling their rambunctiousness, dealing with schools that have been structured for the learning styles of girls, protecting them from bullying, and so on - white parents don't have to prepare their boys to deal with a society that stereotypes and views them as dangerous, as black parents do. They don't have to safeguard their sons from media outlets that broadcast violent and self-destructive images of them. They don't have to protect them from others' harmful projections. They don't have to shield them from teachers whose low expectations can undermine their ability to learn. 'Boys will be boys' behavior doesn't get white boys kicked out of the classroom or expelled from school (or even locked up) at the same rate that it does black boys. And white parents don't have to fear for their sons' physical safety in the same way that black parents do. Will he get jumped? Will the police stop and frisk him? Will he get shot? They typically don't lie awake worrying about these issues. Black parents do." - Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life by Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michele Stephenson with Hilary Beard

Your turn. 
What are you reading? What are you eating?

I'm all ears. Literally.

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