Updated: Nov 11, 2018
September 5, 2018
Beyond my creativity in the kitchen, putting together flavors and aiming for that split second of bliss that spreads across someone's face as they take the first bite of something delicious, I am an avid rock climber. I am not sure who among you are familiar with the sport but I highly recommend you find a local gym and try it out. It can be a real thrill and a self-satisfying test of strength that sometimes I can't find anywhere else. I fell powerful!
This sense of defying gravity is not without its risks, and two months ago I had the unfortunate experience of falling from a rout while bouldering and missing the pad. Since I fell from a substantial height I ended up fracturing my ankle and needing surgery. Being an active individual I was extremely unhappy when I had to stay home for 2 weeks and remain off my foot for a whole 6 weeks.
This hindrance would not slow me down! So to add to the amusing picture of cramming a dinner for 4 in a very tiny kitchen you can add the image of me hopping around on one foot. Balancing as I take out hot pans from the oven. Leaning on crutches while mixing ingredients. I am sure it is an amusing site.
I can't help but smile at this image of myself, even if it is just for a split second. My mother was quite the acrobat in the kitchen (by choice, she could have put two feet on the ground if she wanted to.) I have fond memories of sitting in awe as she stood at the stove in a loose form of tree-pose, extending her reach to grab the salt instead of taking that extra step.
I shared this little tidbit of my childhood with Melody and Emily during clean up as they snickered at the vision of me with my foot extended behind as I washed a few dishes. I felt light as I laughed along with them trying to mimic this pose I became familiar with, a little less graceful, however.
That is what I live for on these Wednesdays, that laughter, that feeling. It was a stormy day in Chicago and the weather was finally bringing cool air across the lake where the windows could be open. The sound of light rain mixing with our conversation in a warm kitchen, cool glass in hand.
I had planned our menu for this change in weather, a marrying of summer and fall. For our appetizer, Emily put together a lovely plate of cherry tomatoes, the richest cheese from Wisconsin, a homemade sausage form her local farmers market, and some crisp crackers. This held us over as dinner finished in the oven and the smells of a Brown Sugar and Garlic Pork Loin with Roasted Colorful Vegetables melded with the creaminess of that cheese.
To say goodbye to summer I picked up some of the last delicious peaches my store had to offer and made Peach Moscow Mules, a wonderful combination of bright, bitter, and sweet. And to end the evening Melody created a beautiful apple pie with a twist I had never experienced, a rye butter crust. As the first episode came to an end the aroma of that pie filled my tiny home and made my mouth water, I am a sucker for a good pie.
For the heart of my home to be filled with such good things, to be shared by such good people is the perfect end to my Wednesday. It is something I look forward to and can be an amazing reprieve from work. I encourage you to find that feeling for yourself, and if you need some help with the menu, I got you! Check out my recipes and get creative!