Okay, first of all, did anyone else realize that the forty days of lent only lasted until Palm Sunday? Because I did not. Embarrassing.
But that’s not what I want to write about. I just want to write about how happy I am with today.
I woke up and read a book in bed for a while. I did some foot-strengthening exercises as cross-training (did I mention I ran 18 miles yesterday? Because I did). I made some breakfast. I went to church, where my pastor gave a wonderful sermon about pruning thorns from our lives. I went to Trader Joe’s with two friends I haven’t seen in AGES due to our busy schedules. We went back to their place and went for a long walk. We had lunch together and caught up on our lives. Kristina did some work while Michelle and I curled up on the couch and did computer puzzles together for a while. Then I drove home and spent three hours puttering around my kitchen.
Three hours. Of nothing but kitchen time. Okay, fine, and watching Gossip Girl on the laptop perched on my counter. But all I did was play! How about a list of what I accomplished?
1. I put away all my groceries.
2. I reorganized my baking cupboard. I put nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and dried fruits into tupperware containers to get rid of the bag clutter, and it looks so much nicer now! Still some work to be done, but now I have a better idea of what I want the space to look like.
3. I cooked up some quinoa in preparation for another recipe.
4. I made chickpea cutlets from my favorite vegan cookbook. It’s a favorite recipe, which my carnivore boyfriend likes.
5. I made sunflower seed pâté from Thrive, to have for snacks for a few weeks. It’s pleasantly rich! I think it’ll be nice and filling, with a good boost of protein. Thrive is the greatest book, by the way. It’s about vegan nutrition for athletes (and general folks), and I’m slowly using more and more of his recipes, especially surrounding my workouts. The pre-workout pudding got me through my eighteen-miler yesterday!
6. I made banana bread energy bars, also from Thrive. I’ve been meaning to make my own bars for a while, and I can’t resist anything that has banana in it, so this seemed like a perfect primer. They’re in my freezer at the moment. Is it snack time tomorrow yet?
7. I made veggie crackers from – you guessed it! – Thrive. They JUST came out of the oven! Thrive author Brendan Brazier recommended them to go with the sunflower spread, so I followed his advice.
8. Oh, I did take a break in there to EAT one of my chickpea cutlets! I put it on a toasted ciabatta roll (an impulse purchase from Trader Joe’s – I love a soft ciabatta) with some of the sunflower spread and a pile of spinach. A lovely little supper, enjoyed while watching Gossip Girl. I keep it classy.
All in all, a very productive night spent in my favorite place – the kitchen! I can’t explain what it is about the kitchen, but I’m so happy in there. I love having my hands busy and getting up close and personal with my food. I love having a product at the end and knowing I made something delicious all on my own. Call me a ’50s housewife, but I love puttering around my kitchen.
It’s one of my spiritual gifts, I think. The only thing I love more than puttering around my kitchen is giving whatever said puttering produces to someone else. I love to cook for my boyfriend or my friends. I love to bring baked goods to church coffee hour or bible study. I love taking God’s raw gifts, turning them into something delicious, and sharing them with his people. It’s such an organic gift, something that goes straight into caring for the bodies he gave us. The bodies we use to do his work and love each other.
My happy place, folks, is the kitchen. Bon appetit. And amen!