Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pausing as a practice

Do you ever feel like you need to rush?  Of course you do, I'm sure we all do.  I'm sitting at Marlene's market after having a meeting with a college.  My to do list, as usual, has more list than I have time to complete.  I feel the urge to grab all my stuff and rush off to my next list's item.  But if I do will life be better? 

Or can I find it in myself to pause for just a couple of minutes.  Pause and breathe, look around, sip on a hot cup of chamomile tea and maybe even write for a few minutes.

The practice of pausing is not as easy as it should be.  Taking a second, in the middle of your day or task to pause, to breathe and look around.  Is that so difficult??  Apparently it is and so why not make it a practice?

The very definition of practice is to do a task with intent, over and over again actively striving to improve your skills.
So can pausing become a practice?  Everyday, setting the intent of pausing at least once if not a couple of times to breathe.

  Maybe even smile and relax a moment.  Look around and even do something you love doing, like writing in cafĂ©'s while sipping on tea and watching the world rush by.

It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, it just needs to become a habit and what better way to cultivate a good habit than by making it a practice.  And what better habit to cultivate than the habit of pausing.

As always, wishing you a happy home and refreshing pauses

Just a note, this whole pause to write, breathe and drink my tea took a half an hour, but I feel surprisingly refreshed!!  Just a thought.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Simple pleasures of a fresh start

I read a book once where the author talked about putting the kitchen to bed.  I like that analogy, "putting the kitchen to bed".  It is a good ending to the day.  Dinner is done.  The dishwasher is rumbling along.  The counter tops are all washed and dried.  When I finally turn out the lights, I feel contented and at ease.

Equally as nice is waking up to a clean kitchen, where nothing crusty or slimy from the yesterday is facing me in the sink.  My mom said she finally got the importance of "putting the kitchen to bed"  when she realized the value of starting the day with a clean slate.

It is a simple thing really but doesn't it make all the difference?

Here's to simple pleasures,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Simplest "pumpkin" pie recipe ever

Baking squash

Delicata Squash
It is the season of squash!  Apparently, there is a squash season and it is now.  I love simple foods.  Slice - bake and enjoy!  That is cooking at it's best.  For the remainder of this year, I'm trying my hand at removing all added sugars and searching for the natural sweetness and flavor of whole foods. 

 This season, I was introduced to a new  squash, new to me anyway, Delicata! 

Pictured to the right and also pictured in the middle of the baking squash dish.

This is one of the only winter squashes I know of that you can eat the outer skin.

 A few weeks ago I baked one of these marvels.  It bakes up to a golden orange.  The flavor is great the first day, but don't eat too much.  Slice your squash into wedges and put squash in refrigerator.   Wait until the next day...and then eat it cold.

  It tastes like Pumpkin pie wedges!  But here is the kicker- no sugars, no spices, no dairy, grains, no anything but a splash of oil and Delicata - Simply Amazing. 

I do realize Cold Squash doesn't actually sound that great.  But you'll see, it is!  My grandpa Ella made all her "pumpkin" pies from squash.  She mainly used Hubbard squashes.  The natural sweetness and incredible flavors of these squashes minimizes the need to add anything!

Mock Pie Wedges
1 Delicata Squash ( more if you want)
       Wash skin, cut down the middle,  remove seeds
            remove ends
Bake flesh side up
Coat with a splash of olive oil or coconut oil- just to keep it from burning 
Bake on 400 degrees for about 45 minutes +or-  until it turns a deep golden brown
         You should be able to smell the aromas of this sweet squash
When cool, slice into wedges and refrigerate until next day
Next day: Eat wedges

Here's to the sweetness of squash season.  May simple pleasures be part of your day.