Fewer Ingredients...For Food and Home

One small envelope dropped through the mail slot on a day that doesn't happen in my life often. It was quiet and I was alone, in my house, for 5 hours. Curtain rods that had been ready to fall off the walls were getting attached, finger prints and dirt scrubbed from the walls and every piece of random paper was being attacked and placed in recycling bins or other proper places. I can't tell you what a head spinning delight this is for me. Should I spend my time reading and drinking endless cups of hot chocolate mixed with warm showers and silly web surfing? Not in this life with three children and ever searching to make things simpler, more efficient and less. Back to the letter. No return address but the handwriting so familiar. (That is it hanging on my newly started vision board.)

After reading a few sentences it comes back to me. The woman's retreat, write a letter to yourself...it will be mailed to you sometime. It took that long for me to recognize myself.

Notice The Silence...It's There, wait...Listen... Breathe.

Yes, it was there, no waiting required. The day at the retreat had reminded me that self care was not something I put on the top of my list because it's definition was off for me. I need time alone in my house more than I need spas or movies. Space in my space refocuses me. Moving things around, as annoying to my family as I'm sure it is, helps me see things clearly. I forget what I have, where it is. I become burried underneath the un-important. Usually I just shift items and hide away the clutter in the basement. This time I am removing it. This is hard and this is scary.

Are you pausing to think it through?

Yes. I know I need less. Less stuff, less clutter, less excuses, less clothes (that don't fit anyway), less ingredients, less frustration, less anger, less regret. How can success and patience find room if I do not give them space? I dream about simple.

There was a shelf that had become a magnet for junk. I took part of my 5 hours of silence and created a space for my computer and client folders and family drawing books. I found all the scissors scattered in the house...7 pairs of scissors. SEVEN!!! I found receipts and pictures and kid drawings. I saved what I needed, let go of the rest.

Have you captured some space?
I sure hope so.

Make room for beautiful food. Scrambled eggs with garlic, carrots and spinach served over pea shoots.

Simplify ingredients. Chloe's request the other night was for fish burgers. We weren't sure what she had in mind so I was winging it. Huge success. Two burgers eaten in entirety by Chloe and Eli (on buns). Mine over lightly dressed arugula. Patrick's winning the prize with baby spinach piled high on a bun. No good picture of these, just the real deal in the ecopan, coming off the stove into hungry bellies.

Fewer ingredients, less preparation and really good food.

Chloe's Impromptu Fish Burgers

1 pound white fish, cooked just barely through with salt and pepper and flaked into a bowl 2 eggs 1 tsp paprika 3/4 cup almond meal (Trader Joe's brand) 1/4 tsp sea salt 1 TB parsley 2 garlic cloves, chopped lemon zest from 1 lemon

Mix it all together, form into 2 inch round balls, flatten slightly and cook in olive oil on medium heat for just a couple of minutes on each side. The fish is cooked and you don't want to end up with dry burgers. Get a nice light brown on each side and serve with a slice of lemon on the side.

For a nice salmon burger and mango salsa check out this recipe. If only we could all eat in this kitchen every day, oh the happiness.

The simplifying continues through the house and into my food. I'll be posting the easiest cream of cauliflower soup recipe next. Stay warm and Happy New Year.