Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Wondering Soul

Last week I visited with a life coach. It wasn’t my first experience, but it was one I will not repeat. His approach didn’t appeal to me so I am taking the map of my life plan and going it alone. But lost in the tall grass of the plan, I begin to dream and wonder about where I am going.

In the first place, the premise of going to said coach was to try to take more action in my life. I have been skirting by the past couple years and really not putting a whole lot of thought or emphasis into what happens. I am just going with the flow, which is so not me since I am classified as an INFJ and don’t like to have things out of control or unscheduled. But nonetheless, it happened and I wanted to get back into my personality profile so I took the first step.

The concept for the rest of my existence, at least up to 20 years from now is to do what I love. What I really love and get paid for it. Not a money seeker, I prefer the green for what it can get for me, not for what it is on its own. So yesterday, when I was working from home, my thoughts turned to how I could become accustom to this lifestyle with ease. I did have the unique freedom of being without a job for several months a couple years ago, but the worry of become broke damned my serenity.

Yesterday I enjoyed the grayness of winter, with a temp of about 65 degrees F, the nits and nats of work to be done and the joy of it being on my own schedule. My purging desire left me to want to clean out the freezer and I came across a few chicken and one turkey carcass. Simmering them with rosemary, thyme and an orange gave me such a fabulous broth. I picked the bones clean and strained the golden concoction adding carrots, celery and onion for a great cool weather soup. And of course I added a lemon for a tinge of freshness at the end.

This all transpired while I wrote articles, answered e-mails, edited photos, did the laundry and worked on my next knitting adventure. All a perfect day to me. This was something I could not translate to the life coach. I can be happy and full of joy doing something so simple as making soup. Now I just need to get paid for it.

Of course, I do have some coaches that are not so presumptuous to call themselves so. Renee and Wayne were sharing with me their ideas of a new life making purses and afghans, cooking, writing, taking pictures and massaging for a living. Sounds great, but then comes the dreaded “How?”

So I left that to linger and went on crafting more treats. Being on Weight Watchers and trying to be as healthy as I comfortably can, has lead me to construct dishes that will fill me up, satisfy my taste buds and of course provide healthful sustenance. Taking a hint from one of my cook books, I came across a recipe for stuffed eggplant rolls. I know, they don’t sound super appealing, but with a little help from me, they rock.

You slice the eggplant lengthwise and spray the grill or grill pan with Pam and let them get a little soft and marked up. I made a filling of ¼ cup reduced-fat feta cheese, diced tomatoes, diced scallion, and chopped capers, parsley, basil and oregano. I added a couple dashes of hot sauce too. When the eggplant slices are cool to the touch, I put a dollop of the filling on the wide end and rolled. Then I make a dressing of lemon zest, lemon juice, a hint of cumin, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper. These make a great snack or an accompaniment for soup (say fresh-made chicken soup for example.)

So what’s next? I gravitate towards recipe sites and food stuff blogs collecting about 20 new adventures a week and there is not enough time to make it all. I love the thought of having the funds, time and hungry mouths to feed so that I could make so many dishes, but alas, that is not to be right now. But I still ask, how can I make it real?

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