I got up this morning in a fall mood ….. not a foul mood … a fall mood. In fact, it’s almost a winter mood. Ever since the time changed, my energy has been a bit low. The shorter days naturally start my body into more of a hibernating mode. I used to do things to try to get “back to normal” during the winter months, but then I finally realized that I’m probably this way for a reason. I was trying to get some information on winter moods, and almost everything I found was about beating the low winter energy level. In the last few years, I’ve quit trying to fight my moods and just see where they’ll take me. So, today, I decided to go with it.
I woke up and went straight to my favorite meeting. That helped me get connected to God and to my fellow travelers pretty quick, so it took any lingering loneliness away that was lingering after my very social holiday weekend. I decided to take care of a few errands today like get my flu shot, pay my rent and wash my filthy car. I got those out of the way early. I felt like ‘nesting’. I’d had a lot of good food over the weekend, and I really wanted to fix myself some healthy and yummy winter food for the week ahead. Sometimes, cooking gets short shrift when I’m single. I’ll cook, but I don’t put a lot of effort into it. Today, I felt like cooking.
Making Root Vegetable Broth
I bought some fabulous bread at the Serious Bread Bakery in Bay St. Louis yesterday. See yesterday’s blog for more details. Anyway, I opened up the freezer to store it, and I already had too much bread. I had some whole wheat bread and oatmeal raisin bread from Our Daily Bread in Baton Rouge and a loaf of really good sourdough. There was about 1/2 loaf of each, and I considered just throwing them away, but then I realized I could make homemade croutons and some bread pudding! Both of those things with some steamy soup sounded so wintery and comforting.
So, I got a recipe for soup out of my Love Soup cookbook. That cookbook is awesome. It’s chock full of yummy vegetarian soups. I decided to make a root vegetable broth as a base and some lentil soup. I made a list of all the ingredients and went over to Fresh Pickin’s and bought my stuff. They were out of parsnips, so I was looking around for a substitute root vegetable, and I saw yucca root. I asked a gentleman standing there if he had ever eaten it. He tried to tell me yes, and I realized that he didn’t speak very much English at all. But, he was so adamant about communicating with me that I stood there and tried to understand him. I never did understand what he said, but I finally asked, “Good broth?” and he shook his head emphatically and smiled. So, I added yucca root to my basket and checked out.
I peeled and chopped my veggies and started my root vegetable broth on the stove. While it started to boil, I cubed my bread and assembled my bread pudding. I like mine with dried fruit, a little cane syrup and pecans. I stuck it in the oven and started a batch of my green ginger chai tea from scratch. My kitchen smelled oh so good … I was giving Michael a run for his money on the smells in my kitchen today. I sauteed bread cubes in butter, olive oil and Tony Chacherie’s seasoning to make croutons and then started my lentil soup when my vegetable broth was done. I snacked on hot boiled peanuts and some sunflower bread with butter and cherry jam while I cooked, and it felt so good to be home.
I promised Jessica I’d run today for 30-45 minutes, and I went out for a 40 minute run after my soup was done. My energy is low, but I just took my time and got back into the swing of exercising and doing something good for myself. My hip is still bothering me, but I made it through the run without a hitch. The church down the street was decorating for the holidays and had Christmas music playing outside. As it got dark, people started turning on their Christmas lights, and it was just nice to be outside with my dog on a not so cold winter night. I think technically it’s still fall, but I always think of December as winter. I thought about my Thanksgiving holiday and how much fun I had, how stressful it was sleeping in strange beds and being surrounded by people when I’m so used to living alone. I mentally planned my week ahead, and I got really excited about next weekend which includes a big party in my hometown where they’ll be making cane syrup and a playoff game for my alma mater. It’ll be fun. I’m also starting a project at work that is right up my alley. I can’t wait to get going on it.
I got home and scooped up a bowl of the lentil soup, topped it with roasted pumpkin seeds, some homemade croutons and a teaspoon of olive oil. I toasted a slice of Harvest Sourdough bread, set the fire alarm off because I burned it, and I ate my soothing winter soup. I fixed a cup of licorice spice tea and a heaping bowl of that dreamy bread pudding for dessert. My animals are snoring. I’m relaxing now. I feel so at peace. My nest is made. I feel a little hint of sadness, and I don’t know nor care what that’s about right now. I’ll just feel sad without fighting it. I’m going to do a little yoga because I’ve promised myself I’m going to do yoga at least 15 minutes a day through New Year’s Day. It’s been helping me sleep. I love Sundays like this. I got a lot done, and I took care of myself as well as I would take care of anyone else that I love. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day – loving myself.