Monday, December 17, 2012

Contemplate Your Toenails

Finals are finally over! Yay! Now, I get a month off.  My month off is desperately needed and much appreciated.  I need this time to find me again.  Somewhere between cramming for tests and running to classes and activities, I lost the part of myself that is whimsical, creative, and very non-scholastic.  The part of me that likes to read and browse blogs for hours, that likes to make collages from inspiring magazine pictures, for no other reason than because it feeds my spirit.  The part of me that likes to take slow walks, thinking about absolutely nothing.  This part of me was swallowed up by my 18 hour course load.  But, for the next four weeks, my textbooks are no longer my bible anymore. And It is time to get the non-academic me back!

As I was flying home from college, I sat next to two cute, old ladies who really clicked and started talking.  They, coincidentally, worked in the same field, and started reminiscing about how much hard work and long hours they put in to build their careers.  One lady mentioned that she feels so much more productive when she has time off from work to think, and that taking time to walk in the backyard or pet her cat helps her think of innovative ideas for her work.  She said, “As my momma puts it, sometimes you just need time to contemplate your toenails.”   

Yes, yes, I thought: that would be me! I want to do nothing but contemplate my toenails for the next month! I am exaggerating, slightly, but you get the idea.  And my contemplation, the type of contemplation where I can completely bliss out and feel at ease in life, comes when I am cooking.  

So, let the cooking begin! I just got home last night, and, let me tell you, I am already on a roll.   The first stop after the airport was the natural grocers, of course! I cannot express how filled with gratitude I was to walk into a store with so many different varieties of produce and organic food, after going a whole semester with very limited options. I seriously took that for granted before college.   My co-op is amazing and I am so blessed and grateful that they have agreed to deliver to my college, but there are only so many choices the co-op can offer; plus the amount of baking I actually have the time and cooking supplies to do in college is very limited.  
Japanese sweet potato fries
Suddenly, all of the memories I had - of late night studying with unhealthy popcorn and chips from the college convenience store - all washed away as I ate homemade comfort food: Japanese sweet potato fries, and Lima bean soup.  I never knew how much it would mean to me to cook food  from a real  kitchen, as opposed to bending underneath my lofted bed, trying to prepare all of my food on top of my dorm room desk.  I never knew how much it would mean to me to be so blessed to be able to cook food from home, from scratch.  Home, is a wonderful place to be.  

Lima beans, soaked overnight and cooked in a crock pot, with a bit of balsamic vinegar. 
Wish me luck as I embark on my four week journey of contemplating my toenails and, of course, cooking.  I hope all of you have time to contemplate your toenails during this busy time of year.