Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Finally a Day At Home!

So worn out today. It has felt like we have been at a run for the past two weeks. CK's brother, house guests, Atari's passing, tattoos, big shopping expedition, then days of activity around Open Source Bridge, parties, and the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple Founder's Dinner (which I helped out at). On top of all the busyness of the past couple of weeks I've not been sleeping really well, neither has CK.

I'd woke up early and sat zazen, planning to head into the office. I felt generally exhausted, had a headache and was generally nauseous. I opted to work from home and dragged myself, with as much mindful attention as I could muster, to meetings. I was grateful to head over to an appointment with Beth for a massage.

I warned her I might fall asleep on her, but some of my muscles were so bunched up and tight that it would have been impossible to doze off. The pain in my left shoulder and back reminded me how grateful I was to have ordered a new bag on Saturday. My beat to heck bag from Vy & Elle is not good to carry around even my ultra-light laptop. I felt merely tired when she was done, some of the thick fog of exhaustion had let up a little.

Had told E I'd take her yoga mats back to her this evening but was enjoying making dinner with CK and just didn't feel like leaving the house. She got the marvelous artichokes we picked up at the King Farmers Market on Sunday ready and researched how to do them in the pressure cooker (cut in half, 8 minutes, yum). She also made a balsamic vinaigrette to dip them in. I sauteed the stems of the rapini we'd picked up, added all the green tops and balsamic to steam. I caramelized half a sweet onion then added a whole, heirloom tomato with some more balsamic to make a simple sauce. I tried making steamed amaranth, but it came out something between porridge and polenta, but stickier. Despite the not-what-I-was-going-for texture the amaranth was still tasty, especially paired with the onions, tomatoes, vinegar & mustard-y rapini. We are all fired up to experiment further with it, amaranth is another "super grain".


Cooking Fool (Open Source Bridge Prep for Vegans)

What does a vegan do when they are attending a conference with no plans for vegan food, no vegan food anywhere nearby (because no, I do not count french fries), and a partner who's coordinating all volunteers who will need to eat.

Option A would be to bitch about it. Loudly and at great length. Thus perpetuating the "cranky vegan asshole" stereotype. No thank you. Option B would be to go hungry, have low blood sugar, and both CK & I cranky. Nope, pass. Option C would be to make tons of yummy stuff and bring it with us.

This evening's yoga class had no students show up again, which is a little sad. I'd rushed out of a good-bye party to teach, which was too bad. Who knows if I'll have students for real come July, hope so. It isn't that I count on the money, but it is good practice for me to be teaching.

I went to New Seasons and grabbed a couple of things for the rest of the week then went home. I got the garbanzos going in the pressure cooker while I began chopping carrot & celery sticks, washing dishes, and slicing up some sweet onion. A pasta salad thingy sounded good, but the soba I'd hoped was good was stale (whoops), so I found some gemelli to use instead. Made a dressing with white miso, fresh peanut butter, ginger and a little rice milk so it would be creamier.

I was so in process on also making tofu salad that I finally made myself dish up some of the pasta when it was done and eat! Then a big batch of the tofu salad split in two parts. CK likes extra, extra yellow mustard in hers (I probably still could have put in more). I like a lot of Bubbie's dill relish and a mix of yellow & dijon mustard in mine. Done and delicious!

CK was off at a PHP meeting while I was doing all this mad cooking. There was a part of me that questioned my pleasure at being home alone cooking while CK was out socializing with our peers. Some kind of strange gender role going on? While I finally ate I took a look at this and discarded the thoughts as silly and less than useful. I just like being at home and love cooking healthful food for us.

Little nervous about my 45 minute talk/class on yoga tomorrow evening. Part of me is sure no one will come, that everyone will be off to dinner & beer before I even go to my room. I think part of me is anxious about being at a conference. There's so much going on, so many people, so much stimulation that I feel a bit overwhelmed at times.

I'm going to drive the car down, with our lunch & snack provisions in the morning. We decided it would be good to have the car there in case any urgent errands needed attending to. I am reminding myself that if I get overwhelmed I can always go sit a little zazen in the car!



After my positive experience last autumn making apple preserves and applesauce I'm excited to try out more home preserving this year. I'm really happy that CK is just as excited as I am.

Which is good since our fridge still had over 7 pounds of strawberries in it from the U-pick on Sunday. This evening she made ginger cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance and I washed & stemmed the berries. I was inspired today by an article I saw in the NY Times on preserves which linked me to some good sites.

So the 7+ pounds of berries are now in our freezer. I won't have time to experiment with doing low or no-sugar jam. The berries are so sweet that to add all the sugar called for in my Ball Blue Book of Preserving seems ridiculous. This way they can stay fresh until this weekend when I'll try my hand at some "small batch preserving".

My back aches from standing there cleaning the berries, but I'm excited to try this out. I really have been enjoying learning how to do more of these types of things at home. It feels good that our evenings are spent on making the house and yard better, cooking together, and growing together.