After a week of travelling and eating in restaurants, a simple salad at home is exactly what I needed. I just love these power bowls. They’re so nutritious and filling, and easy to make. This one with mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, cucumber, hemp seeds, pepita seeds green onion, hummus and yogurt dressing with dill, honey and lemon juice. It’s a good way to clean out the fridge, no?
I’m sitting here looking out at the millions of diamonds floating on the harbour and I’m filled with contentedness. I don’t know what that has to do with this post, but it seemed like a good way to start it. We’ve just finished our weekly brunch of frittata – this time with purple kale, asparagus and tomato and accompanied by couple of slices of nitrate-free bacon. I don’t know what that has to do with this post either, but it certainly reflects my rather limited perspective of the last month and a half. Cooking, was, I suppose, my way of coping; it felt productive and healthy and financially responsible. Back when I was a single mother going to university, I could stretch a grocery budget like nobody’s business.
One would think that when one is suddenly laid off from her job, she’d find all kinds of time to go to the gym, write a first draft of a novel, while away hours creating dolls and collaging and all the other things that stimulate her creative self. Most certainly she’d find time to blog. What really happened was she went into some sort of shock.
Not that it was a surprise. Most of my office had been laid off in the months before I was. My company’s industry had gone into a holding pattern and one by one, engineers began to go and then supporting staff. And then the business development group was dismantled too. One by one, ending with, I’ve heard, my boss, its director. I guess things are pretty bad when business development isn’t seen as useful anymore. It’s a giant company – our industry was a small part of it and they’d focus their pursuits in more profitable areas. Fortunately for me, my career isn’t centred on any one industry; I can write proposals for any kind of company and I have done so in a number of realms.
So the shock that wasn’t really a shock sent me into finding employment mode. I didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted to find another job. And I did. Lucky me – proposal writers are needed everywhere these days. I started with a new company last week and the fit seems great.
But for five weeks my alarm clock was retired and I wore yoga pants every day and I revised my resume. And I tried new recipes. Food was comfort and my creative output. Likely it was a way to divert from the shock of the sudden retreat from the work world. North of that harbour I see from the vantage point of my sofa, the work world went on without me. Suits hopped off streetcars, blank faces filled the subway cars, couriers delivered packages and crews tore apart roads. I made soup.
Food might also have something to do with the other big change in the wind. After I was laid off, Ceri and I talked and it seemed like a good time to go forward with us and move in together. It occurred to me that I haven’t shared a home with a man in more than twenty years. But that’s not entirely true. Ceri and I have lived together, either at my place or his, every weekend for almost a year and a half. We have dinner together every Wednesday. It’s time. There is no need to be paying for two residences. Or be apart. Before Ceri I never knew a relationship could be so consistently pleasant and uncomplicated. Cooking for us and our family is an extension of our relationship.
I haven’t moved over to his place yet, that comes next month. We’re really excited about the challenge of merging stuff and making a home together. The Co-Habitation Project has given me new ideas about my blog space too, and I expect its documentation will be part of some needed change here.
In the meantime I am adjusting to the big changes. I love change – in many ways I have always lived for it. But as I discovered during the last time of major change in my life - when I sold my home and quit my job and took a big trip then relocated to another part of the province – big change causes system shock. But today as I look out at the diamonds floating on the lake and contemplate a different beautiful view out a different window, I feel grateful that the shock is giving way to living back in the world. And knowing that I have the capacity to keep putting one foot in front of the other, having trust in that the road that unfolds beneath them is the right one.
I think egg strata is one of the best inventions; any combination of whatever's in the fridge can turn into the most satisfying brunch and provides for nutritious leftovers for lunch in the work week. Most recipes will tell you to assemble it the night before to let the egg and bread become one. I never think that far in advance.
This dish makes my main man very happy and that enhances the pleasure of putting the lovely thing together on a lazy weekend morn.
In advance of the upcoming roadtrip – first to a cousin's wedding in Michigan, and then up to the cottage – Carly, Kelsey and I went and got our toes/fingernails prettified and then shared one of our "throw together" light summer snacky meals and some roadtrip strategizing.
I am officially on vacation for a week and a half. It hasn't sunk in.
Winter came back today, and considering the -10°C temps, what does one do? Eat! After Saturday breakfast of scrambled eggs, peameal bacon, toast and fruit, I made a double batch of baked quinoa patties.
Later we went to Mia's for an outstanding meal of Pad Thai and Gado Gado salad (hers inspired by Bamboo, a locally famous restaurant that once lived on Queen Street West). I didn't think to take a picture of it (only thought of diving in), so you're just going to have to imagine how good it was.
Kelsey, Mom, Ceri and Sherrill for dinner tonight. Got to the end of dinner and thought, "I don't have a picture for today! That there was roasted vegetable pizza and salad. Yes, it was delicious.
After the excess of the holiday season, I've been craving simple, and turned to the same dinner the past two nights running.
I know you're jealous.
As discussed in my previous post, my family and I attended the South Baymouth Canada Day celebrations this past weekend. We always anticipate this world class parade on that gentle jewel of an island sitting in Lake Huron in the middle of Ontario.