Yesterday afternoon upon checking the mail I discovered a single purple flower on our orchid that we keep out front. For the greater part of a year the plant appeared dormant, until last week when my mother noticed several buds. We endured many rainstorms on Saint Patrick’s Day– I wonder if the misty air helped coax the blossom into being? Whenever I walk outside I remember to look at the perseverant flower, an homage to the warmer days ahead.
Also last week, my mother bought me two handcrafted soaps from the local maker downtown. A small gesture this may seem to many, and yet she has truly brightened my moments spent at the sink each day. One bar smells clean and lemony, while the other, named “The Beach,” actually does transport me to those days I would spend by the ocean with my family. This particular soap smells of suntan lotion, hot sand, the sun at zenith, damp seaweed and salt.
Last night I rinsed two cups of lentils (the remaining of our belugas and the rest green) and boiled them until soft. Following Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup, I then added them to a pot of translucent diced sweet onion, toasted cumin seeds, fire roasted tomatoes, water, and a pinch of chili powder. After a short while cooking together, I added in a whole head of chopped kale and topped our bowls of soup off with some nuggets of pan-fried butternut squash. We also ate a mixed greens salad with slices of fennel and apple in a simple French vinaigrette.
The kitchen is a space of comfort for me; I find a deep sense of peace there, in part because my motions can become methodical and my mind can wander. A good recipe is a story I become lost in; a good meal one where the flavors somehow transport me. In this way I experience the world, and explore the one that exists within myself.