Food Recharge

Lately I've miscalculated, believing I was keeping pace, balancing carefully between overextending and chilling. I haven't felt particularly stressed, but there exists an undercurrent of always knowing there's something to do, something to get done, something in a pile that is calling me. When I get too close to the edge of canceling everything, I simply start to cancel a little here and there. And today, after a day that felt like it took extra energy to finish, I am thankful to come home and blare music as loud as I want and escape, instead of my original plan to go see a free screening of a film with a friend.

And those who know me know what point I must be at to pass on a film,. Today, I'm close to that point where the only way I can recharge is to retreat. I usually am energized by people, by lots of socializing, by plenty of stimuli. When I get tired, though, I get tired. My days are usually filled with needing to put forth just that extra bit of energy students need since we're at Week 9 in the semester. They need a break, and the semester says no break for five more weeks (the long haul of fall). So, it's up to me to summon my inner cheerleader, my pogo stick, and my energizer bunny, even though I too long for a break. Most days I'm good, full of extra, but some days, like today, I am lagging, tired.

Fortunately, it doesn't take much for me to recharge. Food nurtures and when I cook, even if it's only for myself, it is a nurturing act to pay attention to its powers. Our house never lacks for something to combine into a meal, even if unplanned. On my drive home, I believed I was coming home to defrosted tofu, planning for some spicy baked tofu, accompanied with whatever I wanted to invent with the variety of leftover roasted vegetables and raw vegetables. Instead, though, I came home to still solidly frozen tofu. After a brief rummage in the freezer to retrieve the frozen uncooked shrimp, I started to play with food possibilities.

It is in the play that my day is forgotten. I am on the hunt, sorting through the randomness of my refrigerator, pantry, and counter, pondering combinations. I know I want the clean taste of fresh food, not overcooked. I know I want a bit of contrasts of texture. I know I want a little zing. I decide on  greens (kale and spinach) sauteed in olive oil with garlic, onions, Anaheim pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon. The leftover roast potatoes I spruce up with a quick broil to crisp. Playing with the food, creating from random ingredients, always invigorates me, at least enough to write a bit, to answer some emails, to think beyond my day. 

Seriously Dorothy--there's no place like food.


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