Tag Archives: cooking

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 13–A Good Meal

Today was one of those days at work where I logged a solid 12-13 hours. Typically when I pull a long day like this, the last thing I want to do is come home and cook a meal for myself. Usually I’d be way too tired to motivate myself and end up eating a bowl of Fage greek yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter and some granola and call it good. But because one of my colleagues is here visiting from Boston, I was motivated to whip up a meal for us so we could sit and chat over a bite to eat and a beer.

Today I am grateful for her company, her perspective and the hearty meal that brought us together around my dinner table. Sharing a meal with someone is a very personal experience, especially if it is one you’ve cooked yourselves. I appreciate the opportunity for connection that cooking a meal with someone invites. Moreover, I appreciate the blessing of a full stomach–something that should never be taken for granted.

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Attitude of Gratitude — Day 9 : Wine

There is nothing quite so appealing as coming home after a long day and having a nice class of wine. Today, I bought new glasses to enjoy my wine in and I am so thoroughly happy to slowly sip a glass…or two… with my dinner.

I. Love. Wine.

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Why?

Because it makes me feel like a grown up.

Because it reminds me of cooking with my best friend.

AND

Because wine is so French, and I love everything French.

So, today, though it’s a little (wine and)cheesy, I am grateful for wine and for the time to un(wine)d.

And for really bad, tipsy puns.

Cheers,

Lizzie

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Attitude of Gratitude — Day 8 : Taking the Time, Savoring the Moment

When I cook myself dinner I usually tend to want the whole meal to miraculously appear before me so I can get my eat on as fast as possible. As a result of my impatience,  I cut corners and toss a whole bunch of vegetables into some oil on the wok, mix in some spices and stir.  The end result is a mildly satisfactory meal, as the zucchini usually over cook or the garlic burns from having to sit on the heat long enough for the squash to soften. Tonight, however, as I cooked, I reflected on a valuable lesson I’ve been learning this year — take your time.

I thought back to a few moments in my life where I was encouraged to take my time. One of them was a day of mindfulness at Thich Nhat Hahn’s Blue Cliff Monastery in New York, the other was my journey along the Camino de Santiago. At the monastery we took our meals in silence, chewing our food slowly, enjoying every bite, savoring every flavor, and reflecting on the hard work and the chain of people it took to get that food onto our plates. A meal that I could have eaten in a few minutes took over an hour. The satisfaction that I got out of every bite was tripled, and I realized how full I became half way through a typical portion. I then thought back to the Camino, where everything from your physical being to your mental and emotional state crucially depended on your slow stride. I specifically remember one evening on the trail that I spent sleeping in a small church called San Nicolas. One of my fellow pilgrims offered up some advice in a form of a song from the musical Brother Sun, Sister Moon. He sang,

If you want your dream to be
Take your time, go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Heartfelt work grows purely
If you want to live life free
Take your time, go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Heartfelt work grows purely

I try to remember these lyrics when I catch myself rushing through things, and seeking  immediate results. I was reminded today, as I slowed myself down and took the time to brown my tofu and cook each vegetable properly, that each moment is a moment worth savoring. And that doing things slowly allows us to be fully present through the action. Not only does it enhance our over all satisfaction, but it also makes the end result more enjoyable as well. The practice of being present is difficult, and I, like many, have a tendency to want the quick route to perfection specifically with relationships, food, body image, work etc.

Thus, today I am grateful to myself for slowing down when my reflex was to speed up. I’m grateful to the beautiful meal that I enjoyed as a result, and I’m also grateful to all the people in my life who have encouraged me to challenge our societies norm regarding perfection and quick results. I will try to incorporate this value into my daily life as much as possible by practicing presence and gratitude for each beautiful moment.

In the words of Tich Nhat Hahn,

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

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