Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mind-Swimming and Mind-Diving

Things have been pretty crazy 'round here.
Shady Shot of Caramelized Cabbage & Roasted Roots!
I had the first test-run cooking class on April 5th, and the second on May 3rd. Both menus showcased Scottish cuisine, and were a blast to put on. I also hosted a little dinner party on April 13th, between a work trip to Memphis and another to Omaha, and oh- let's not forget that I was in DC for my birthday (April 20th) before jetting out to Italy for a week's vacation.

"A little month," as Hamlet says.

I've been in a state that I call "Mind-Swimming," inspired by the feeling that I am awash in details, projects, and ideas. My mind literally feels like it is navigating water because it is so crowded in there!

Last Saturday though, I had a day of "Mind-Diving," meaning I chose one topic for a "deep dive." I woke up at 4 AM after a dream and decided to jump into some behind-the-scenes blog work that I've been wrestling with (with the happy assistance of friend and blog coach Ethan Waldman of Cloud Coach). It continued until about 5 PM, and I made some good progress.

This swimming/diving metaphor is another way of expressing Emilie's (of Puttylike fame) concept of the Three C's: that there is some technique involved in organizing your time according to the type of activity. Is the activity one of creation, consumption, or connection? This concept sort of blew my mind a few months ago, and I've been using it as a touchstone for getting things done in a way that doesn't burn me out- highly recommended.

Speaking of burnout, while I've been doing all this 'swimming' through ideas, and projects, and research, you may well ask what sustains me? The answer to that, and what gives me confidence that this venture will be a success, is that I keep doing it.

That's right. I'm using the insanity to prove I'm not insane.

Of course, what I mean is that if I didn't enjoy the cooking, hosting, planning, researching, why would I keep doing it? It gives this introvert energy, and that's the secret of following your bliss, folks.

It'll probably change and evolve, since that's what multipotentialites do, and that's okay! I'll be keeping a weather eye on the horizon, a firm hand on the rudder, and I'll adapt.

But for now, this is the hot ticket! :-)

I invited two couples of friends over for this Friday night dinner, and I knew when I did so that it needed to be creative. One of the husbands is a fancy cook. He had also previously commented on there not being enough food at one of my dinners, by which he meant the main dish. Lesson learned in my book, and so I wanted to be a little more impressive this time.
I started with sweet potatoes, as I often do (love this Ode to the Sweet Potato from Tasty Kitchen). I added paprika. I roasted with olive oil and salt.
I bought taco shells and shredded (the horror!) jack cheese, thinking of a potential different recipe, but collapsed them into a topping/stuffing/filling bar instead: with this red cabbage with apples recipe being the long-simmered and aromatic star.
I combined some unusual bedfellows when composing hors d'oeuvres: Saltines, black olive paste, and boquerones (marinated white anchovies).

The boquerones, by the way, were inspired by the tapas at Estadio- also delicious- but bought at Vace, an Italian delicatessen at Cleveland Park, much less expensively. Score!

There were a lot of choices in little bowls around the table, which was a little awkward to pass, but tasted good in the mouth. The husband previously referred to said that it was unusual to offer red cabbage as a taco filling.

Good observation.

We like doing unusual here.

Do try the red cabbage recipe- it's a smash hit, as well as cheap and easy (earning it a place on my next Favorites List). Let me know if you like it, or find good variations, in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I loved the red cabbage in taco too! Thanks Margaret! And ... very good blog post!!