Maybe, if you understand us from round city, you’ll have found that I just lately gave my partner his first haircut since 2002.
We had a pleasant ceremony. Frank had copied, in his candy and slanting longhand, passages from a number of sacred texts: the Hebrew passage during which Samson describes the supply of his energy, the Sanskrit passage during which Prince Rama cuts off his dreadlocks earlier than ascending the throne of his kingdom.
A buddy and I harvested Frank’s dreadlocks with scissors; our youngsters took turns utilizing electrical clippers to buzz away the ultimate remnants. Our children additionally took turns holding his longest locks as much as their chins, remarking on their lengthy, lengthy beards.
His new look was a little bit of a shock. Barring childhood pictures, it was the primary time I’d ever seen him with brief hair. However I used to be surprisingly happy. I assumed he appeared a bit like an astronaut, and informed him so.
Frank requested to see a mirror. Then turned again to me. “Perhaps not an astronaut,” he stated.
“I’m considering,” he stated, eyebrows waggling, “house monkey.”
Our kids laughed and hugged his legs.
Appraising the ceremony afterward, our pricey neighbor Greg remarked that it appeared like a disrobing. Which sounded quite scandalous — we’d completed every part proper in our driveway! — till we realized that the time period “disrobing” would imply one thing very completely different to somebody who was once a monk.
And in a method, the time period match. It felt like a second of transition, a brand new starting.
It’s unusual, serious about what number of probabilities all of us need to re-embark on the journey of our lives. I turned a scientist. I turned a trainer. I turned a father or mother. Twice! As a result of every baby is so completely different, the method of turning into a father or mother for every felt distinct. Halfway by way of the pandemic, Frank helped me embrace a brand new identification as an athlete — I started lifting weights and working every single day. Which, when you’d informed her, childhood me by no means would have believed!
And, just lately, I’ve been attempting to embrace my identification as an artist. I’ve at all times loved making issues, tinkering with meals or yarn or paper collage, shaping small bits of the world with my palms. And but, I’d by no means considered what I used to be doing as artwork. It’s such a small change, utilizing a distinct phrase to consider what I’m doing, and but it feels very completely different.
The best way we eat might be like that, too — a transition that may assist us embrace completely different features of our persona. My mother-in-law, in studying to prepare dinner for household gatherings after her divorce, was constructing her identification as a matriarch, a keystone who holds her folks collectively. And for me, in some methods I turned vegan twice — as soon as once I switched to consuming all plant-based meals, attempting to maintain my actions consistent with my moral beliefs about the best way we deal with the world round us, after which once more once I switched to maintaining a healthy diet plant-based meals, as a substitute of simply Oreo cookies and ramen noodles and different treats which might be simply coincidentally comprised of vegetation.
The recipes we’re sharing at the moment may work properly when you’re trying to make the latter type of transition, embracing the identification of a “wholesome eater” or the like. I do know that most of the recipes we share are for desserts or different treats — particularly my contributions! — however meals like this are what we eat most recurrently, since Frank cooks almost all of our meals. He’s simply much less prone to write issues down than I’m — to get copies of those scrumptious, healthful recipes, I needed to shove index playing cards at his astronaut-looking visage halfway by way of dinner.
Greens with Pecan Meal
Pecan meal is scrumptious, even when Frank purchases it in such amount that the bag almost crushes every part else in our freezer. Search for it marketed as “pecan flour” within the gluten-free part when you’re desirous about smaller packages. In the event you keep away from nuts, substitute extra cornmeal as a replacement, however the pecan meal provides this dish a pleasant hearty heft. The method is one we use usually, particularly with greens that may appear soggy as they’re cooked; cornmeal is especially good in holding summer time squash intact through the cooking course of.
1 small cauliflower, chopped
4 carrots, maybe the flowery colourful ones, peeled & sliced into skinny cash
½ of a large zucchini, sliced into skinny cash then quartered
14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup pecan meal
2 teaspoons desk salt (sodium chloride)
¼ teaspoon potassium chloride, or extra desk salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Add the cauliflower and 1 tablespoon oil to a nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron pan and canopy whereas heating on medium. Stir each couple of minutes.
After 5 minutes, add the carrots, and after 5 extra minutes, add the remaining substances (zucchini, black beans, cornmeal, pecan meal, salt and remaining oil).
Stir properly and uncover, persevering with to prepare dinner on medium for five extra minutes.
Toasty Beet Sticks
This isn’t terribly fancy. But in addition: beets! I at all times overlook how scrumptious they’re.
1 pink beet, peeled and sliced into ½ thick disks then sliced perpendicularly to make ½ thick rectangular prisms
1 golden beet, peeled and sliced the identical method
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dietary yeast
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon floor black pepper
½ teaspoon desk salt
Add the beats and oil to a nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron pan and canopy whereas heating on medium for roughly 20 minutes, stirring each 5 minutes or so (although it’s best to be happy to stir much less usually when you’d choose a couple of edges of the beats to be barely blackened). Take away the lid, season with spices and stir whereas persevering with to prepare dinner for roughly 5 extra minutes.
Crimson Potatoes and White Beans with Tomato
Simple, simple, buttery-tasting and wholesome! This pairs properly with one thing good and inexperienced — maybe sauteed broccoli or a salad, perhaps, besides that our pet rabbit has normally eaten all our lettuce.
8-12 small pink potatoes, lower into quarters
14-ounce can nice northern beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 pretty giant tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sodium chloride
1 tablespoon dietary yeast
½ teaspoon floor black pepper
Add the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of oil to a nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron pan and toast on medium-high for about 2 minutes, stirring usually, then add half a cup of water, cowl, and scale back the warmth to medium.
Permit the potatoes to simmer and soften for about 30 minutes, checking the pan often and including extra water if it begins to look dry. At this level, verify to make certain that the potatoes are delicate sufficient to poke a fork by way of; if not, add extra water and proceed to simmer (and contemplate reducing them into barely smaller items subsequent time!). Then uncover and add the remaining substances (beans, tomatoes, and seasonings).
Stir properly and proceed to simmer, uncovered, for five further minutes.