This morning started with laying in bed for an hour trying to convince myself to get up. After a week of vacation, where the only worries were which chips to eat with lunch and which movie to watch next, the to dos and weight of real life have come crashing back down. It’s enough to make me want to stay in bed until noon. Like last week.
I haven’t slept in until noon in years.
I took the week off from everything but cooking and the dishes. I didn’t work, I didn’t workout, I didn’t go to bed early. I needed a mental and physical break. I had our week’s meals planned, so all I had to do was follow along, or just eat the twelve bags of chips that we’d bought.
I’d planned to make Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon on Sunday, to eat while we watched Julie and Julia. It was perfection. Not just the dish, which is always the best meal I’ve ever made, but the movie itself.
It reminded me that I’m passionate about food. That I want more than drudgery, whatever that means. It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday, every week, exhausted race to eat and go to bed so I can do it all again tomorrow. I was reminded that I want more than this.
I don’t know what that looks like. But, I was inspired to figure it out. And then I woke up this morning. A bit depressed, with a headache, not wanting to start the day well, with a workout and some quiet coffee and journaling time.
Vacation is good. It’s necessary. We take lots of breaks throughout the year. We’re not go go go people. We live a slow and meaningful, simple life. But even that feels exhausting after vacation.
I got up. An hour late. I worked out. I wrote this post on my phone while I did. I had coffee and I journaled. I got stuff from the to do list done. I made turkey and white bean chili. But, still, my anxieties remain. I have all these ideas that make me feel like I’m staring into a murky pond at something that might be glimmering at the bottom. It could be a beautiful copper pot (who needs a treasure chest of gold anyways?!), or just a piece of glass that’s gonna cut my foot when I wade in. Will the waters part so I can see before I step? Probably not. It’s that thin line between irresponsibility and faith.
Maybe it’s time to jump.
(Uh, I told you I made chili. Here’s the recipe.)
Turkey and White Bean Chili
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pounds ground turkey
- 1 sweet/Vidalia, or yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups chopped butternut squash (or carrot and squash)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced hot pepper (I’m using cayenne, because I grew it in my garden), ribs and seeds removed (optional – keep for more heat)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 2-14 oz. cans cannellini/white kidney beans, drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- for serving: sour cream, and 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (green part only)
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the turkey, onion, butternut squash, and salt (start with 1 teaspoon). Cook covered until turkey is cooked and veggies have started to soften, about 10-15 minutes (a bit longer if the turkey is still frozen), stirring occasionally. Add garlic, chile, and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. The butternut squash will kinda mash into everything. Good. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cook until beans are heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, 1 Tablespoon of butter, and the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add 1 teaspoon more salt if desired. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of scallions, with a warmed baguette slathered with herb butter.
To make this meal vegan, use vegan butter or just stick with olive oil, replace the meat with 1 ½ pounds of shiitakes or half tempeh and half shiitakes, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, use vegan sour cream.