Frustration and Growth

I am used to our food coming out somewhere between mildly and wildly awesome. The past two weeks I made something that was more on the "eh-it's-okay to truly-not-good" spectrum. If you don't know which preparations I am talking about, then bless you my child. However I know, and those of you who were bold enough to complain, you know that I know that you know. So my first reaction was to do something that I have seen my son do many times - throw my cooking spoons on the floor, stamp my foot, and say "I quit!" How is that for empathy? All of a sudden I had deep understanding and compassion for his frustration at the continuous imperfection that comes with being a child and having to learn so many new things all at once. And then, after acknowledging my inner temper tantrum of frustration and mortification, my internal parent came out and calmly said "Calm down. Let's look at this. What is the lesson here?" Over the years I have seen that when things don't turn out well in the kitchen, it is on account of being rushed. Could that be the case here? Hecks to the yeah! During the summer I enjoyed helper bliss. I had a steady helper and several interns working with me. Together we started to get to a place where my enthusiastic creativity became a manageable work flow. Then, like the inevitable but ever-heartbreaking end to a summer romance, everyone went home and the magic ended. Funny how that works isn't it? Just when you get into a comfortable rhythm, there is every likelihood of a change arising that forces you to again re-evaluate and adapt. And for those of you like me, who have a lot of resistance to change, there is comfort in knowing that this is how we grow. Change is going to occur whether we opt in or not. We do have choice though in how to handle change. So philosophizing aside, what does this all mean for me and for Govinda's? I took it to mean that it is time to heed the hints from the universe that I have been getting for a while. Govinda's is growing too big for me to keep this cute little solopreneur thing going. I am going to have to hire some serious help, including another chef. I also realize that our limited pick-up times and delivery options are, well, limiting, and that they don't work for all of you. I will be working on addressing that issue too. Please feel free to give me your feedback on preferred times/locations so that I can be better aware of your needs. First things first, though - please send me your good vibes, prayers, recommendations, and/or resumes to bring our kitchen staff up to where it needs to be in order to ensure top-notch quality. On another note, I am very pleased to announce that Govinda's will be catering this wonderful retreat hosted by my good friend Peggy Stella. Peggy is an expert in body movement, equine energy therapy (that's therapy work with horses, not for horses), and the author of A New BMI: Why Body Mind Intelligence Matters More than Body Mass Index. If you are in town and have an interest in meeting and working with a true body advocate, I highly recommend Peggy's workshops. They are on the side of awesome where I aim to be. This Week's Menu: Entree #1 - Green Split Pea & Carrot Dal This dal is so very creamy, so very comforting, so very fall-friendly. I love the way the carrot and ginger flavors blend in with the earthy tones of the split peas. By no means should you plan on getting a cold this week, but if you already had one, I would recommend this dal to be on your healing diet. *GF, soy-free

(photo poorgirleatswell.com)

Entree #2 - Sweet & Sour Lentil Dal I have had this recipe on my wish list for several months now. There is another sweet & sour dal that I have made a couple of times. I love that dal and hesitated to depart from the tried and true. However, I have seen recently that even your tried and true can "fail" sometimes, so why not have an adventure? Plus this recipe calls for dates & pomegranates, the latter of which are finally in season. The combination of these unique fruits creates a dal that is tangy and sweet, with just a touch of spice - kind of like chutney in a main dish. *GF, soy-free

(photo steamingpot.com)

Entree #3 - Zuppa Italiana Lately for some reason, I have been hearing/reading a lot about Turkey & its cuisine. Apparently eating with the seasons and incorporating loads of fresh produce into their meals is a way of life (rather than a new revelation) for the Turkish. Now this Italian-style zuppa has nothing to do with Turkey, except that I thought of this recipe when I was wondering what else I could make that would be fresh and seasonal. This recipe is as nutritional as it is filling; it stars kale, red potatoes, and pinto beans. As an added bonus, it is also kid-approved, meaning that it is one of the few dishes my son will eat more than once. *GF, soy-free

(photo fatfreevegan.com)

Side Dishes: Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup) Wild & Brown Rice Pilaf - $3 (1 cup) Last week when I made the Wild Rice soup, I kept remembering this pilaf recipe. This is a side dish that is just begging to make it onto your Thanksgiving menu. Its heavenly savory flavor is created by the combo of celery, mushrooms, sage, and parsley. Traditional stuffing, you had better watch yourself! *GF, soy-free

Sarah's Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes - $6/lb. My son asked me "Why are these called Sarah's potatoes?" Well, for those of you who are wondering the same thing, it is because this is my friend Sarah's go-to potluck recipe. She has described it to me on several occasions, and being as she is unable to cook for herself right now, I just had to surprise her. Shh! No one tell on me. ;-) *GF, soy-free

(photo paleonewbie.com)

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies - $2 ea. Being all seasonal like, I wanted to make pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts or something. I found several paleo recipes that had promise, but then I saw that they all call for half a dozen eggs or so. No dice. Cookies are more forgiving than muffins when it comes to gluten-free baking anyway, so I decided to start here. Maybe some day when I have more spare time, I can develop that elusive perfect muffin recipe...*GF, soy-free

(photo minimalistbaker.com)

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