The Art of Catching Curveballs

Plans. Plans that go smoothly and plans that are thrown to the wind when LIFE happens.

Do you ever have those days filled with curve balls that change your plans? Do you get hit in the head by those unexpected throws? Or catch them with grace? I would love to hear some of your success stories and the things that help you adapt to the unexpected.

Here's my story. Yesterday morning my son was getting ready for a series of playdates that included a trip to the pool with his friends. The problem was that his bathing suit was in the laundry. To me it seemed obvious that he could wear another very bathing suit-like set of shorts and shirt (no one would ever know the difference, really). But no. No, not at all. And again NO!! Now, this whole episode took place before breakfast which automatically equaled low-blood sugar hangriness. By some measure of Divine Grace, I was more patient than usual, realizing we were dealing with 1) low blood sugar and 2) a simple difficulty in switching gears. I could have pulled the accepted bathing suit out of the laundry, and yet, I didn't think that would send the right message - ie. if you scream and stamp loud and long enough, you will get what you want. Instead, I presented an alternative outfit, let him know that if he wanted to swim that outfit was what was available, and calmly went to take my shower (after firmly locking the bathroom door). Then when I was clean and he was calm, I explained that I was giving him an opportunity to practice adapting to change. Since my experience is that at least 90% of my plans are subject to obstacles that require me to adapt said plans, I thought this was a great time to start imparting this lesson to my son. Whether he really appreciated this lesson in personal development or not, he was able to wear the non-preferred bathing suit, and after a little breakfast seemed okay with it. Later, I had a wonderful opportunity to practice my own willingness to adapt with a follow-up ER visit that consisted of "just" needing to draw blood. So simple. I figured it would take 30 - 45 minutes. Good thing my son was having such a long play date with his friends because the experience took a full 3 hours instead. So long plans for writing this newsletter yesterday! So long plans for charting out my next catering menu! So long getting caught up on housework... Hello, "Thank God I keep several books in my backpack"...

Here is my attempt at a graceful catch and re-directing of plans. I had one topic in mind for today's post; however, the newsletter that I was using as a template already had a listing of the last month's kirtan opportunities in it. Sending out notice of my upcoming kirtans (call & response meditational chanting) was on my to-do list anyway, so... here we are. For those of you who are also music fans, the next month's performances are listed below. For those of you who want to skip to the menu, scroll down just a little bit to get to the goodies!

Upcoming Kirtan dates: Friday, July 22nd - 7-9 pm. Heart of Yoga School, 209 Lloyd St. Suite 210, Carrboro. Kirtan and storytelling with Rangadevi, Dani Leah Strauss, Katie Veleta, & Courtney Long. Heart of Yoga is also home to weekly heart-stirring kirtan sessions every single Friday from 7-8 pm. Friday, August 5th ​- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Raleigh (UUFR), 3313 Wade Ave. 7 - 8:30 pm. Kirtan and storytelling with Rangadevi Dasi. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the devotional art of musical mantra chanting, in an intimate and informal setting. Bring your voice, bring your heart, bring a friend! Saturday, August 6th - Triangle Yoga, 930 MLK Blvd., Chapel Hill. At the beginning of 2016, Samadhi set an intention to create a monthly kirtan of our very own. It is amazing what unfolds in life when you take the simple step of setting and writing down an intention. Please come join us for this incredibly fun and lively monthly kirtan. Vegan potluck at 6:30; music, chanting and dancing from 7 - 8:30 pm. Thursday, August 11th - Monthly 2nd Thursday Kirtan Meet-up. 6:30 - 8 pm. Vegan Flava Cafe, 4125 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham. For those who are new to kirtan, kirtan is an uplifting and fun style of meditation set to music. Newcomers welcome! In fact, this meetup is also a wonderful opportunity to get to hear new, local talent take turns at leading the chanting. For more info: emilypenney@gmail.com. Thursday, August 25th - Janmastami, the annual celebration of Krishna's "birthday" out at the New Goloka Krishna temple, 1032 Dimmocks Mill Road, Hillsborough. Festivities will run 5 pm - midnight. Samadhi will be performing around 7 pm. For those of you who love Indian culture, Indian food, or just a fun party, this is an experience not to be missed. An estimated 5000 visitors will attend the festival throughout the night.

This Week's Menu: Entree #1 - Zucchini Kofta in Tomato Coconut Sauce For those of you who are not yet kofta fans, let me tell you that in India, shredded vegetables that are held together with a spiced batter of chickpea flour and then deep-fried to golden yumminess, are called kofta. But wait! The deliciousness does not stop there! These savory little balls are then soaked in a spiced tomato-coconut milk base before serving. Without exception, these kofta are our #1 most requested entree. Once you try them, you will see why! *GF, soy-free

(photo journeykitchen.com)

Entree #2 - Bengali Royal Rice This rice is about as fancy as rice can get. Made with a bevy of mouth-watering spices, nuts, raisins, and cubed pan-fried tofu, this rice is complete as a stand-alone meal, though she is also happy when draped over the arm of succulent dishes like kofta. For those of you glycemic index counters who might be wondering, we do make this dish with brown rice. *GF, can be made without tofu upon request

(photo simplevegcooking.com)

Entree #3 - General Tso's Chickpeas This Asian-inspired dish is kind of like a stir-fry with chickpeas, covered in an incredibly flavorful sweet & spicy sauce. It is also an irresistible intro to broccoli for those who are normally squeamish (yes, I discovered that even adults feel this way) about eating little green trees with their meals. *GF, this dish normally runs a little spicy, if you prefer the mild version, let me know when ordering.

(photo yupitsvegan.com)

Side Dishes: Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup) Asian Confetti Slaw with Peanut Dressing - $6/lb. Just as Pushpanna Rice and Kofta have become menu soulmates, this beautiful Asian-style salad has come to be the expected mate of General Tso's chickpeas. It is as flavorful as it is crunchy and fun. The finely shredded veggies, the pops of color and flavor from the edamame and the cilantro, the crunchy flecks of sunflower seeds, it all just looks like confetti for your mouth! One thing you must know is that I am as much a connosueir of fine lines as I am of fine dining. The author of the blog where I found this reicpe compared the appearance of this salad to party confetti, and well, I just couldn't let that metaphor slip by unborrowed. *GF

(photo aspicyperspective.com)

Banana "Creme" Pie - $4/slice, $20/pie. I tried this recipe out for the first time exactly a month ago. I expected that it would be good, since the Minimalist Baker is known for her excellent, well-tested recipes. Let me say, I was unprepared for the level of sheer amazingness that emanated from this pie. First of all, as I said before, the recipe was good. Secondly, my helper, Radha, who is an excellent chef, was following the recipe. That is one reason (one of many) why Radha is an excellent chef - she actually follows recipes. I admit that this is a weak point of mine. I am all about the creative, the new, the inventive, the bending of the recipe... this makes for fun exploration, yet is not so great for consistency. No worries. Radha will be entrusted with the re-creation of this stunning dessert; thus, I can assure you that this mouth-watering, creamy, banana-y Southern throwback of a pie will be safely delivered to your mouth unchanged and unadulterated since Southern vegan cooking began (probably a whole 7 years ago, lol). *GF, soy-free

(photo minimalistbaker.com)

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