this week’s kitchen creations 2 // practicing gratefulness


I was thrilled last week when my our local bookstore called me to say that “Sunday Suppers” arrived! I have been looking for this gem for ages. After nerding out over the recipes and photographs before even leaving the store, I scrambled home to start cooking. I decided to make a vegan variation of the challah recipe, a beautiful and braided traditional Jewish bread.


One of my favorite aspects of baking is kneading bread. There is something so therapeutic about the repetitive motions of creating the perfect dough. Bread is such a basic necessity, a great supply of hardy calories, and a total comfort food. The yeasty aroma of rising dough and oven baked bread makes me homesick in a strange way. My mother never made fresh bread at home, yet the act of baking bread reminds me of the comforts of childhood while simultaneously making me giddy at the prospects of our future dream homestead.


Bread is not difficult to make. It only requires a few steps with basic ingredients like flour, yeast, and water. But the total time it necessitates can be hours, depending on rising time. Bread epitomizes the beauty of slow food, the art of slow living. And this delectable treat topped with honey provided the perfect pairing with our morning coffee.


Later in the week, I tackled another of Call Me Cupcake’s cake recipes. This time, the clementine cake. Due to the absence of clementines at our local grocery store, I opted for mandarin oranges instead. The cake’s main component is almond meal, which was a great use of our bulging stores of almond meal leftover from making almond milk. The icing was simply mandarin orange juice mixed with powdered sugar, and the candied mandarin slices on top added a punch of color.


The afternoon light filtering through the balcony windows was too good to pass up today. The remnants of last weeks florals are still bursting with color. After a long day at work, nothing beats fresh flowers, hot tea, and a good book. Trying to practice gratefulness today, as this week lent many long call days but also the first day off Whitney and I had together in ages. The day was filled with attempts to clean up our hurricane of a mess apartment, finally buying bikes so I can naively try to bike to work, and simply sharing little moments. Sleeping in, breakfast in bed, sharing all three meals together in one day, and afternoon bike rides. I felt so rejuvenated after a single day with the one I love. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and although we live under the same roof, our time both occupying the same space is minuscule. Through this battle of a year, I find myself foreboding, worrying about wasted time together since there is such a lack of it. I let the stress and frustration of the day pervade happy moments at home, projecting pent up emotions from work onto my partner, tarnishing our precious time with undo sentiments. A constant challenge presents itself daily: cherish simple moments, live in the present, practice gratefulness.


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