Simple Food Taught by Edna Lewis

I know it’s been a while since I have posted. A lot of life has been happening with issues with unexpected house repairs to getting ready to be married one week from today. There is so much emotion and story stored up, it’s hard to put into words. Sometimes silence and time away can make the words richer on the glorious return. It will happen soon after I become Mrs. Braveheart.

In the meantime as I was reading one of my favorite food blogs, Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, Shauna Ahern had posted about her new cookbook, American Classics Reinvented. She had mentioned about Edna Lewis, a Southern cook who celebrated being Southern and celebrated food being grown naturally. Her food was simple without not a lot fuss and rich flavors derived from the land. No processed food, preservatives, or junk food filled the pages of her cookbooks. Shauna posted a link to a documentary about Edna Lewis called Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie. I watched the 20 minute film and began to cry. It is story about her life, her relationship with Scott Peacock, a chef and an admirer who took care of her during the last years of her life. His love for her was very touching and so unusual of a man that he made that sacrifice of his own life out of devotion. It reminded me of my grandmother who is from Louisiana and all of her southern cooking. Wonderful comfort food that filled my little girl belly – collard greens and cornbread, banana pudding, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, seafood gumbo every Christmas eve. She learned to cook as a domestic in her 20s which has brought joy and love to her family over the last 60 years. As an 87-year-old still thriving woman, she still brings food joy to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Food can be wonderfully simple and no fuss. Food is meant to nourish and bring families and people together. I love to cook in order to participate in the building of community. I love to hear people moan and groan and say that my food is delicious. It is so satisfying. I hope to someday leave a legacy of food like Edna Lewis and my grandmother. I would love for my tombstone to say “I helped them to eat well”.





First Time Wife and First Time Home Buyer

Today, the finace and I looked at houses. I went from being a woman who lived in a perpetual state of post-college to now an almost married lady. My life before him consisted of never married no-kids activities like living in an apartment, changing jobs when I got sick of them, jettison off to the Wine Country or New York City for a weekend jaunt with friends. I only had to pay off my bills, eat cheese and crackers for dinner instead of cooking, or eating out a nice restaurants with no concern about spending $30 to $40 for the evening. Budget? What’s a budget I said back then. I justified it by saying I didn’t buy a diamond ring or did a shopping spree. I was living the carefree single life with no commitments or no grown up duties like buying a house. Now, I will be a 44-year-old first time married woman and first time home buyer, about to be stepmother to a 22-year-old and three fur babies.

In the past, I was afraid to buy a house because I knew it locked me into a job and staying in one location. Instead of being relationship phobic, I was house phobic as my commitment issues reared its ugly head. I like the idea of being nomadic, having the freedom to leave as needed. But, with looking at houses in order to buy one before my wedding in July, I have to grow up. No more fantasies about leaving my job or finding a lower paying job. We found a house that we both imagine living there for the rest of our lives, God willing. We moved forward with contracts process, surrendering it to God for the outcome. I reconciled that I had to stay put at my current job despite the stress. For this house would require both incomes. It was hard to accept as I fantasized about either living on one income or working a less stressful but lower paying job. My heart longs for a simple life. But, I will need to find it in my current circumstances. Especially since the nesting domestic side has been emerging ever since we’ve been dating and now engaged. And, part of the side wants a permanent house. What we found today is our home. Home is wherever I am with him. We both see our lives unfolding there as a married couple, someday grandparents, and presently inviting people over and experiencing the warmth of our home. We are praying the contract process goes smoothly so I can move into our house in the next few months and then my fiance will after the honeymoon.

As for work, I’m doing better self-care like drinking a greens packed powder with water daily instead of coffee, going to bed earlier, and listening to positive subliminal messages with soothing music to help my anxiety and stress. I feel much better as I started doing this two weeks ago. I didn’t have to do radical things to find simplicity. I just had to be intentional and slow down. Focusing on what is important and being grateful for the things I have been blessed with.

Simple Pleasure Song for the Day – Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros