Monday, March 12, 2012

Life is Funny That Way

It might have seemed strange that after months of blog silence, I filed two posts in quick succession without any explanation. It was just easier to jump back in if I didn't get myself bogged down in explaining why I haven't been posting. I guess I am a chicken and not a real writer, for if I was not so much the former and more of the latter, I'd have shared more of my last four months.

The not-so-terribly interesting reason is that I've not been cooking much new and exciting. The effort and anxiety associated with low-grade chronic pain, medications and visits to various doctors, sapped my creative juices, my focus and my energy. I have been cooking, but mostly old favorites that I could make in my sleep, which it sometimes seems I'm doing.

While I'm fortunate to be free of anything life-threatening, I am, nonetheless, still not myself. However, while I can't control my muscles and nerves, and the unwanted side effects of the various medications I am given, I decided that it is more than time for me to better control my attitude. Not so easy, I find. And so I continue to take a long walk each day, both to remain sane and to increase blood flow at the back of my head, go through the motions of my normal life and try to find my way back to cooking more creatively.

One piece of exciting news that I can report is that Trader Joe's finally signed the Fair Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers so the boycott is off! I am now officially a Trader Joe's shopper once more. We are now replete with dark chocolate covered almonds!

Just the other day, a beautiful sunny, almost 60 degree day, I remembered it's been too long since Maddy and I made Irish soda bread. So, in light of the upcoming St. Patrick's Day, here is my favorite, very easy and relatively healthy recipe. It's from Merrill Stubbs over at food52 and it has a great consistency and flavor. The only change we make is to add 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar after the other dry ingredients. Serve with a very thin skimming of really great butter, some smoked salmon or your favorite jam. It's also delicious with dry cheeses.

Many thanks to Maddy for spending the afternoon making soda bread with me and for her lovely photos!