♦ Attachment…Not Such a Bad Thing

Dear Shaina,

Although I admire your efforts to waste nothing (you got that from Bubbe and me), I must admit I was a little overwhelmed (horrified) by the remnants of all those little bits and pieces strewn about in the most unlikely places throughout your house (maybe a few traits from your father’s side, too). Packing up a life, even under the best conditions, is a messy dirty process and yours ranked right up there. As far as getting everything into the car…was there a choice?!

You thought you could put all your stuff in a few bags, plus your backpack and carry-on luggage for India, and hop on the bus to New York and somehow get to New Jersey to store your stuff and then take off for India…all by yourself.  No wonder you felt calm…you were delusional!!  I could say, you owe me, but in truth, we will be leaving you with enough stuff (we are all so attached to our STUFF) to make up for all the packing I could possibly do for you.  Know that you have my full permission to dispose of all of our junk, when the time comes, in whatever way you want!  In the meantime, I am inspired to do some cleaning out…for your sake.

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So here I sit…left with a super-high-end, not so clean blender, some exotic teas and a plastic container full of pungent spices, about all of which I am clueless.  I will touch them, smell them, gaze upon them and maybe even use them…just to feel your presence as you move further away on this leg of your life’s journey. I will watch anxiously for your infrequently meted out emails designed to assure me of your existence as opposed to inform me of the intricacies of your very foreign life. You are ever-present and notably absent from my days.

IMG_0825My world does revolve around you (parents of only children also process things differently). I am attached!  And despite my attachment, I am proud of you and honored to be the packer, schlepper and guardian of your material attachments.They are the promise that I will be reconnecting with you before I even get a chance to clean out my own closet.

Dad just returned from his week-long ski trip. We have been traveling in different directions for the past month. I’m not quite the same without him…a little lost, less motivated and a bit restless… even slightly disoriented. It wasn’t that I stopped living…I exercised and played mahjong and watered the plants and went out with friends and did the laundry…all the while enduring a sort of fuzziness around the edges of my being.

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Home Again!

We’re both finally back at home, together.  I went to yoga, he watered the plants, I made breakfast, he went through the mail, I did the laundry, he built a fire…and we sit together in the living room, taking in the misty fog outside, as he reads and I write.  My fuzziness has faded. It seems a bit retro to admit that the fullness and clarity in my life is so dependent on the daily presence of the man I live with. It’s a little scary, too. I am clearly attached. And, it’s really not such a bad thing…

Where are you anyway?  We want to hear from you. We miss you!  After all, we are very attached!

Love,
Mom
xoxoxoxooxooxoxoxoxoxoox

P.S. I haven’t done much cooking lately, but I did prepare a few comfort foods to get us through these rainy dreary days. All recipes are vegetarian and gluten free to accommodate the needs of friends, but everyone seems to like them anyway.

Mock Chopped Liver:


This makes a great vegetarian, gluten free appetizer served with crackers, chips, carrots, sugar snap peas or any veggie you like.
Very easy to prepare in a food processor.  Makes about 4 cups.

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  • 1 small raw onion
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • 3  14.5 ounce cans of cut green beans well drained
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients, in the order listed, into the large chopping bowl of a food processor using the chopping blade.

Pulse until all the ingredients are chopped and blended together.

Continue processing for another 30 seconds or more until the mixture is a smooth but still slightly grainy in consistency.

Add plenty of salt and pepper to taste.

May be garnished with chopped hard boiled egg, olives or parsley.

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Easy Split Pea Soup:
This hearty and healthy soup is great on cold winter nights, even in Birmingham, Alabama.

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  • 2 – 3 cups dried green or yellow split peas
  • 6 -8 cups Vegetarian broth or water mixed with soup powder or  bouillon
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 3-4 stalks of celery with leaves
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tblsp fresh basil or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 apple peeled and cut in small pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp (or more) cumin (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse split peas and put in a large pot with 6 cups of broth or water with bouillon, soup mix or any other soup flavoring.

Bring to a boil and simmer peas while preparing vegetables. Stir occasionally.

Put onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a food processor and chop into small pieces.  They don’t need to be pulverized.

Throw chopped vegetables into the partially cooked peas and continue to cook on a low flame stirring occasionally.

Add chopped apple and continue cooking on a low flame until all ingredients are tender (about 30-40 minutes).

Add spices, salt and pepper to taste.

When vegetables cooked through, blend in the pot with a stick immersion blender.

Add water and adjust spices if soup is too thick.

Options:
3-4 Tblsp of white wine or red wine wine vinegar can be added if you like.
To vary the flavor, try adding Indian spices to the mix.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, parsley, or dill.

The kind of day to stay home and make soup...

The kind of day to stay home and make soup and cookies…

 

Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Raisin Cookies:

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

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  • ¼  cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup regular sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tblsp vanilla
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup Chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
  • ½ cup raisins or currants

Mix sugar, brown sugar and butter together.

Add eggs, vanilla and baking soda and mix well.

Mix in peanut butter & oats.

Add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and raisins.

Mix everything together.

Place 1 inch flattened balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) about 2 inches apart

Bake for 12 minutes

Enjoy!

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