Monday, March 11, 2013

Meal Planning Mondays: Awareness.


Last week, for the one and only meal I actually managed to prepare, my Lundy girl volunteered to help. We play "Master Chef", and Lily and London really get into being my two "mini chefs". We act very fancy, and can only refer to each other by the title of "chef". Mini chef one, can you please pass me the salt? Mini chef two, please grab the carrots from the fridge. Yes, Master chef! It's really quite silly but the girls fall in line so well, awaiting every instruction and cooking task, that we're going to roll with this while we can.

For this meal, we made Moroccan Turkey Meatballs with Citrus couscous (meal link below). It sounded exotic and interesting, and with a Costco size amount of ground turkey to cook through in the freezer, we needed to get creative.

 Lundy girl...ah hem, i mean Mini Chef...chopped roma tomatoes and helped stir the onions and garlic sauteing on the stove top. The aroma filled the kitchen and soon people began peeping in, asking what was cooking, slowing down to savor the sweet scent of spice wafting through the walkway. London helped to pinch a dash of cinnamon and sprinkle a good helping of sweet paprika over the bubbling sauce, and I explained to her about a faraway place called Morocco on the large continent of Africa. I told her about spices, these rather magical ground powders and small seeds and dried plants that lend variety and excitement to our tastebuds, and how they have been traded all over the world for thousands of years. She raised her eyebrows in amazement, and later when asked at dinner what type of spices she used she replied,

"It's Morocowoni!"

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I've been trying hard to cultivate more awareness lately. To live more consciously and abundantly in the day to day ordinary. I read the most exquisite passage in a book a few weeks ago:

"....we leave the home of the ordinary and take off to explore, becoming ever more hungry for the ineffable truth and sublime mystery of God. Yearning, we move into libraries to read; we travel to places where we expect to find the Truth; we go to churches, synagogues, and mosques to submit, to pray, to learn, to believe. We seek God in the dawn, at the ocean, and between the stars. Our visions of spirituality, our visions of happiness, and our visions of ecstasy pull us forward like the music of a fiddler walking through our town. And if we keep listening to the music, if we don't get distracted by the competing noise, if we keep our vision clear and our heads up, we might at the end of a long and arduous road find the place we were looking for. And...it will be the home where we started--the ordinary secular, and mundane place that we left behind. It will be the bed where we began to dream, the home table where we ate. And the window by which we sat will have a view of the same street. We will come to understand that God was there all along."

Mmmmm, delicious words, yes?

I am in love with this idea of the true sanctity of plain old ordinary-ness.

One of the best parts of raising children is witnessing their thrill over what we would call ordinary things. Emerson squeals with excitement upon the discovery of joining her two hands together and making a clap! Ellie Jane examining a live elephant with wide eyes. Lily learning the properties of addition and subtraction. London sniffing spices from Morocorwoni! 

Like the ultimate little Zen Masters, they model the art of present living.
 I think that is what Christ may have meant when he called us to be like little children

And when I stop in the busyness, all the busyness of life, and take notice: London's small hands clasping the wooden spoon as she stirs intently and watches the onions becoming translucent and pearly. Her knobby knees buckled as she stands firmly on the stool pulled up to the counter. Wispy hairs pulled back into a windswept ponytail--laced with the remaining scent of the oustide, crisp air. At that moment, she has not a care in the world, not a worry or a taxing thought or anything to cause her hurry. It's just her, her Mama, and onions freckled with paprika. She is content. I kiss her squishy cheek, the best squishy cheek in the whole-est widest freakin' worldest. We talk about small things and I'm there. I'm there. I'm with her and for a moment, there is nothing even remotely ordinary about this life, or this dinner hour.

So on that note, I'm off to cook for my family.


Happy {conscious} Meal Planning! 

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{later, may i suggest you wash all that Moroccan goodness down with a little good home Texas lovin' cake with a glass o' milk. Yeeeeeeee haw!}









1 comment:

Heather said...

Um, I love this so much.