Today I went to the farmer’s market at Dufferin Grove Park. If you live in Toronto I highly recommend a visit to the park on a Thursday afternoon, it is bustling. I arrived with a friend as the various stalls were being set up, produce unpacked and beautiful displays of bright green leafy vegetables arranged. I only had $12 in my wallet so I knew I had to be choosy. As we walked through I spotted zucchini blossoms, something I’ve been interested in trying for a few years and they are only available for the shortest window of time each year. I even planted a zucchini plant one spring in hopes of blossoms, alas to no avail in my sunny-in-all-the-wrong-places backyard. I’m eager to sauté these up in butter with a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Have you ever tried zucchini blossoms? How did you prepare them? The Kitchn has 5 creative ways, the quesadilla being the most intriguing to me! Nutritionally they are high in vitamin C but this is more of a beauty food to me than a nutritionally dense one.
I also bought some lovely garlic scapes. They are yummy and cheap. I paid $2 for a bunch of fresh, organic scapes. Again, sauté ’em in butter. They have a delicate garlic flavour and like the blossoms, you can only find them for a small window of time. I was curious about the nutritional value of these and was pleasantly surprised. Julie Daniluk, who wrote the linked article, is amazing. I have her cookbook Meals That Heal Inflammation and it’s incredible. I made the brown rice congee consistently when I was sick. What a lovely, healing breakfast to wake up to. Add some greens from the garden and you have a warm, soothing meal that just makes you feel good, like a soup hug.
On another note, I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. I imagine almost anyone after living with cancer or any other kind of trauma would. I’ve reflected over and over what I want to do differently and while some things have already changed in me, others I’m still not clear on. It takes time to be able to figure it all out, to see through the trees and get that feeling, that yes, this is the next step. I’ve learned that over and over.
I have spent an immense amount of time in my life being tough on myself. Even when I was ill, I would have some energy and I’d think “Ok! I’m going to start that blog!” or “I’m going to workout” but the energy would wane before I’d checked off all I wanted to complete. Which then in turn would be a reason for me to feel bad about how little I accomplished. Now when I type that out, it seems silly, but tell me honestly you’ve never done the same thing. This is where I learned and understood the term ‘self love’. It’s where I started to understand it is okay to be kind to yourself and it is okay to do nothing. But, man, it sure doesn’t feel okay all the time.
Now I can honestly say I have gotten waaaay better at doing nothing, letting go of my high expectations of myself and being kind to myself when I’m not able to do all I’d planned and feel better with smaller goals. And you know what? I am beginning to see how much I do do and how much I do accomplish and feel good about those things. There is no rush. In order to feel the joy and excitement and ups and downs of our lives, we need to slow down and stop looking to the finish line but instead really feel each footfall of the process. I steady stream of Pinterest quotes are good reminders for all of us (which is why I’ve included two). So for me as well as you: you are doing a great job, this life ain’t easy but I’m proud of you for showing up.