When I started working at the place I just left, about four and a half years ago, the hardest thing for me to get used to was sitting. I just sat, tethered to a phone, all day. Yes, I had a couple of breaks, and believe me, I used that time to move around as much as possible, but for the most part I just sat. The reason this was so difficult for me was because I had been unemployed for nine months, during which time I got into wandering around the city when I wasn't begging people to hire me. Before I was laid off, I had a pretty physical job - moving at least every hour to go from this room to that or this house to that school.
Conversely, I got a little too good at sitting over the last four years, and my 3 hours daily of commuting did not help. I got comfortable and besides, sitting so much allowed me to pull off dangerously high heels (which I have consequently forgone in my new position...at least for now). Now? Well, my whole body hurts. I have not had to stand up for 8 hours in a row for....well, probably 15 years, actually. 15 years ago, I worked retail between Black Friday and mid-January, but my body was 15 years younger and able to handle the stress - in heels! Right now, I would love a good massage and a bottle of aspirin.
My new job had a Grand Opening celebration this weekend with all hands on deck from Friday until tonight. Everyone was working the floor, including the President, Marketing Director, and a bunch of other people who usually spend a decent bit of time sitting at their desks. I'm sure at least some of them are hurting, too.
Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say about food. I'm hoping to have some good stories next week so I can convince myself to write more. I'm kind of in this place where I'm re-evaluating Angst Loves Spinach and trying to see what's important and where we're going here. I started the blog in the hopes of developing myself as a creative chef and as an outlet for my love of writing. I do love to write and I have had a ball the last two years doing so, but I've definitely gotten away from the original intention - to create recipes, not just babble about the recipes other people made up and I cooked.
I'd like to flatter myself into believing that at least a few people are reading these words in something akin to horror and thinking, "gee, I hope she's not ending the blog..." If that is going through anyone's mind, let me give a word of comfort - that is not really my intention. Here is what I am hoping for: I am currently adjusting to my new job and my new schedule. Once I am adjusted, once my body finds a new strength so I'm not bone-tired when I get home from work, I will find that I have a ton more time. My goal is to use at least some of that time to become more creative - set goals for myself, force myself to create something at least once a week.
I haven't heard anything (yet) about this year's VeganMoFo (and I truly hope it will occur again this year, but I certainly do not have the time or energy to be one of the initiators/organizers). The last two years, this event has had a considerable influence on my posting and I'm hoping it will re-ignite the fire in my kitchen again this year. I'm fairly certain that I will be up to speed and as comfortable as I'll ever be with my new job by the time it starts, so I want to make a schedule of goals to meet that month, culinarily speaking, so that I can spread my wings and stretch again. I always feel such a sense of accomplishment when I come up with my own recipes, but lately I've been way to tired to do anything but follow someone else's [fabulous] recipe like a little KitchenZombie.
Nevertheless, I will, as I do every week, share the coming week's menu with you (as well as my joy that my new job is only a few short blocks from Trader Joe's, so I'll be stopping there after work tomorrow to pick up supplies):
1. Spanakopita from The Accidental Vegan with roasted fingerling potatoes. I have never made this recipe. I will admit, I'm a little nervous about making this recipe, the way I am always nervous when I try to make something Mister knows from his childhood of good eats made with love by a Greek father or a half-Sicilian mother. My mother-in-law is getting awfully good at making Spanakopita from YiaYia's recipe, under her tutelage, so to go it alone like this is both invigorating and terrifying. You can bet there will be a post the night I make this!
2. Seitan Pepper Steak, also from The Accidental Vegan.
3. Cajun Red Beans and Rice, also from The Accidental Vegan, because I used all of my self-control last week when I made the menu to not include this, since I had another beans-n-rice recipe on there, but this week, This is the beans-n-rice recipe.
4. Coconut Curry Rice from Vegan on the Cheap.
5. Baked Ziti, also from Vegan on the Cheap with sauteed cauliflower and broccoli. This is also a new recipe (I believe - sometimes I space makings so far apart I forgot I made something before!), but when I was looking over the menu, I realized we had a lot of cuisines represented (Greek, Japanese, Cajun/Latina, Indian), but no Italian. If I hadn't come upon this when I did, and if it hadn't looked as easy as it does, we'd have been reprising Isa's Pasta e Fagioli for the 100th time this year.