April 26, 2009

I have no recipe today. In fact, I haven't been cooking much lately. Not that I haven't been eating, but I wasn't enjoying it.

Although I announced my engagement in my last post, and I thank you for you kind thoughts and congratulations, I've been walking a tough road since then. One with much thought, introspection and examining of my life, past, current, and future.

I realized that I wasn't happy, and that I can't try to take another big step forward without remedying that. I can't bind my life to another's until I my life is what I want it to be, and then to know that the Trainer and I can still make it work.

There are certain things that I cannot change, we simply cannot afford to get our own place, even the tiniest of holes in the wall, and the Trainer won't leave his family, his mother most importantly, with the additional financial obligation of paying for the apartment without us.

Other things I can change. I came to New York to be an artist and I realized that I've been trapped in a hamster wheel of a desk job, my butt stuck to a chair and my eyes glued to a computer screen, only seeing people who aggravate me on a good day and drive me absolutely up a wall on a bad day. I haven't created an honest to goodness piece of art in over a year. That must change. I have signed up for a glass art course and I am going to be taking back time for my myself and my art.

I grew up hiking, camping and cave exploring with my parents, instilled with a love and respect for the natural world. Before the Trainer all my serious relationships were with other cavers, and caving, hiking and camping was never and issue, just something we did. I haven't hiked in 3 years. That is due, in part, to my own illness and the long road that led me to discovering my celiac disease and later to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Now that my stomach and internal organs all seem to be in working order, and my skin is no longer my enemy, I feel that I can venture away from 'home' for more extended periods of time. I woke with a start in the middle of the night and wondered what would happen if I never went hiking again. Not a prospect I relish, I must admit. And so, I must find a join a hiking group and really reconnect with nature. This will nurture my soul and my art.

For days I worried how these changes would affect my relationship with the Trainer. I made myself sick with it. I know it is highly unlikely that the Trainer will go hiking with me, and we're used to doing just about everything together. I wonder how he will react to not having me home on the weekends, when I will be out side or in the studio. After I upset myself with all the things that I thought could go wrong I finally had to present my concerns to him, he could tell I was unhappy. And all he said was "take care of yourself, you support me and you know I support you in anything you choose to do."

Such simple words, a smile, a hug and a kiss and a huge weight was lifted from my heart. It remains to be seen how this will work in reality, but I am happier than I have been in a long time.

Heather has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award but I'm going to wait until I have my feet under me again before I list the seven things I love.

I'm still here, I'm still cooking and I will be creating again.

See you soon!

April 3, 2009

simple cracked pepper pollock

One Sunday when we were in Michigan, yes, it has taken me this long to post this, the Trainer and I had to leave early in the afternoon. First thing in the morning Mom and I took him to see our local Whole Foods Market. After breakfast we were all sitting at the kitchen and Dad asked the Trainer: how would you like to do a little manual labor? So while I fretted over the taxes the Trainer learned how to rake a yard.

After he finished we packed up the few things we brought and made this pollock, using the simple recipe from the guy at the Whole Foods fish counter. We ate and I went upstairs to brush my teeth and do a sweep off the guest room and bathroom to make sure we weren't leaving anything behind. I heard voices from the top of the stairs so I waited until they stopped before going back down. A few minutes later I walked into the kitchen and the Trainer said: Mija, your parents have given us their permission to get married.

I was smiling so big as I hugged first Mom, and then Dad, and then the Trainer. I'm not a crier, but I have to admit there were tears. Then it was time to leave. At the airport Mom asked if it was official, and I was still so happy and surprised I could barely say anything.Later, after our return, I was able to pull myself together enough to confirm that, yes, we are engaged.

Cracked Pepper Pollock
2 pollock fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
fresh dill

Preheat oven to 425 F. Arrange pollock on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over fish and top with fresh dill. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with a spritz of lemon juice.