When I left my job, I said I was going to go and be a hippie mom. I didn’t say I was doing it on purpose, just that was what I was going to do. To that end I have
- made a lot of granola (and discovered it is easier to use a deep pan and a silpat)
- tried to make yogurt (and temporarily given up)
- made and eaten a lot of yeast wheat bread (the physics of pita are remarkable)
- started a bunch of fires in a galvanized tub in the backyard (and cooked meals over same)
- built two concrete raised beds (which was really difficult)
- planted them with seeds (some of which actually germinated)
- dug up several of my flower beds.
I’ve heard that digging in dirt actually alleviates depression, beyond the favorable benefits associated with physical labor. Whether there’s something about dirt and the elements in soil is true, it makes sense. It gives me a sense of accomplishment in any event. Every day I go out and fuss over my peas and kale. I thin out the kale and collards and give the sprouts to my 3 year old who says “I LOVE KALE”. I have basil and tomatoes in varying stages of growth and have even planted flowers. I’ve had relatively poor success over the years planting flowers, but I’ve started forget-me-nots in a pot and they actually seem to be growing. All of this gives me a sense of basic satisfaction.
Then there’s the random Martha Stewart stuff.
Years ago I had a lover whose family did a traditional American upper middle class Easter (lamb cake, mimosas with Easter brunch, flowers) and his mother made cookie bird nests in several flavors. The nice china, nice manners and lovely food always made me feel as though I had stepped into a magic world. So when I realized I could make birds nests of my own, I was particularly pleased.