I’m in full-blown recipe-testing mode for the second YumUniverse book these next few weeks. The clock. is. officially. ticking.
Elephant-sized anxiety bullies and shouts that I actually should be in the kitchen right now instead of writing this post, but—deep breath—instead, I woke up this morning, put my running shoes on, ignored the you-only-have-30-days-left-and-73-recipes-left-to-test-what-the-hell-are-you-doing-get-your-butt-into-the-kitchen voice and just walked away from the house.
Sometimes, you just have to walk away.
(Come play: I’m on snapchat sharing moments @YumUniverse)
I’ve been pretty honest with myself this past year, and it stings my pride to say so, but I can get pretty manic when I’m working on a project. It’s not all “great work ethic” as I’ve told myself for, gulp, decades now, it’s mostly, “if I just get this done, and do this one thing, then it will all finally come together,” or “I’ll feel even happier,” or “I could get YumUniverse rolling enough where I don’t have to take on as much freelance design work.”
That kind of self-talk is a cyclical trap that I fall in all the time—it’s easy to do—it’s my go-to mix tape.
Putting my running shoes on, walking past the pull of my computer, and just heading for the trail is hard. But I have to, because I’m not going to repeat the same self-care mistakes I made when writing book #1. I want to feel good during this process. I want to be present, not in a manic haze of checklists, anxiety, and a mountain of dishes (well the latter is still there, but I’m at least dancing to spotify this time, and soothing my chapped hands with this lovely rose hand cream I treated myself to).
And the fact is, when I can pull myself away from my old pal myopic-toxic-emotion that comes with pressure, I can see clearly that I GET TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK.
This is something to feel proud of.
Something to be grateful for.
Something to be a part of and hello, witness this go-round. I simply want to enjoy it, because if I do, that good mojo will ultimately translate to book two, and hopefully reach YU. No meltdowns (well, not as many ;), no nerve damage from sitting for months on end, no more overdoing it. Practice what I preach no matter how hard it may be. Oh yeah, and make space for the down moments, too. Just see them this time… don’t ignore them or throw a party for them.
These past few years I’ve been hearing myself say “I’m so burned out” and “I’m tired” more than I care to admit. Even as it comes out of my mouth I want to roll my eyes at myself. I don’t even want to type it because I’m making an effort to step out of that storyline and into creating another for myself. It’s time.
If I feel that I need to say “I’m tired,” I need to stop and rest.
If I am feeling “burned out,” I need to take an epsom salt bath or go sit on the deck and listen to the birds without my phone.
Instead of indulging in complaints, I’m going to use these normal feelings as cues that I need to shift things. I’m not letting them dominate my self talk anymore. If I’m not sleeping well, or I’m waking up at 2 a.m. with the stress-induced eyes-wide-open moment, the next morning I need to listen to podcasts like One Part Podcast because it just feels like time spent with like-minded girlfriends over margaritas. Do something that’s comforting instead of pouring fuel on the manic fire.
Here are the facts:
1. It will get done. It always does.
2. Saying “yes” to the dinner parties, events, trips, and time outdoors (shut up but-you-don’t-have-time naysaying voice) gives you the strength and inspiration to take on big deadlines with grace and calm.
3. Time with friends, even podcast ones, is the best medicine.
A few weeks ago, I went to Chicago to see some family (happy birthday nephews!) and hang with my dear pals. (Yeah, I had intentions to post this then, but it didn’t happen, and I’m not going to beat myself up for it.)
I also got to housesit for my spirit-sister, Marta, who has a home loaded with greenery, sunshine…
…memories, happy moments, and simply, love.
She left me a tin of some beautiful Earl Grey tea from a recent trip to London (the girl is a traveling fool), so I decided to make her a treat she could come home to with it. Ice cream!
It’s an easy one you can make with an ice-cream maker, or without. And if you don’t use honey, feel free to use equal amounts of any natural, unrefined sweetener you prefer. I dig the honey because it’s like a mug of tea in ice cream form.
1 can coconut milk (full fat, because you want creaminess)
2 teaspoons Earl Grey tea, ground to powder in a coffee or spice grinder
“Caviar” seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon navel orange zest
2 teaspoons navel orange juice
1/4 cup raw honey
A few things to keep in mind:
1. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just freeze the mixture, thaw and enjoy—the texture may be a bit more dense, but the flavor is all there. Try aerating it with an additional 5 minutes in the blender to create a more fluffy texture before freezing.
2. You want the tea to be ground into a powder, so pre-blending, use a coffee, spice grinder, or high-powered blender to make it dusty. Or blend the heck out of it with the other ingredients in a high-powered blender.
3. If you use a vanilla bean: here’s how to open it.
Let’s get started.
1. Grab an orange, zest it, and juice it.
2. Place all ingredients together in a high-powered blender and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
3. Chill in the fridge for 2–3 hours and process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze again if necessary for 1–2 hours (sometimes the ice-cream-maker bowl is cold enough to render your mix ice cream asap, sometimes it’s more soft serve like). Thaw to scoopable consistency and enjoy.
4. No ice cream maker? Just freeze the mixture, enjoy, and share this recipe with a friend.
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Ok. Now that I’ve spend some time in nature this morning, and with YU, I feel GREAT. On to the kitchen to test some recipes for the book!
Keep me company. What projects are you working on these days? Any tips to share? Comment below with any gems…