A friend of ours lost her husband on Friday. I spent most of Mother's Day weekend in a haze of disbelief. Living our day to day lives, with our overwhelmingly hectic schedules, we easily forget how fragile life is; how what should be our allotted time here isn't exactly guaranteed. After hearing the news, I desperately felt the need to latch on to my family and never let them go. If I could somehow mange to not part with them ever, then I could keep them both safe and out of harm's way always. Everything would be Ok as long as I held on tight for dear life. In the days since, I've slowly been stepping back, remembering that the beauty of now must always overpower the worry of what might be. A part of me is looking forward to being distracted by the day to day again. Not because I take this life for granted, but because I know that the distraction means that the hurt has been lifted from our hearts and that we are in the process of healing. I look forward to my friend and her young son finding the distraction, too.
I wasn't going to post this week, but I am a firm believer that food helps to heal even the most shattered of hearts. Of course, a pot of soup won't erase the tremendous void we feel when we lose the ones we love the most, but keeping ourselves nourished is important in fighting the uphill battle that is loss. Food helps bring us closer to others when they or we need it the most, and it is usually eternally tied to some of our fondest memories. Food is one of the few things we all share that aides us to persevere in more ways than one.
Red Lentil and Vegetable Curry Stew
1 large shallot, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 c. of sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced
1 tsp. of curry powder
1 c. of red lentils
1 1/2 c. of chopped potatoes (any variety)
1/2 c. of strained tomatoes
7 c. of chicken or veggie broth
small bunch of whole cilantro stems
2 large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
salt + pepper
Sauté your shallot, carrots, and mushrooms in some oil until they just start to caramelize. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for another minute. Pour in the broth, along with the lentils, potatoes, strained tomatoes, and cilantro stems. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, partially covered. Stir occasionally until the lentils are soft and cooked through (roughly 30-40 minutes). Remove and discard your cilantro stems. Add your chopped spinach and continue simmering until the spinach is wilted (roughly 3-5 minutes). Season to taste and serve.