Pay Attention: Life Lessons Learned In The Kitchen

“Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

-Mary Oliver

My eleven year old step son, Lukas, helped me make dinner last night, and like always, we solved the world’s problems with our deep and profound conversation. ☺️

Hello Fresh came through again with Firecracker Meatballs. 🔥We needed to change things up for meals. My boys are picky – and the novelty of the meal kits has expanded our recipe rotation.

I am a teacher and in September I was run ragged teaching both face-to-face and online with tons of extra things built into my teaching practice due to Covid. I was exhausted and couldn’t deal with having to plan meals and shop etc. In addition, my husband had to spend 5 weeks 8 hours away training his new work K9 and he was running home each weekend. So farm /household chores he normally did were left on me as well as running my step son to hockey practice up to 3 nights a week for 8 pm ice time. 😳 The meal kits saved me trips to gather groceries and saved my sanity! 😂

We started rating our recipe cards with 5 star ratings (so we know which ones to recreate with the meat and vegetables we raise). Luke gave this one an 8 and my husband John said it was more of a 9.

Lukas thought our rice needed some lime. This recipe didn’t include lime, but other HF recipes do. Of course, our veggie crisper has many limes since I love to cook with citrus. So I taught Lukas about the microplane. (Which I feel is one of the most important kitchen tools we own.)

Lukas is seriously a ray of sunshine. He is a happy-go-lucky kid who appreciates life and is full of hope and wonder.
A recurring question I get on my blog is how to zest citrus. I recommend investing in a good quality microplane. I’ve had this one for YEARS and it still zests like it did on day 1.

Lukas and I discussed how zesting citrus takes advantage of the most important part of the fruit because the essential oils are in the peel. We also discussed how this is true of many other fruits and vegetables. How the tops of carrots, beets, and turnips contain more nutrients than the part most people eat. Though, these truths have been lost on most people for convenience and convention.

We also discussed how these lessons apply to people too. How sometimes our brightest gifts are not obvious on first glance – but they are there – and those that understand and appreciate can help us develop and arrive at our potential.

It is ironic that the convenience of a meal kit brought Lukas and I to the conclusion that we need to continue to embrace the old fashioned in our lives.

In the miracle of creation there are no accidents.

We just have to pay attention. 💚

*Note – One of the things our family insists on is meals around the table. As a teacher it breaks my heart that so many of my students don’t have access to fresh, home cooked meals. Many tell me they microwave up something and head to their room for dinner. 😢

My step daughter’s friends thought it was strange that we eat three meals around the table when we’re home (or often two since we do big breakfasts to fuel us through projects and eat an early dinner). However, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

This is my husband’s new K9. His name is K9 Zepp (after my husband’s favorite rock group – Led Zeppelin). Zeppelin is a 15 month old German Shepherd from Poland and he’s a very good boy.