The last few weeks have been insane. I can’t believe it is already Jan 25. Seth and I went for a drive after a big snowfall. It was gorgeous. We went along some back trails, listened to the Charlie Countryman soundtrack and took our time taking photos, accidentally falling in the snow (me…twice…) and drinking some lattes we brought with us. It was a good day! I’ve still been working on the same projects as earlier this month and am excited to launch the new website and branding tomorrow. It’s very exciting for the client (and me).
Being a freelancer, I find it is difficult to merely just be a business associate with someone. It seems we usually become friends, spending dinners together and e-mailing about our lives. This particular client was referred to me by Seth’s mum, and used to live right down the street from her. I would often pop in whenever I was in town and sometimes I would be there past midnight talking about interiors, fashion and my most favourite topic – God. It is really special to find someone to speak to about Christ so freely and with so much passion.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found my love for Christ as strong as ever, but a fear of speaking about topics close to my heart is spreading. This was another reason I started Keyprose, but also became the reason I didn’t start it much sooner. A while back, I would slip God into my life through the most casual conversations – like putting on a sweater when it’s cold or taking off sunglasses when it’s dark. I wanted to share freely what was on my mind and in my heart. It felt wonderful!
One of my favourite conversations was at a cabin resort in Muskoka, Ontario. Seth’s friends had all pooled together to rent a few cabins for the long weekend. It was the last night of our stay, and was also Seth and my dating anniversary. We were having our own fire, with snacks and champagne on a picnic blanket to celebrate. Some people came over to talk and eat with us. I had made honey marshmallows and I recall a friend’s boyfriend scrambling to eat them all. Somehow a few of us started talking about the earth, space and beyond. The topic of God arose, and we spent hours in discussion. Each listening to one another, then telling our own thoughts. It wasn’t about convincing anyone of anything, it was just a fun night of sharing and it really stuck with me. I could feel something, like a fire, growing in my chest and it felt amazing; a star being born.
As time went on, Seth and I took to Facebook to share about the things that we were grateful for, some of them big like Seth graduating or getting his G license, and some of them small like a little voice telling me to go to the break room at work where I discovered only one seasonal New Years cookie from Belgium remained for the taking. It was a beautiful time. Then things began to go wrong… It seemed people were misunderstanding what I was saying. I went from a place of openness and love, to being hated and insulted – drama queen, know-it-all, intolerant… I trusted these people with my innermost thoughts, and was left wishing I had never said anything. While they freely shared their differing opinion, I was harshly crucified online for sharing mine. I became forced into silence.
They never spoke to me in person about it – it was always through Facebook. It got so bad that I didn’t even want to post anything anymore. And it was hard, because I felt completely misunderstood. Seth and I often disagree with one another. We enjoy going back and forth, pointing out spaces in arguments, filling them in with questions or answers and drilling down to the core of the problem. It is never a personal attack on the other’s opinion, but rather a way to understand the situation better. Sometimes at the end we will even change our opinion. We would never call each other, or anyone else, names. We know it is all in good fun.
These conversations often feel like the night of the fire; our eyes are full of wonder, our minds are turning out new ideas and we can’t stop talking in excitement. But Facebook was turning into the opposite effect. My soul felt like it was dying, my eyes were full of fear and my mouth no longer wanted to tell others about my relationship with God. I ended up permanently deleting my account, which was a big thing for me. I was one of the first people I knew who was on Facebook, and I was the one who got my friends interested in it. At the time, it was a place I felt safe to share my ideas. I no longer do. I am hoping this blog with be a place that is full of light and love and respect. A place of calamity in a crazy world.
The soup detox this January was a good feeling. I love food, but often feel too drained to make anything. Souping kept me actively in the kitchen, and feeling refreshed. Keep in mind, we didn’t just eat soup the whole month (even though that was my original plan). We also ate cheese and crackers, hummus wraps and the below items as well:
- The Carrot Orange soup by Peter from Souvlaki for the Soul. This was tasty! I subbed one tsp hot sauce for the chili and used 1 lb of carrots.
- Thai Pea soup from Gina at Running to the Kitchen. This was super fresh tasting, even with frozen peas. I used a red onion for the shallot and 1 tsp of my homemade thai hot sauce for the jalapeno and a generous 1 cup of stock. I didn’t have lemongrass paste so I simply used dried lemongrass and 3 cloves of garlic. I sautéed the onion, garlic, lemongrass, zest, ginger – pureed with cilantro, peas & stock, added coconut milk and heated on the stove. This would be fabulous for a spring get-together, paired with cucumber sandwiches for a light lunch.
- Turmeric Pumpkin Lime soup created by Liberty at Homespun Capers. We really liked this. Since our grocery store doesn’t have pumpkin at the moment, we subbed with butternut squash. We also used homemade thai hot sauce for the chili and added about 3 cups water to make up for the juice we would have gotten from the pumpkin. I used 1/2 tsp salt and fresh black pepper. It made a large pot, but was so good it was gone the next afternoon.
- Spicy Black Bean soup recipe by Marzia at the Little Spice Jar. I didn’t have canned beans, so I soaked and cooked dry beans to use. I found a conversion article online, but I ended up with way too many beans, resulting in having to add more broth and water. This recipe lasted us a couple of days as a result. I likely won’t make it again because it was a bit too bland for my tastes, even with adding a ton of additional spices.
- Since I opened up a can of chipotle peppers, for the above soup, I wanted to use them up. I had homemade mayo leftover from earlier in the month and needed to use that up too. We decided to make sweet potato fries with Chipotle Mayo and found this recipe from Martha Stewart. It wasn’t as good as some I’ve had at restaurants, but it was still tasty and made enough for us to eat fries and salmon wraps with it the following nights.
- I have wanted to make spinach soup for a couple years now and just never got around to it. I ended up making this Spinach soup recipe from Dassana Amit on Veg Recipes of India. This was literally so good I ate it all myself! It only made 2 cups or 1 large bowl. I didn’t use the flour. Instead, I just heated up the oil, tossed in the bay leaf, 1/2 small onion, then garlic, then spinach, boiled water, cumin, salt and pepper. Removed the bay leaf, blended then added half a lime to perk it up. It’s a thin soup, very refreshing, tasty and great way to use up spinach! I actually love this so much I’m going to make it again tonight and quadruple the recipe!
- The last soup I made was this Cauliflower soup with Parsley oil from Teresa Cutter over at the Healthy Chef. When I changed my diet several years ago, Teresa was one of the first blogs I started following and this recipe did not disappoint. Seth ate this almost all to himself because he loved it so much. It was really tasty and super simple. The parsley oil is nice and colourful but not necessary if you don’t feel like making it. The soup is wonderful by itself. The second bowl you see in the photo I blended with the left over strained parsley and some lemon. Not something I would do again, but it was fun to try.
- I make this lemon/lime curd by Allison at Some the Wiser quite often. Since we had a breakfast theme for our New Years Eve dinner, I had some left over. I found this Chicken Lemon recipe by Rachel Ray on the Food Network. It was tasty and very filling. We used 5 chicken breasts, spelt flour and a mix of grapeseed and garlic infused olive oil with some dried ginger fried in a wok. I used 1 cup of water with a stock cube. We paired with quinoa but rice would be great. It was definitely worth making, but I will likely reserve this for when I need to use up any leftover lemon curd. Next time I will add more green onions as well.
- Not only did we have lemon curd leftovers but also caramel! I often make this recipe from Mike at the Iron You, but was inspired to use 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup like this recipe by Meg at Noming Through Life. Since I was craving a snack, I went to my go-to Stovetop Popcorn recipe by Baked Bree. I used grapeseed oil this time and it was amazing before even adding butter. I normally never add the honey in the recipe and this time I simply added the remaining caramel (about a heaping tablespoon) to the melting butter and poured overtop. It was so good!
So there you have it! Lots of yummy foods this week and I’m excited to make lots more 🙂 Have you tried a soup detox before? Share your story in the comments!