By Steph Farrar
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and while I’m a little embarrassed by it, as this is a forum to express myself, I’ve also just been out of words. The past few months has been littered with exhausting work and play, developing projects, the creative process, a haunting election, and now the aftermath of said political hoo-haa. Of course, there are words, there are millions of them to be said and written and expressed, but I’m having difficulty putting tences that reflect the times along with my broken little heart.
How do I discuss food, or something delicous I whipped up out of pure necessity, while Iran is testing ballistic missiles? How can I sit and enjoy the SAG awards or a Federer / Nadal major final while a beyond arrogant narcissist rules the roost and threatens the only America I’ve ever known? How do I talk to people in my life who voted this thing into office and not become vehement, or saddened, or back to the depressive state I’ve worked very hard to climb out of?
Just do it, I guess? I’ll just do it.
I’ve been rather sick of feeding myself and people lately. I’ve reached a plateau of recipe testing; it’s become banal. Only in the wake of too much to read, to catch up on, dozens of causes to support and protest, time sucked away on too regular a basis. The only way I’ve been able to make more time is by opening up my late evenings to expression and creativity. Usually by the time both my kids bodies and minds are fast asleep, my head hits the pillow, I’ll read for a bit, and that’s a wrap. That’s all I got!
A few things. When you’re sick of feeding people, use what you have and just get it done. This will make you feel creative, feed your aching tummy, and get you on your way faster to the next or current project you’re working on or toward. I claim rotisserie chicken, often, as one of the most important and useful things in my fridge for grown-up and kids meals. Another thing; with this year newly under your belt, give your body some sort of break. Give it a little detox if you can manage. I made the insane committment to myself 14 days ago to cut out alcohol for 60 days total, and holy bananas, I’ve never felt better in my life. I’ve been blaming bad sleep, anxiety and mild depression on parenting. Nope. All that crap is gone with the toxins in my body. Clean body, clean mind: balanced, productive mama.
Sam says parenting is full of “long days, short years.” Even in a quiet home, two kids at school, abruptly 3 pm creeps up, and I’ve barely made a dent in my creative endeavors. The struggle to make ends meet, keep myself happy and content, produce art and work that makes my soul sing… is truly endless. And thank God it is. I don’t know where I’d go if I yielded.
I won’t belittle the creative process with a forward bend into “make these easy tacos, get happy.” We are all craving ease right? Feed these human people, feed ourselves, keep our heads up, show up, do our best work. Try to remain calm and collected, focused on a process of seeking joy and purpose? Impeach an insane president? Test the boundaries of the human condition? We can do it all. Together
Flynn picked out this avocado for me. Lucky Californians get the best avo’s, never short. I made a very simple Sriracha / buttermilk dressing to drizzle on the tacos, and it truly made all the difference in flavor and my general attitude toward this new year.
I don’t know if a food blog is the best forum for introspective transparency, but this is my place to unfold and let you have my heart. In the middle of what feels like a large open room, where I’m a bit afraid, I’m somehow filled with the knowledge that we are never alone. There is no alone! Thank the stars we have each other if we choose to reach out, to get out of those comfortable slippers and put on our working boots.
I love cooking shortcuts. Hence, rotisserie chicken. If you are a meat eater, I suggest one a week. Then make some stock from the carcass.
I hope you enjoy some peace this week, knowing you are making a difference. Maybe fold your arms around a friend for an extra long hug. She probably needs it.
Rotisserie Chicken Tacos
2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, diced
6 corn or flour tortillas
1 medium red onion, diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
8 oz, crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Bunch cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
For dressing, combine:
2-3 tbsp Sriracha
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.
Add chicken to pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until warm.
Over an open flame, char tortillas for 10-15 seconds per side.
Add 1/4 cup chicken and onion mixture to tortillas. Top with cilantro, avocado, crumbled queso fresco, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt. Drizzle sriracha / buttermilk dressing over top.
Wrap tortilla in foil and let sit for 1-2 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and flavors to meld.