Lately I’ve been thinking more about how I’d really like to spend my time. Like, if I knew my life were ending in six months, what would I do with my days, then? What wouldn’t I do?
I try to ask this question every couple of months, because I think it’s a good way to check in with myself, to ensure that I’m living my life the way I want to be, and not just the way I think I should – to ensure that I’m not getting too complacent. Of course, we can’t all go running off to Paris tomorrow, or stop cleaning the toilet, or expect Johnny Depp to show up and feed us chocolates. Things must be tended to, children must be fed, tomorrows considered. But, I think we owe it to ourselves to try and listen, now and then, to what our heart is beckoning of us. We owe it to ourselves to live our lives, first and foremost, according to that.
As for me, if I treated the hours of my life a little more preciously, I’m sure I’d spend far less time checking my email, scrolling through Facebook feeds like a spaced out droid, or being on the computer at all really. I’d try and see more sunsets, I’d look at the stars more, I’d go for more walks in the woods. I’d call up old friends and ask them important questions, like how they are, I’d send more letters. I’d spend more time writing. I’d travel more, I’d go to the ocean, I’d visit the places I’ve always wanted to go. I’d try and notice things more, try and savor them. And, I think I’d try to spend more of my days like a Sunday morning.
This may sound terribly boring, but think of it. The most precious hours of my life could not be better spent than sitting at the table with the morning sun streaming in, a warm mug of tea, husband and cats in tow, and that blissful sense of having nowhere to be and nothing to do, with the possibilities of an entire day stretched before me. I am never happier than in those moments. Usually there is something on the stove top, or in the oven, cooking away (because for once there is time!), while we read each other snippets from the newspaper or magazine articles, or listen to the radio. Sometimes we chat about our week, sometimes just sit comfortably in the silence of our own thoughts.
I’m sure there are more exciting things than Sundays, things that would stand out in one’s memory more vividly, but none I should think, as deeply satisfying and serene. I love Sunday mornings.
So in the name of spending more days in this way, here is a lovely stove top hash that is just perfect for a lazy morning of doing nothing more than just enjoying being. It cooks slowly over a low flame, with an occasional stir, and is ready by the time you’ve finished day dreaming and reading all the good bits in the paper. You could of course steam the vegetables first so that they will cook faster, but that would defeat the purpose, and not be nearly as good. Enjoy.
Cold Weather Hash
I like to serve this topped with a good organic egg, cooked how you like it, and a side of organic, pasture raised bacon – which is the best bacon you’ll ever have. Yes it costs more, but that goes to show that bacon is a treat, and for treats that involve your health, an animals health, and the health of the environment, no expense should be spared. Feel free to substitute other root veg you might have on hand. Serves 4.
- butter or oil
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 potatoes
- 2 medium or 1 large beet
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, larger sprouts halved
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- a dash of hot sauce, or a 1/4 teaspoon of hot chili flakes
- black pepper
Dice the onion, sweet potato, potatoes and beets into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces (the smaller you cut, the faster they will cook).
Heat your butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is nice and hot, add the onion with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is just turning translucent. Add your garlic and cook for a minute more, then add the remainder of your ingredients.
Stir every 5 minutes or so, adding more butter or oil if needed, until the vegetables are tender and well browned – almost caramelized on the edges (which is why cooking hash this way is sooo good). Check for seasoning and add a little more spice or salt if necessary.
Serve topped with more hot sauce, chili pepper chutney or a bit of good ketchup.