Sunday, January 9, 2011

Adventures in the Kitchen

This photograph shows two pink grapefruits (Ci...Image via WikipediaEvery now and then I get a bit daring with dinner. It usually happens when I get a hankering for something but don't have all the ingredients to make it. That's what happened tonight.

An hour before dinner, while the salmon steaks I was going to cook defrosted, I was pedaling my bike (it's set up inside on a bike trainer), reading The Two Towers (the second book from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, just in case there's someone who managed to not hear about Lord of the Rings anytime in the last decade), when suddenly I thought "grapefruit salsa". Don't ask me where the idea came from. The inner workings of my mind are a mystery even to me.

When the bike ride was over the adventure began. A quick web search yielded a number of grapefruit salsa recipes. I lacked some ingredients from every recipe. After getting a sense of what went into grapefruit salsa, I decided to wing it with what I had around.

At this point my husband checked the freezer to make sure we had frozen pizzas. I would have been insulted if I thought I actually had any culinary skills, but I know myself. People who can cook don't use the smoke detector as a kitchen timer.

Most of the recipes called for grapefruit (duh), green onions, jalapeno peppers, and either mint or cilantro. I had grapefruit. I had yellow onions, but no green ones. I had half a green pepper left over from breakfast and a can of chipolte peppers in adobo sauce that was on hand because I finally found them in the store months after I'd needed them for a recipe and bought a can out of spite.

It all went in the bowl except for most of the can of chipolte peppers (because they're hot, which I discovered by tasting them) with some red wine vinegar, black pepper, agave nectar and olive oil. And it came out...


Not great. The flavor of the yellow onions dominated everything else, but it went okay with the fish. The frozen pizzas were not needed, this time.

I could have played it safe in the kitchen tonight, but being adventurous is much more fun. By taking risks, within limits, we learn and grow. Life always gives us chances to reach farther, climb higher, or just wing it. By taking the little risks that present themselves regularly, we learn how to face the big ones that show up in every life eventually.

Our yoga mats are a wonderful place to take small risks. Trying an asana that you've assumed was too challenging for you, experimenting with the limits of your stamina and balance, or just allowing emotions to flow are little risks we can take every day. Grapefruit salsa is nothing compared to Ardha Chandrasana, after all.

Have yourself a little adventure today - in your kitchen, on your mat, in your backyard - wherever you find one.

But stock up on frozen pizzas first.
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