Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Happiness Project

Our nanny arrived one morning last week with five gorgeous artichokes.

Fresh. Artichokes.

Now, I'd seen them before, had even watched Martha or Rachel or someone prepare them on TV, but I'd never prepared one myself.

They were beautiful. The sight of them lying in the wicker basket on the kitchen floor, an exotic still life in my very own home, brought me pure joy. As if I lived in the south of France or Italy or ... Wait, I live on the Turkish Mediterranean! Note to self: appreciate what I've got.

But within minutes, visions of the week bananas invaded my kitchen (you can read all about that here if you missed that post) and the more recent grapefruit invasion had crept into my consciousness. Fear and anxiety, aka stress, started in my toes and quickly worked its way up my entire body. Memories of lovely black-flecked yellow bananas slowly shrivelling and blackening before my eyes; memories of a rotten grapefruit collapsing in my hand as my grasp unwittingly punctured its rotted interior, threatened to ruin my happiness.

You see, I know myself well enough to predict what was going to happen. While mulling over what to do with the artichokes for a few days, not wanting to do anything less than perfect with them, they would go bad. And I would feel awful.

But one of my recent reads, Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project (as displayed on my Shelfari shelf to the right), has me determined to put an end to what she helped me label "sabotaging my happiness." It seems I have a "fear of tackling unknown and therefore scary things."

I'm proud to say that our nanny brought the artichokes to us on a Friday and I tackled them on Saturday. I called my friend and neighbour and fellow Top Chef fan Carole and asked her if she wanted to join me in "preparing artichokes three ways." (Sorry ... a little Top Chef humour there.) And no, I don't consider it cheating to enlist help when tackling my fears; I consider it resourceful and just plain realistic.

Anyway, I'll spare you the details, since we didn't produce anything ground-breaking. But not only did I spare myself extreme unhappiness as the result of wasted food, I got tremendous satisfaction out of the sight of those cooked green beauties! And I had fun doing it! And I'm no longer scared of artichokes!

And now I want to try and make gnocchi. I have no idea where that came from, but that's next on my list.

1 comment:

  1. yum!!! Gnocchi is pretty easy-- especially if you make the ricotta kind. Super easy-- and freezable!
    I use Donna Hay's recipe: