As a woman of leisure, I spent a lot of time challenging myself in the kitchen.
I enjoyed cooking dinner and catching up with my hubby over a hot meal. I got over my hesitation/fear over baking and produced some tasty cheddar gougeres. I bonded with my hubby over rolling pizza dough and cutting up pasta noodles. On dry days, we fired up the grill for fresh fish and sausages. All the culinary activity, from chopping vegetables to studying recipes, helped me cope with being out of work.
By the time Mardi Gras rolled around, I had left behind my life of leisure and dived into another Sacramento newsroom. I said good-bye to my lazy mornings and weekday runs with the puppy. I agreed to cover early morning shows until the station hired another line producer. On the eve of Ash Wednesday, I was counting down the days until I could switch to a better shift and a fresh new gig as a web producer at the station.
As my professional life was shaping up, I decided to build up my spiritual life with another Lenten Season without meat. My challenge: to cook, prepare and order meals without beef and chicken. I still worked with dairy products, eggs and seafood. I made it through Lent with more food for thought and some tasty meals of vegetables, tofu and fish.
Thanks to my veggie/seafood lifestyle, I also tried out different restaurants in our favorite cities. One weekend we did dinner at Taste of the Himalayas in downtown Sonoma.
This small Himalayan/Nepalese food spot served up hearty entrees like Palak Paneer, a bowl of creamy spinach and cheese. I loved spooning velvety chunks of vegetables over white rice. In fact, the menu had plenty of options for people who are watching out for meat in their diets; from the Samosas with the mint chutney sauce to Chana Masala. When you add rice and hot Naan to the table, you have a rich, spicy feast that will soak up what’s left of your wine-tasting adventures.