Monday, October 17, 2011

Your Attention, Please!

Every morning on my drive to work -- all five minutes of it -- I have this little ritual I've started where I wish a "Good Morning!" to everything I see.  Out loud...

Good morning, beautiful changing leaves on the trees.  Good morning, drizzly rain!  Good morning, kids waiting for the school bus.  Good morning, birds!  Good morning, lady and dog running.  Good morning, lake!  Good morning, other drivers in their cars...

You get the idea.

Why would I do such a goofy sounding thing?

1. Because I'm goofy. If you haven't figured that out by now, I'll let the cat out of the's true.

2. Because it's fun.  If I wake up crabby or dragging -- or even if I'm not -- it immediately puts me in a good mood and fills me with energy.  I feel like I'm putting that positive energy out into the world.  I'm always coming up with new ways to invite more joy into my life and this does it.  Hearing myself being silly, connecting with the world around me -- even in this small way -- makes me smile.

3. It gets me out of my head.  Instead of greeting the day with the distraction of internal chatter and a self-absorbed ticking through of the day's to-do list, I am present with where I am and what I'm doing, paying attention to what's going on around me.

4. I notice things.  Being aware of my surroundings, I see what I would normally miss.  This fall has offered the most spectacular color display along the three miles between my house and the bakery...likely not because it's been all that much better than normal, but because I'm actually seeing it.  To the point that I notice the change in a single tree from day to day, or sometimes even from my way to work to the drive home.  I have also begun to notice the quality of the light each morning and how it affects the colors I see in the trees.  Cool stuff you have to experience to believe.

When I first realized how much I was noticing, I was shocked.  Instead of feeling like everything changed in the blink of an eye, I was physically witnessing the change.  Simple and amazing stuff, this awareness thing.  Right there for us at every moment.  Real life is not what's going on in our heads, but what is going on in our interactions with our world.  Actually seeing...this is worth the price of admission in my book.

Try it.  You'll like it!//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
At the bakery, we like to come up with different recipes to give our customers ideas for how to enjoy our bread, sweets, fresh mixes and our resale products.  We just put out a new one today using our Pino's Press Garlic Gusto olive oil (adapted from a recipe on their website).  So tonight, we're giving this one a try...

Garlic Gusto Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp Pino's Garlic Gusto Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-28oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes
2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 oz tomato paste
fresh basil leaves
parmesan cheese

In a large pan or stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and lightly saute the garlic.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Chop basil and add just before serving.  Serve over your favorite pasta or as a dipping sauce.  Top generously with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

After Dinner Update
Oh, yeah, this is REALLY good!  Nice and chunky, garlicky but in a mellow, not overpowering, way.  Fantastic as it is, but could also be a great base for a meat sauce, lots of veggies, whatever you like in your pasta sauce.  We thought this would also make a great dipping sauce for garlic cheese bread.

The oil is so flavorful, it makes me want to try all the others we carry at the bakery as well.  Yum!

Have a great night!

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