Even when I’m not typing away writing freelance articles or the world’s next best-selling fantasy novel, my hands are busy. Holding my daughters’ hands, making their lunches, folding their clothes, tickling them and fussing with their hair are some of my favorite hands-on activities. Then of course there’s playing with Jazz, rubbing her tummy and holding her leash on our walks. My hands really get a workout when I create abstract artwork. Heck, my whole body gets a workout when I do that because I play dance music while painting and I can’t help but dance! That’s a story for another day though. Maybe someday I’ll video myself painting…sharing it with the world may or may not happen.
Another favorite way to get my hands and mind working together is by cooking and baking. I was blessed with my father’s natural talent in the kitchen and I think he’d be impressed how I’ve improved upon that inherited gift. I’m a pro at baking desserts and I make irresistible, always soft chocolate chip cookies. I love baking all types of bread from pitas to pepperoni cheese bread and I’m constantly searching for and trying new recipes. I usually modify the written recipe in some way or another to improve it taste and nutrition wise.
When it comes to cooking lunches and dinners, I don’t usually use recipes. I go by what looks, smells and tastes right and things turn out pretty darn yummy. When my store-bought marinara sauce kept going weird even in the fridge I decided to make my own so I’d know exactly what was in it. I found a recipe that sounded relatively easy, modified it a touch and voila! I created the most delicious marinara sauce I’ve ever tasted! My stand mixer and food processor are my favorite appliances now and they’re always sitting on top of my baker’s rack ready to work.
My favorite seasonal ingredients lately are summer squash and peaches. I’ve made summer squash bread just by using the squash in a zucchini bread recipe. I’ve made a peach cobbler, crumble and last time I just baked the peaches in a pie dish with some brown sugar and cinnamon. I add the baked peaches to freshly made oatmeal and have an easy scrumptious breakfast. A hundred times better for me than buying “peaches and cream” pre-made instant oatmeal that contains “peach flavored pieces” and a ton of other unpronounceable ingredients. I really do like to know what exactly I’m putting in my body, I’m odd like that. I also put the peaches over a scoop of ice cream for a little dessert and it’s so good I want to lick the bowl!
Everything I do with my hands stimulates and utilizes my mind in some way and I really like that. There’s a purpose to everything I do and it has value and meaning. Really, I don’t know any other way to be.