I don’t have a lot to say this week.
I’ve been feeling a sort of melancholia the last few days while simultaneously feeling much more connected to my inner self. I’ve been forcing moments of self care, self reflection, and healthier habits.
Basically, what I’m saying is, I charged my FitBit Versa and started wearing it again. I started thinking about how much water I consume again. I’ve been going on longer walks with Devona. I’ve been reading more.
And that all feels great.
But I’m also really missing my dad recently. And, outside of that, I’m also feeling this overarching sense of grief? Maybe it’s just the prolonged missing of people – of ‘out there’. Maybe it’s my desperation to find ways to show more of the world to my daughter. Maybe it’s the way I keep seeing cogs in the wheels of civility that break my heart.
I don’t know.
But I do know there is good. There is so much good. We were visited by endless good in the hardest moments of this past year. It’s out there and it’s surrounding me. But it’s constantly fighting against such big bads. It’s hard to always keep hold of it all. Sometimes I want to scream. At people. At no one. At everyone. At myself.
My daughter sang her first nonsensical song this morning. She made it up herself. It was beautiful and sweet. It was about her family. And my heart felt full and true and steady.
It’s like a balance of confidence and assuredness and positivity is bringing more to light the parts of conscious I usually stuff down.
In trying to reconcile all of this I’ve been doing some minor candlework and cleansing rituals. Beltane was this past weekend and we failed to have any sort of recognition of the holiday, other than wishing a Blessed Beltane to a handful of family members. But, I have been trusting myself to make my own rituals more and that’s been really positive.
It’s always a balancing act, right? It’s a recipe for happiness. Happiness – the elusive choice we hear so much about. I feel it. I am happy. But not always. And that’s just fine.
I think the trust I’m trying to build back up with myself is also translating to some moments in the kitchen. Usually, out of necessity to adapt, like in the instance of this Makeshift Chicken Piccata. Instead of panicking I simply remembered what Chicken Piccata is. I mean, I think I did. This is at least close. And, honestly, if it’s not Chicken Piccata, it’s still delicious.
I knew it would be. And that was a nice feeling. A lack of anxiety where there would normally be a swell.
I guess I’m learning inner progress isn’t always pretty or positive.
But it is, always, with a doubt, progress.
Makeshift Chicken Piccata
- 1 lb. to 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast (2 to 3 depending on size), cut into equally sized cutlets (horizontally halved) *You should end up with 4 to 6 chicken cutlets
- Salt & fresh cracked pepper
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 4 T flour
- 3 T grated parmesan cheese, plus 1/2 C grated parmesan for later
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp capers
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Glug or two of dry white wine (I used a Chablis)
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- Shallow bowl
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Various measuring cups & spoons
- Heavy bottomed skillet
- After preparing your chicken cutlets, pat them dry and season both sides with salt & fresh cracked pepper
- Mix the flour and 3 T parmesan together in a shallow bowl
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake off the excess
- Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in your skillet. Once heated cook the chicken, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden and the chicken is cooked through. Set the chicken on a plate
- Toss the garlic into the pan and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Add the wine and reduce for a minute or two. Keep an eye on the garlic and don’t let it get too much color.
- Add the capers and lemon juice and reduce further, about a minute or two longer.
- Add the cream and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes or until you can drag a spatula through the sauce and it leaves a trail that allows you to see the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir in the 1/2 C parmesan. Mix until melted and combined well.
- Taste of season, add salt & pepper as needed and put the chicken and accumulated juices back into the pan. Flip the chicken once or twice to lightly coat in the sauce and warm through – about 3 to 5 minutes.