The year 2021 was the year of changes, some disappointing and others joyful. Perhaps a loved one passed, or a precious baby was born; one child left for college or went on a mission and an older child joyously returned to take up temporary residence with their growing family in tow; job or health challenges may have outwitted one’s sensibilities; and renewed commitments regarding spending time with family and friends may have soared to new heights.
The Scottish poet, Robert Burn’s 17th century “Auld Lang Syne” musical composition of a much older oral Scot’s phrase, has become the song to mark the passage to the year ahead.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne
(in modern English, auld lang syne means “old long since” and jo means “joy”)
Once the gold-hued celebration balloons have lost their gravitational strength and beverage glasses are emptied, a New Year’s resolutions list is proclaimed—plotting healthier food selections and fitness routines, albeit fleeting in execution. But, this year could be the year of making and eating nutritious food just for your beautiful soul.
Soul Food Stew
2 lbs stew beef or cubed tofu
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups hot water
1 clove peeled garlic
1 bay leaf
1 medium sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon allspice
3 large sliced carrots
2 cups baby red potatoes halved
2 cups baby yellow potatoes halved
1 12-ounce bag frozen sweet corn
1 12-ounce bag frozen green beans
Toss meat or tofu in flour. Brown in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frypan. While cooking, caramelize/fry onions in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large stock pot until lightly browned. Add water, garlic, bay leaf, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, allspice, and meat/tofu mixture to the large stock pot. Stir mixture approximately 3-4 minutes on high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and garlic clove. Add carrots, potatoes, frozen corn, and frozen green beans. Cover and cook another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle or garnish individual bowl servings with parsley or thyme.
The Art of Tea
Arranging time to ceremoniously sip a warm beverage, be it herbal tea or hot chocolate, especially on a brisk winter day outdoors, allows us to viscerally experience both the simple and sacred.
Perhaps your 2022 New Year’s resolutions are focused on cultivating wellness and joy in more profound ways than ever before. With an extra ounce of newfound zeal and zest for the new year, daily teatime could be your perfect new ritual.