Stuck in a Rut. But How Do I get “Unstuck”?

If you have been searching for my posts lately, I am sorry. I’ve been stuck in a rut. A rut doing the same old things, visiting the same old places and generally NOT trying new things. It is blistering hot outside (Hello? It’s Vegas!). I am bored, and I am too damn hot and bored to do anything about it!

“I don’t like it down here. It stinks.”

We all get there at different times in our lives. Those times when trying new things or stretching our comfort zone is a fucking chore. I am there. Right now. I am stuck. In fact I am a little down in the dumps, and as my Mom says, “I don’t like it down here. It stinks.” I know that getting out and doing stuff, trying new things, always makes me feel better, but frankly, I have no interest in doing much of anything right now.

So how do I get “unstuck”? Well…I have been cooking of course; sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. I have been trying new things, and teaching others some tried and true things. And yet, I still find myself stuck in this fucking rut!

I made these sourdough sesame bagels. They came out looking more like pretzels. I think I figured out WHY they were so dark, but haven’t had the gumption to try them again to test my theory (too much lye in the water bath). Stuck.

A little darker than I wanted or expected. I suspect too much lye in the bath, but I don’t care enough to re-try the recipe…Stuck

No stretching my comfort zone. Stuck.

I hosted our monthly supper club – Cooking with Gemini – again. It was Greek themed this time. I offered gyro meat, spanakopita and dolmades. And I made labneh for the first time; not that difficult. No stretching my comfort zone. Stuck.

Pals John and John learned to work with phyllo and created the spanakopita. I do love men in the kitchen.

I did check out a relatively new place, Cured & Whey for a fab panini (Spanish ham and Manchego cheese with quince jam) and some lovely conversation with the owner. But I would hardly call that stretching my comfort zone. Stuck.

House made pickles came with this fab sandWISH and I loved every bite.

As I write I am getting ready to revisit Chicago for the first time in several years, and while I love the city, I am left wondering should I hit up the tried and true spots that I love and can’t enjoy here, or should I try new places, or a combo of both? Will I “ruin” my trip if the new places don’t live up to the hype or expectations? Will I label myself as a boring tourist if I stick to what I know and already love?

I despise being called boring. If you want to insult me, that’s one of a very few words that’ll REALLY piss me off. And yet I am about to label myself that way because I am STUCK. In fact, I feel boring and probably deserve that hated word. So, for now, I am reading M.F K. Fisher’s recollections of Provence in 1970, and I find myself very much in her mindset; simultaneously wanting familiarity, and wanting to experience new things at the same time. And I curiously find myself increasingly annoyed by people who never annoyed me before, like M.F.K. did all those years ago in Provence.

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by [Barr, Luke]

So, I’ll sit here, reading, drinking tea, and smoking, waiting for my next adventure to begin.

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