Overcoming a sluggish morning to find energy in the flow of life

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By: Rachel Shenk

Rachel Shenk

Did you ever have one of those mornings? I awake slowly to the ramblings of my radio alarm clock, pulling myself out of a dream. I want to stay here in this limbo world, stretched out, relaxed, listening.

But Stella, the dog, gets me up. I need to take her for her morning walk. My muscles protest. My ankle throbs. Time to stretch and get myself on the way.

These days, the sun is barely up as we turn the first corner. The silver sliver of moon is still high in the sky as the first reds and pinks announce the coming of light. Stella and I walk fast and slow. We both sniff the air and take in our surroundings. As we finally arrive back at our own familiar sidewalk, the sun sends out its first rays and I am starting to wake up.

Yes, I am sluggish this morning. My energy is a little low. Maybe I ran a little too fast last night at the park…

Work calls. I finish a first shift and head home for a bowl of maple pecan granola, with a side of orange juice and yogurt. We sit on our front porch, sipping our espressos, and little by little, I am coming to life.

Then, it’s back to work. The customers keep coming in. They keep us on our toes. And suddenly, I find that release valve. Energy is coming out of my hands. I jump in with both feet and make, create, bake. The conversation in the kitchen gets lively and the laughter flows. Everything is running smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. And the back and forth between the customers and us lifts me out of my morning doldrums.

As the day goes by in waves, I find my work keeps me anchored. And by its end, I feel a true sense of achievement: not only in the physical work but also in the spiritual. What started as a sluggish morning finishes as a well run day, despite myself.

Sometimes, it just takes some letting go for everything to take off.

I wish you a good day and at the end of it, this soup, made from fresh local corn and jalapeños.

Fresh corn chowder with roasted corn guacamole

For the soup:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh corn
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth

Directions

  1. Put corn in a food processor.
  2. In a soup pot, add olive oil, garlic, onion and jalapeño. Add salt and pepper. Sauté lightly until translucent, then add to corn in food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Return to soup pot and heat up stirring until slightly thickened. Slowly whisk in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the guacamole:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh corn
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped

Directions

  1. Mix the corn, olive oil and salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  2. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring half way through, until nicely caramelized. Add remaining ingredients.

Serve the soup with a nice dollop of roasted corn mixture. You can also add bacon for additional flavor.

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