Yesterday morning I found myself at Sweet Pea Bakery enjoying a hot cup of Stumptown coffee and a marionberry scone. Mary Weiss and the Shangri-Las were even playing on the music box… ’twas a good morning.
Sweet Pea is on a corner in Portland with several other vegan friendly shops – Herbivore, a store that specializes in cruelty free culture, Food Fight Grocery, a small locally owned quick stop vegan-health food store, The Red & Black, a co-op/worker owned vegan cafe, and Scapegoat, a vegan tattoo shop where I actually got my chess piece tattoo last Spring.
It felt really nice to be there because it reminded me of the happiness cooking and baking brings to me… I’ve been ‘in the kitchen’ a lot in the past 5 or so years and I find such peace there. It doesn’t matter how long a dinner or dessert might take to make.. I love losing myself, preparing the food and getting my hands dirty. My passion for it definitely stems from my love of growing delicious food. It’s amazing to me what you can create with just a few simple ingredients. Perhaps that’s why I steer clear of processed foods and load up on the veggies. The simpler the better – almost like creating with a blank canvas which means I get creative license to do as I please.
Being exposed to a rich diversity of cultural cuisine helps develop a refined palette for delicate flavors and spices. I’m definitely an herb and spice fanatic (especially because they have so many beneficial health properties) and I have to give thanks for the time I spent living in one of the most multicultural cities in the World – Montreal – which was a fusion of many flavors, so to say.
Being in the kitchen makes me wish I had more people to cook for. I find myself wanting to bake a lot but I end up only eating a few of what ever I make (unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mother’s sweet tooth but I do have quite the savory one). So many times I wished I had friends close by so I could invite them over for a fine dinner or a warm cupcake and cup of peppermint tea but, alas, they are all far away. (**see side note at the bottom)
Recently I’ve been catching myself thinking that I should just open up my own food cart. I think I could rock that.. I’d just need a partner to share the load with. I could grow all the fresh food for the cart myself and come up with a pretty sweet and simple menu. It would be so much fun (especially in the summer time)! Anybody up for it? The coolest thing about it is if I really wanted to do it/make it happen I believe I could. But until then I”ll keep to the comforts of my own kitchen.. my door is always open and you’re welcome to come in any time you want for a visit…
**side note: It’s sometimes tough being in a whole new city with out any really good friends but there’s also something very freeing about it. It makes every interaction with a stranger new.. and because you are mostly alone you are even more aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Every smile or small conversation you truly feel and the smallest gesture could make your day. Putting yourself out there makes you truly feel alive and healthy… and it also makes me love and appreciate the great friends and family that I already have.. I just wish you were closer! (I miss you all<3)….