Do you write a journal? I do. I write almost everyday. Why? For different reasons. Partially because I want to leave something behind for my family. Perhaps my offspring would be as curious about their grandmother as I am about mine. I wish Mama, my grandmother, had left me one. I wish I knew what was going on in her head. Know more about her life in Morocco. About her parents and siblings. Did she love Baba? He was a kind person but not an easy man to live with. He was 20 years older than my grandmother.
Honestly, I would continue to write even if they end up in the recycle bin because I mostly write for me. They’re my therapist. I dump all my thoughts, feelings, fears into my notebook. If you want to see your patterns, your progress, if your relationships with the people in your life and yourself are healthy, revisit your journals. Furthermore, over the years I discovered that bitching and moaning on paper is more efficient. Try it.
In addition to my journal, I keep an illustrated food diary by my bedside. It helps me remember the recipes I develop that I know I would make over and over. Every night, before I read a book and go to bed, I sketch them in a small sketchbook. It relaxes me.
For example: one day I didn’t know what to do with the stems of a thick bunch of aromatic cilantroI. I felt guilty discarding them. So I soaked them in water, spun them in the salad spinner, spread them on a baking sheet, and put them in the warm oven overnight to dehydrate. The next day, it hit me, I’ll use them to make herb salt like the one I used to buy in Mallorca. I use regular sea salt or Maldon salt. It’s good on everything; avocado toast, green salad, fritters. And it’s a great gift!
DIY Parsley Salt
- Large baking tray
- Salt shaker or spice jar or any small container
- Mortar & pestle or a spice grinder or rolling pin
- Bunch of cilantro or parsley stems or both
- Regular sea salt
- Soak the herb stems in cold water to remove dirt. Spin in a salad spinner or pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Spread the stems on a large baking tray so they have room. Put in a warm oven after you have finished baking something and the oven is off but still warm. Or bake them at 280°F for 30 – 60 minutes to dry completely until they feel crispy like straw.
- Crush the dried stems with your hands, then crush them in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. You can also place them in a small ziplock bag on a cutting board and roll over them with a rolling pin until they become a fine, powdery texture similar to a spice. Funnel the crushed herbs into a salt shaker, spice jar or small jar.
- Add salt, about 1/2 the amount of the crushed herbs.
- Shake to combine. Use the herb salt. Use it on anything like poached eggs, avocado toast, salads, fish, etc.