I have two children under 21 months. Nothing is slow in my house. Naptime is the only 2 hours I can really set aside for specific tasks.
Ideally, I open the fridge and pull out lettuce, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, green onions and chicken that I roasted on my batch cooking day. After I push play on the last podcast I had going, I carefully and methodically chop, dice and toss myself a “gourmet” salad to sit and enjoy in peace. I finish my 30-minute podcast, grab my husband’s laptop (because mine is a dinosaur), and write as much as I can in the hour that’s left.
Unless….I look at the floor.
I talk a lot on here about my floors because I have two children that play down there and two animals that shed. I also like to make a mess in my kitchen, which inevitably makes its way down from the countertops, smearing stains on our beautiful Walnut boards.
My husband and I are often challenged by the maintenance that owning a home and keeping four things alive brings with it. We huff and puff about dirty dishes, piles of laundry, sticky floors and the never-ending stream of toys flowing from the playroom. Actually, they’re catapulting, because somehow they end up in spots that are impossible for a toddler to reach.
After talking circles around our situation, we finally throw our hands up and resign ourselves to this stage of life we’re in. Yes, we could have an immaculate house. Yes, we could have clean laundry every week. But…we would be moving so fast through life that I’m afraid we would miss sitting down and enjoying that lovely salad I just prepared so intentionally.
Sometimes, the dirt on the floor wins and I forget about it for an afternoon while I live slow.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
In the teachings I have heard, most people relate to Martha. I am most definitely Mary, here. It’s interesting to relate to the person who chose the “good portion,” because so often I relate to the character in the wrong. I think we can learn something from both of them.
Jesus never told Martha that her actions were wrong; He addressed her emotions. She was anxious and troubled and unable to rest at His feet. Mary recognized that this was the time to sit, rest and soak in His truth. Martha was dedicated to hospitality which is an admirable trait. Her fault was not in her passion but her timing and attitude.
Timing and attitude. That reminds me of a recipe that I just wrote about creating. This meal takes both time and an attitude of patience and enduring. There are many steps with a lot of waiting in between, and then a long period of letting it simmer. The temptation is to cut this short, but this just deprives the food of the time it takes for the spices and the labor to pay off in fragrant aromas and layered flavors.
Sit, wait, let it simmer. Practice living slow, letting the truths you’ve heard take root in your life instead of rolling off your back at breakneck speed. Maybe if we take more time meditating on this, we will learn how to embrace the rhythms of fast and slow in our lives, enjoying each season for what it brings with it.
SEB’s Coconut Chicken Curry Tagine
1 1/2 pound chicken thighs or breasts
2 medium onions
1-2 tbsp curry powder
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tbsp turmeric
2 to 3 tbsp coconut oil
2/3 cup chicken bone broth + 1 can full fat coconut milk
- Make bone broth.
- Cut chicken into cubes and sear in 2 tbsp of the coconut oil until no longer raw. Remove and set aside.
- Add 1 tbsp to tagine and begin heating on medium heat.
- Slice onions in rings and toss with curry powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Saute onions in the pan still hot from the chicken until translucent. Add garlic and stir for about 2 more minutes.
- Place chicken in warm tagine. Pour warm broth over chicken and layer onion/garlic mixture on top. Sprinkle with flour and turmeric. Stir to mix.
- Let simmer covered for 40 minutes on low-medium heat.
- Stir in coconut milk and raisins and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Serve over rice or cauliflower rice. (Sometimes I just eat it like soup!)
*adapted from this recipe here