My Ideal Day

Today was the first day in a long time I’ve felt like myself — not that I go around masquerading.  Everything I do is a variation on the things I love doing most!  But, sometimes the signs point to whatever you’ve been neglecting (or doing without, intentionally or “un”) and today was one of those days.

“Hello, YOU!” said the Universe this morning, with a smile.

It started out with a surprise package in the mail — an olive server from my sister.  Sweet!  I quickly e-mailed a thank you and told her I’d feature it in a forthcoming post — maybe with an earthy tapenade and some garlic baguette rounds or a handful of Castelvetrano olives when the fall shipment from Sicily arrives at Lovera’s?

I love dreaming up “what to make” based solely on the merits of a serving dish.  (I also couldn’t resist giving you a sneak preview of my sister’s thoughtfulness — isn’t it darling?)

Clearly, this was a day to rediscover the things I love… things that make me “me.”  Camera in tow, I went outside.  A brisk south wind was tugging and the waves were rolling in… too pretty not to share.

Back in the house again, I pulled my hair into a pony tail (slightly disheveled from the wind) and donned my favorite house dress.  Yes, I love wearing dresses when doing domestic duties…  (This one is nicknamed my “Sophia Loren” dress… the only necessary accoutrements are a saucy bow, pretty earrings, and bare feet.) :)

Then I put on my favorite music…

And tackled a few more domestic duties (won’t bore you with photos of the domestic duties), followed by more favorite music…

And then I went into the kitchen to sauté and simmer to my heart’s content.  To me, cooking is a “reward” after taking care of the more mundane things in life.

Tonight’s dinner was Boeuf Braise Aux Carrot by Chef Denie Bernierdivine.  I’ve made it several times and it never disappoints.

(Apologies to Chef Denie; I “pinch hit” using leftover roast and sun dried tomatoes in lieu of the tomato paste.)  Whatever works — and tastes good.  Incidentally, The Man Of Few Words ate two helpings!

As dinner was simmering, the tantalizing aroma triggered my hunger… hmmm… what shall I have?  Not quite hungry enough for “lunch” (even a little lunch) :), I made Chilled Canteloupe Soup instead.  (Had to use up the rest of an organic canteloupe and heavy cream I treated myself to earlier in the week.)  Thanks, Cooks & Books & Recipes!

Although the cream swirl in the photo isn’t picture perfect, this soup tasted like a cantaloupe Dreamsicle.  Need I say more?

Since the Cabernet was open (for the aforementioned simmering dinner…), I decided to treat myself to a glass…

Followed by a leisurely stroll through the house (which I still consider to be a form of exercise…)  First stop: my writing nook.

Even when I’m not actively engaged in writing, I’m a writer!  (It took me 50+ years to say that with confidence, thanks to you and a few inspiring friends…)

Next stop: my music room…

(Apologizes for the glare… I washed and ironed curtains today…)

I also write in here, as evidenced by the hodgepodge on the re-purposed baker’s rack in the corner… and yes, I feel extremely blessed that a recliner (and bed) are part of my “office” decor.

(Insert nap here… zzzzzzzzzzz…)

Granted, ideal days aren’t an every day occurrence, but when (and if) they do happen, I appreciate them for all they’re worth!

For those of you who manage all of the above while working and/or going to school and/or caring for young children, I applaud you.

(Been there, done that…)

Believe me, I’m not “spoiled.”  My domestic bliss resulted from giving up many things I used to take for granted — shopping, dining out, basically going anywhere, and having a grocery budget in excess of $100 a month (!), which makes days like these all the more special…

Pick a life and live it, that’s my motto.  (Along with unending thanks to The Man Of Few Words who supports my dream… we both “work” to make it work!)

What’s your ideal day?  Have you treated yourself to one lately?

Enjoying a break from the mundane,

~ Kim

33 thoughts on “My Ideal Day

  1. Pingback: My Ideal Day II – a little lunch

  2. Hello Kimby – It was recently pointed out to me that you had fun with one of my recipes (though it was a while ago!)! I wanted to thank you for mentioning me and hope you are doing well!! Happy Cooking!!

    • Hi, Chef Denie’ — so glad you stopped by! Apologies for replying so late — I just returned from Minnesota (3-1/2 months away from home and no internet at my Mom’s!) and I’m desperately trying to catch up. Thank goodness for spectacular food to nurture us along with way, eh? Your “Boeuf” recipe is one of my favorites.

      I read through more of your posts this afternoon and my taste buds are anticipating fantastic flavors. :) Truly a pleasure discovering your kind of cooking and writing! Take care and thanks again.

  3. Dear Kimby,

    I’ve got that CD of Helfgott playing Rach 3 too although I find his playing style a little “loose”. One of my favourite short pieces is the prelude in G major. I love playing that piece late in the night.

    • Dear ChopinandMySaucepan,

      I understand what you meant by “loose” playing… yet, if the movie “Shine” (supposed true story of his life) is even close to accurate, then I’m all in favor of playing for the sheer JOY of it. I was without a piano for several years (as opposed to several decades) — when I finally acquired one, I remember the indescribable pleasure of finally putting my fingers on the keys. Loose or not, it was a defining moment!

      Fast forward…. Today I practiced Bach’s 2nd Prelude & Fugue (C minor) and it reminded me of a comment from an adjudicator when I played the same at a piano competition many moons ago: “Technical work is like money in the bank… the more deposits you make, the more you have to draw from when you need it.” This morning, precision and expression met… sheer bliss. Thanks for your kind and musically astute comments! :)

    • Sue Ann, thanks for that! Some of the photos aren’t “best shots” but beauty (and stories) are what you make of them. You have it figured out, my friend. xo!

  4. I think we have that same piano and bench in our Gathering Room. Love the dress and saucy bow! Can’t wait to see what you put in the olive dish to feed us mentally.

    Your ideal day sounds wonderful. My ideal day involves cooking, eating, time in the yard, learning something new and time with friends and family (a NAP in the sun would be nice too!)

  5. I love the glimpse into what turned out to be a perfect day for you. It makes me want to engineer my own perfect day tomorrow. btw… I have that same writer’s manifesto pinned to the bulletin board above my writing desk. :)

  6. If you adopt Sid, you adopt ME! As always so perfectly said. I love your perfect day! You are an amazing writer, you always transport me into your home, your life, and your heart. :) I hope you have a lot more perfect “you” days soon. :)

    • Isabelle, the only improvement I can think of for My Ideal Day would be to share that glass of wine on the deck. (Well, not share the GLASS — share the moment, ha!) By the way, I adopted you long ago… I feel like we’ve been “sisters” forever. :)

  7. Oh, Kim….you never cease to amaze me. So glad you had a wonderful day. Your dress and matching bow are just too cute! Sounds like you have a sweet sister. Can’t wait to see what you come up with to serve in your new dishes.

    • Tamika, ditto on the dresses you make for yourself and Curly Cutie. Mine was a yard sale find… haven’t had the ol’ sewing machine out for years, ha! Looking forward to doing an olive extravaganza, too!

  8. Can’t help but noticing that matching ribbon. That’s so sweet! I love dresses too, especially floral ones. Such a wonderful day you’ve spent. And yes, u’re a writer, an excellent one too!

  9. Kimby! I feel like I’ve been w/you all day…you share so much simple happiness about your life…it’s glorious, and I’m grateful to have it in my life…these are not mundane things, they seem glamorous when I read your blog…I’m taking cues from you!! xo Ally

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