The Minimalists wrote a book about (go figure) minimalism. They end with the mantra
“Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.”
I find this funny because I love things. Love, love, love soft things, shiny things, fuzzy things, cute things. Gosh, I just love stuff. A lot. I’m also an introvert, and a bit of a society pessimist, so I kind of don’t like people. Ideally, except for Jesse (the boyfriend), I will spend the majority of time around nice things, cooking supplies, and good books. Occasionally, I will have interludes where I enjoy the company of good friends and the random people I meet at the grocery store/coffee shops.
So why on earth do I want to be a minimalist? Perversely, it is because I love things so much. But I don’t just love any stuff, I love high quality stuff. I love high quality, made with care, artisan, fancy shmancy shit, that fits me perfectly, fits my lifestyle perfectly, and is a perfect expression of who I am. When I shop for important purchases, I often look for things that I will be my best friend forever. Literally, I tell myself, I am looking for best friend forever shoes. A best friend pencil box. Some of them even have names.
My bicycle is named Larabee.
My pencil case is named Bob.
My sewing machine? Nancy.
Yet, things that are made with love and that will survive my love are… well, expensive. Furthermore, best friend forever shoe status means that I wear those particular shoes all the time, and that they are repairable by a cobbler. I can only wear so many shoes. I can only cook with so many implements. Simply put, in order to love my stuff as much as I want to, and in order for it to have that broken in, well loved, abused but taken care of look, I can’t have a lot of it. And all of what I do have, needs to be pretty darn close to perfect. The solution to this?
Sometimes, I am so convoluted I even blow my own mind. Boom.
So the moral of the story is, whether you love stuff or could leave it be, minimalism might be something to look into. Well, unless you just love throwing things away every day, spending money constantly, and destroying the environment. If that is the case, consume away. I’ll be over here hanging out with Nancy. She won’t judge you.
This Week in Updates: Working on my Minimalist Wardrobe
So I am very close to wardrobe complete. In fact, that whole process was what I was supposed to write about today, however I listened to a The Minimalists podcast and 1.5 minutes in had to stop it to write the above post. Funny thing, is that I watched the documentary a while back and really didn’t have a similar reaction. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t actively working on minimalist goals at the time. Maybe, and this is more likely, I didn’t realize just how difficult it is for me to find clothing that fits, and looks nice, on both fat and skinny days. The struggle is real.
When I, at least, find clothing items that are both well made, fit, and looks good always, it is hard not to fall in love with them. Most of the time, those items are not replaceable. Furthermore, even if they are, good clothing needs to be broken in. You break in your jeans, patch them where they wear, and wash them until they are soft. Leather shoes take awhile to mold to your feet, but once they do they’re perfect. I still have my boot camp pair of military boots, 5 years later. I very lovingly take care of them, have sewn them up, and hopefully can take them to a cobbler when the sole finally wears down. If I were to “spill bleach” metaphorically on them, as said in the podcast, I would be devastated. It would take me another 5 years to break in a pair of shoes just as thoroughly as those are.
Also, did I mention it is First Cake Friday? Got the ingredients ready to go, and a friend date all set up. I will let you know how it goes next week.
The Recipe: Coconut Chick Pea and Quinoa Bowl
So, I saw the base for this recipe in the book Eaternity, by Jason Wrobel. I was confused by two things, first off that it was kind of Italian with the tomatoes and garlic, but kind of Thai with the lime and coconut milk. What the crap would that all do together? I was also confused by the fact that he used lite coconut milk (BLEH!) and he put the whole shebang on a potato. Something soupy like these coconut chickpeas need to go on something that can absorb all that nice sauce, like rice, millet, or quinoa. Thus, I adapted, simplified, and gave the whole thing a try. Oh my goodness it was wonderful, and a completely new and different flavor. It battles for a second in your mouth, as you try to reconcile what you think of the Italian/Thai mix, but after a few bites you fully settle into the deliciousness.
Also, did I mention chickpeas and quinoa for protein power? Oh yes. Definitely a muscle building bowl.
Note: This makes a very large potful, however, these are the right proportions for using one whole can of coconut milk, so deal with it and come hungry!
- 3-4 cups cooked chickpeas
- I can coconut milk
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 can tomatoes, no spices
- Red pepper flakes
- Juice from one lemon or one lime
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- cilantro or spring onions (or both) for topping
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the quinoa and set aside. Using the olive oil, saute the garlic in a skillet until toasty brown. Throw in the onions and cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes, the lemon juice, and all dried spices. Mix and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Throw this into a blender with the coconut milk and blend until creamy. Pour back in the pan, add the chickpeas, and heat until bubbly. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little water to thin it out. If you like it thick (like me) it heats up just fine in the microwave. Serve with the quinoa and chopped cilantro/spring onions. Enjoy!