stewed peppers, tomatoes & onions

There’s a lot of good writing out there in the food blog world. I’ve laughed and I’ve even cried over someone’s personal story telling. But this morning I went to my feed reader and read this post by Tea & Cookies. It touched me deeply. Beautifully written and ringing of truth, I had to comment. So please head over to Tea’s blog, read her words and let me know if it stirred similar feelings.

While I feel so many of the same things that Tea has mentioned in her post, I don’t have an answer. While I know the life I am living right now is based on my choices, I should feel 100% satisfied and lucky. And most days I am. I love where I live, I love my friends, I’m proud of the work that I accomplish. And my husband? I couldn’t imagine a life without him holding my hand, laughing at my tasteless jokes and loving me for who I am. But then there are other days when doing the simplest things seems too overwhelming.

This blog is a comforting place. It started off as a creative outlet, as a way to get back to writing, like in the days when I used to self-publish my own photocopied and stapled zine. It provides relief from my day to day, but sometimes because of life, it gets placed on the back burner. I’m not writing as much (or as well) as I used to, I’m feeling distracted and sometimes writing a post is like checking of an item on my to-do list. It’s not a great feeling. All I know is that it’s a busy time right now and soon enough I’ll find my way back here with a full heart and a full belly. But on with the food, it’s why you came here after all!

I made this meal yesterday for dinner and it was the perfect thing. Just fresh peppers from a Chinatown market, a plain old yellow onion, a couple of eggs, and a can of tomatoes from the cupboard. Elements that don’t seem like much, but when put together and heated gently for about an hour, turns into something almost magical. Not bam-pop-wow magic, but the kind you feel from inside. It is warmth and comfort and it just feels right. Like a cardigan and knee socks and crisp leaves underfoot. Like hand-holding. And so I hope this blog will continue to feel as comforting and tasty as this meal. Just please forgive my table manners once and a while.

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20 comments to “stewed peppers, tomatoes & onions”

  1. 1
    tara   September 28, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I love everything about this – the dish, the writing, and the deserved praise to the wonderful Tea. So much good stuff.

  2. 2
    lesley [smidgebox]   September 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    great post, and i also read the one over at tea. thanks for directing me there. i totally agree, it's so difficult to have a bad stretch or just a slow day when you are lucky enough to do what you really love, and be surrounded by people and a place that are amazing. but i think it's totally normal, these curves that life throws at you. i think the best thing is to just stay true to what you started this all for, and if you're not feeling it one day or one week, never think that you're letting people down – it's so natural to feel that way!

    sorry for the rambling comment, you hit the nail on the head for me! ps-that recipe looks divine, perfect for fall.

  3. 3
    Tea   September 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    You sweet thing. Right now I'm wishing I could pull up a chair to a table set with this meal and C and you and have a good long talk, the kind that cures whatever ails. Thinking we must arrange for that, soon.

    Until then, I'm heading off to look for peppers.


  4. 4
    Dana   September 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I need more of these kind of dinners in my life. Wholesome, not complicated and tasty. And I love everything you write here as do many others. I know it can feel like a drag, but we are all here for you and eagerly awaiting the next post.

  5. 5
    Bijoux   September 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Wow! So many heartfelt emotions! Thanks for directing me to a new food blog to add to my roster…Tea& Cookies!

    For me, reading cooking blogs is a way to unwind…to seek comfort in the joy of food and be around like-minded people. Going through employment hell over the past 2 years…i.e. recession lay-offs and then a month or so ago, having to quit my job due to unforeseen circumstances with a tyrant (colleague), I feel your inner struggle.

    There was a time I enjoyed making jewellery because it was my hobby and my release from a hectic work schedule. I loved creating something beautiful for others to wear. It got to the point that I was preparing for craft shows and was feeling forced to create jewellery for the events. I wasn't feeling inspired. It was about selling and not enjoying the creative experience. Eventually, the jewellery hobby fell by the wayside because I was no longer feeling the love…it had unfortunately become a chore. Now that I have had a 2-year long hiatus from making jewellery, I'm feeling the pull to start it up again. I have many ideas stewing. We shall see…

    Speaking of ideas stewing, this stewed medley looks incredibly delicious. I think a bit of crumbled feta over it might also give it new heights of salty flavour!

    I came across this saying the other day and I just wanted to share it with you and others on here…

    "Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive."

    ~ Harold Whitman

  6. 6
    Little Ol' Liz   September 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    It seems that the blogging blahs are as easily caught as the H1N1 virus these days. The Net is rampant with bloggers taking a second look at their work. Fear not — experience shows that the blahs lasts about as long as the Swine Flu — but without the death-knell hacking cough.

  7. 7
    hag   September 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    In a way it is nice to know that even people who seem to really together people, have doubts and feel lost, and confused about life at times….it is a good lesson for all of us to remember. Another one is try not to be so hard on yourself. Personally, I have abanoned my hobbies before…went back to them, and then abandoned them again…and the cycle goes on…. It is ok to chnage your course for awhile…sometimes its a choice, and sometimes it is forced upon you. I liked tea's blog post ( great photos of dahlias too) and I appreciate your invitation for our thoughts on the subject. And another yummy looking recipe! must try!

  8. 8
    CookiePie   September 29, 2009 at 10:04 am

    That looks like a perfect, satisfying meal!

    For what it's worth, I love your writing. And don't get too down on yourself for not always feeling satisfied, even when you have what you want. That's the human condition. Sometimes it's loneliest in a room full of people. But that's what keeps us all striving. The fact that you're aware of it and stop to think about it puts you so far ahead of the average person, IMO.

    Anyway — just know that there are many of us out here, reading what you write and drawing inspiration and a smile from it. Hope that helps. xo

  9. 9
    hannah | honey & jam   September 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I really love your writing. And this dish is exactly what I need right now.

  10. 10
    Annabelle   September 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I feel the same sometimes, blogging feels like something you "have to do" but you'll get the mojo back… yummy, comforting looking recipe.. will go read tea's post now..

  11. 11
    Cookie baker Lynn   September 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I agree with you both. It's hard to enjoy the blog when getting a post up is a ticky mark on the to-do list. Your focus is wonderful, though. Counting your blessings is always a path to contentment, if not happiness.

    Thanks for the comforting peppers recipe.

  12. 12
    Erin, A Crafty Lass   September 30, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Really lovely, sincere post. I always look forward to the imaginative things you cook up for us.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   September 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks Tara, there is much praise to be heaped on such a rad girl like Tea!

    Thank you, Lesley! I know it's just part of the ebb and flow of things, I'm just hoping it all just flows away soon.

    Tea, let's meet up when you return. I'd love it.

    Dana, this is a perfect dinner (and hey, you could even throw it on mashed potatoes!!). Thanks for your kind words.

    Bijoux, Tea is a good read and I'm sure everyone goes through this stuff (yes, make jewelery again when you feel inspired! Listen to those rumblings). As for the stew, yes to feta. Didn't have any, but next time, definitely!

    Thanks for the support, Liz!

    I think so too, hag! I'm glad I'm not alone, obviously. It's good to know that I can change directions and drop things, because it is so easy to pick things up again.

    Aw shucks, CookiePie, thanks so much for helping put things into perspective.

    Thank you Hannah, that's very sweet of you to say.

    Annabelle, here's to mojo!!

    Thanks Lynn, it's means a lot.

    Man, I'm blushing here! Thanks Erin.

  14. 14
    Daily Spud   September 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks so much for the pointer to Tea's post. The more I do this blogging thing (and it is what I love) the more there is a danger that it can become a chore rather than a joy. I am trying not to let that happen.

    So I need to have times where I simply allow myself to enjoy making food, to be in that moment and not feel that I have to write about it. If this is to continue to be the thing that I love doing, then striking some kind of balance will be a big part of keeping it that way.

  15. 15
    Sarena Shasteen   September 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    I loved this post. It was written so well and with so much heart! I could not agree with you more on so many levels! I hate when I read that someone is sorry they are missing or they feel like they have neglected their blogs. I feel like mine is a place that I share me when I have the time to share me. I like being able to journal in a way that makes me share what I can when I can. I enjoyed this and Tea's post. Thank you for sharing! This meal describes me. Seriously, I eat a version of this so many nights! There is nothing better than a nice wholesome warm meal that just makes you feel calm and relaxed!

  16. 16
    Carol   October 1, 2009 at 2:57 am


    I simply adore your blog. Take a break if you need to but, please don't stop.

    Keep up the fabulous work!

    Carol :)
    Perth WA

  17. 17
    Kelcey   October 1, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner after a long day of classes. Let me just say, it was pretty much the perfect meal to top off a crisp autumn day down here in Eugene. It's wonderful to come home, throw together a few simple ingredients, watch an episode of some silly BBC comedy, and have dinner ready at the end.

    I've been a reader of your blog(s) for a while now, and between my mom and I, we've made a lot of your recipes. As a college student, I love that a lot of your recipes are simple, healthful, and include a lot of inexpensive ingredients!

    Thanks so much for all you do!

  18. 18
    Su-Lin   October 5, 2009 at 10:22 am

    This was my go-to recipe as an undergrad. Not sure why I stopped making it but peppers are now on sale at the market…

    I hope there's no blogging pressures you're facing – take it one day at a time. It would be horrible if you started hating it!

  19. 19
    kickpleat   October 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Daily Spud, I agree, it's all about balance.

    Thanks so much Sarena! I'm glad I'm not the only one out there that feels the pressures, so thanks for commenting :)

    Aw shucks, Carol, not gonna stop!

    Kelcey, thanks so much! Glad you loved this recipe, it's a keeper for sure.

    Su-Lin, I'm definitely not hating it at all, just a bit overwhelmed with life, I guess. Things are getting better :)

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