by Katie Lehn, RD
A couple years ago I spent my first Christmas away from my immediate family. I was surprised by how much it affected me. It’s funny how you don’t realize the role company plays during the holidays until it’s lacking. I enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my extended family in Tucson, however, I found myself missing my mom, dad and sister quite a bit. In an attempt to fill the void, I had a grand plan to attempt pozole for the first time, thinking the aroma might help fill my lonely home.
I was first introduced to pozole at a holiday work party. Man, was I impressed! My boss had executed the dish to perfection! I never did get around to making pozole that year, but it has been haunting my list of cooking projects ever since. As the mornings get cooler (or what us Tucsonans refer to as cool) I am finding it more difficult to pull myself away from the comfort of my covers. My pup, Bingley, is snuggling closer than usual and pleading me to snooze my alarm just one more time. Even though the daytime temperatures remain a bit warm, I’m craving a warm bowl of soup to compliment the “cool” weather. The time has finally come to make pozole!
Experimenting in the kitchen is what I consider a luxury. Having the freedom to just “go for it” can be quite liberating. I have forever been one who felt anxious without a recipe, and still am. Over the years I have slowly removed the training wheels and pushed myself out of the recipe box. Now, don’t let me fool you. I did a good deal of research before jumping into this one. It was my first attempt after all!
Thinking back to my initial urge to make pozole that lonely holiday season, it must be said that food should never be used to mend an emotion. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t use emotion when cooking! Feelings play a vital role in keeping us excited about nourishing ourselves. Emotions such as the excitement of your favorite produce coming into season, heart warming memories of your grandfather’s famous lentil soup or joy from the first time you tasted a handpicked strawberry, can all be used as inspiration to cultivate variety in your day-to-day meal planning.
My version of pozole may be far from authentic, but there’s one thing for sure, it’s bubbling over with excitement. So, for once, let yourself be overcome by emotion! Translate that emotion into action by inspiring a beautiful meal created with passion.