Stewed Cherries for a Gypsy Soul

Well, it’s over.  Summer vacation is gone, Labor Day weekend has come to a close.  The upside?  It’s 77 degrees right now.  I think we have finally bid the three-digit weather adios and can see autumn on the horizon.  I can’t. effing. wait.  Today, in honor of its approach and to clean out my produce drawer, I made stewed cherries with cinnamon and clove.

They don’t look all that great but they sure tasted it!

Since I’ve last written, I’ve had many food adventures I have failed to mention, such as:

  • Chicken and waffles at Hattie’s for brunch (great, but not as great as the bacon-wrapped fried oysters with hollandaise sauce that my roomie had–awesome on SO many levels)
  • Sonny Bryan’s BBQ for a pulled pork sandwich (disappointing, but that’s really what I get for insisting on pork when I’m in brisket country)
  • A quality piece of steak at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse (restaurant week deal!)
  • Another quality piece of steak at Ocean Prime plus a 10-layer carrot cake that’s been given accolades (also for restaurant week)
  • A Cuban sandwich at Jimmy’s Food Store (my only Cuban sandwich in Dallas and quite enjoyable)
I’m also three weeks into the school year already, and I feel less stressed and more competent than I did last year.  But, despite the fact that I love my students, I have been feeling a little unfulfilled…bored…and a little out of place.  My mom told me recently that I have a “gypsy soul.”  I always want to keep moving, go someplace else.  And it’s true.  I’m getting that restless feeling I had my last year in Nashville, the nagging itching to try somewhere new.  I get this feeling regularly but this past few days it’s been bursting like a shaken soda can.
The bubbling over of this feeling recently is probably due to a combo of factors (I’m all about the bullet points today):
  • My vacation is over and I’m back to my very demanding job.
  • I don’t feel intellectually stimulated or challenged.
  • At times I feel lonely, being back in the teacher bubble. I also feel one of my few friendships here in Dallas pulling away from me, which bums me out.
  • I haven’t been doing the things that DO make me happy like cooking, writing, trying out new things, or other creative endeavors.  And really that’s just stupid.
Basically, I just need to get over it and make more time for the things that make me happy, challenge myself, try to connect with people better.  I know very well I won’t stay here in Dallas.  But I do want to enjoy my life while I’m here.  Tonight I returned to two of them:  cooking and writing about it…
Cinnamon and clove are scents that just BELONG with fall weather, and though we haven’t quite gotten there yet, it made me very happy to make something that made me feel closer to it.  It was ridiculously easy.  I just pitted about a pound of cherries, put them in a saucepan with a cup of water and 5 cloves over medium heat, simmered them until really tender, and stirred in 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a splash of pineapple juice (just because I had it) and sugar to taste (about 1 1/2 tbl for me.)
It made a comforting dessert to enjoy on the balcony while I watched the lights go off in the office buildings downtown and the stars come out of hiding.  While I sat there trying to put my gypsy soul at ease for a moment, I saw a falling star.  No lie.  I almost didn’t believe it–thought it was just my eyes tricking me, or the air pollution. But you can bet I made Jiminy Cricket proud when I wished upon that star.  I wished hard.