Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dayplating: Midday Joy in a Salad Plate

We've been doing strength-finder tests at work for the last couple weeks. Many of you in corporate America and otherwise will have encountered some kind of personality test in the process but what I love about this one was the lack of a downside. No wrong answers, as it were, just a different forte, another niche. I love finding out what combination my coworkers fall into and I've even started thinking about the people outside these walls in similar terms. We all have our little tics and tells and it's fun to sort them out. Embrace the naval gazing for bit, as it were. Agreed?

Even though the strengths themselves are positive, there were a few that have never been assigned to me that I'm working at. Consistency, for one, is notable by its absence. I do not know what it is about the way I'm wired that fights process and routine. It can be maddening. Even my body has a hard time doing something the same way twice- I have no muscle memory for sports. I can't swing a club or a racket or a bat the same way twice. That said, when someone gives me a process that shuts off my internal chatter (or at least channels it for a few minutes), I'm blissed.

Hence the love of cooking. It's flexible enough that I don't have to do everything the exact same way. I am not a professional and have never had the desire to go to cooking school. Cooking comes with it's own set of hard and soft rules and you can celebrate the differences while relying on the process, the benchmarks. I love that. There are others who would say that cooking is highly specific, mathematical even. It's glorious that one umbrella term can incorporate so many different kinds of practitioners because man alive, I'm still not a math person so that can't be how I cook.

I'm quiet when I'm prepping. Chopping and stirring and placing and saucing. I'm processing, sure. The way I suspect many career runners do (only often to opposite effects). So in an effort to find some middle ground, I'm bringing my tried and true quiet time to the office with me a couple days a week. It's unrealistic to think I can do it every day but it's helpful when I do.

Today was one of those days. I had all my ingredients partially prepped and brought to the office where I keep a real plate for just such an occasion. Then the hour struck and I took 10-15 minutes to quietly cut up the last of my Black Cherokee tomatoes, a roasted golden beet, an apple from my CSA box. I'd brought green and purple kale shredded with some leftover romaine and the remnants of some cranberry walnut dressing. The topper was walnuts as well- stored in a baggy with fresh pepper and sea salt from home.

It was nice. Really nice to have something beautiful and healthy to put together in the middle of the day. I loved the process. I feel more focused thanks to a salad. Again, I hesitate to put too many rules on it- don't want to draw the ire of my own nature- but from one side of my brain to the other? I'm hoping a few things start to stick- salad plates and beyond.


Meg Blocker said...

That. Looks. Amazing.

By the by, I am an ENTJ, borderline I/E, and significantly less ferociously T since the first time I took the test, way back in 2004.

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Looks delish! Wish I would have seen this baby in person. That's me communicating how much I love this :)

Kelly said...

It's been awhile since I took one of those tests. Though I do know my Myers Briggs personality - like Meg I am ENTJ all the way. :-)

I do feel though I like I need to eat on real dishes more often at work. I think I need to bring a separate set of dishes to work.

Meghan (Making Love In the Kitchen) said...

And who says a salad can't be a satisfying meal? This looks like absolute veg perfection to me.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Alright, so when are you coming to Boulder to A. hang with me, obviosuly and B. rock out one of our Sunday potlucks?!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

OH and I'm an ENFP