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My New Obsession ft. Soy Candles and One-Pot Meals

September 17, 2020

Hello world, the world that has flipped and tumbled and flipped again in just a few month’s time.

Even living under a rock couldn’t keep you from being “in the know“.

First, the impending and then the lasting doom of the coronavirus. The senseless killing of George Floyd and countless that look like him killed by all-too-common police brutality.

And to ruin the summer further, the passing of Chadwick Boseman, an immeasurable talent who brought the culture the historic, record-breaking Black Panther.

Mentally-exhausting.

Gut-churning.

Heart-breaking.

Like a tight-laced corset, I can breathe, but it’s hard to.

I needed peace.

And, if not at a tapas bar, where do most of us find solace, as we rest our weary minds and huddle for protection and comfort? Our homes.

A place where I value a vibe the most.

Since moving across state lines, I’ve been trying to uncover what home feels like to me, independent of my childhood home and separate from daily intermingling with family.

What interior style speaks to me?

What do I do to find slowness, with a mind that sprints with the world passing by?

I learned, quickly, responsibilities aren’t a lay-a-way. There constant and prodding, steady and omnipresent.

But in the midst of it all, there’s a compromise.

Ever think of those little moments of time, where everything feels as second-nature as pouring maple syrup over a stack of buttermilk pancakes?

The “nothing to do” part of the day, before there’s something to do?

Man, I love that little segment.

Drop everything you’re doing and time won’t bat an eye, the day is still in smooth motion like a successful poo.

All I need is a candle and a good meal.

Most people hate the smell of pumpkin — my sister Tia, and James — but I adore the pungent, cloyingly sweet smell of pumpkin-scented candle even before fall.

This is part of my vibe.

Last night, I came home right before 11 PM from Harris Teeter with leeks, salmon, and heavy cream ready to whip up a batch of salmon hash — meaty chunks of fresh Atlantic salmon, tossed with onion-fragrant leeks and garlic potatoes and then folded in a good dousing of heavy cream.

I lit a candle in respect of the moment then too, as a backdrop to controlled chaos.

Season 10 of MasterChef played in the background.

Charlie, my Shih-Tzu mixed dog, was whining and clawing me for human food.

And across the counter sat my boyfriend, James, making his own noise.

Perfection.

I didn’t finish up until around 12 AM but called it a night, soaking a few dishes, wiping down the counter with a little soap and hot water, and finally by blowing out the amber-scented candle.

The clean up was swift, it was easy, and I never realized how lost I’d got in the moment.

These two things are my vibe; they’re void of calamity and nagging ra-ra.

In the midst of budgeting, and appreciating small indulgences, these two things prove to satiate my appetite for “newness”: one-pot meals with the backdrop of a lit candle.

Everyone knows the magic and comfort of one-pot meals and candles as separate things.

And you’re probably wondering, why these two?

The one-pot jig is obvious — you only need ONE pot!

But there’s also this movie-like the quality of how it all comes together with ease; there’s no lag time.

Here’s the clip of you prepping perfect ingredients, and dropping them so effortlessly and timed perfectly into some pot, or deep cast-iron.

A one-pot meal can make anyone look like Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen all in the flick of the wrist.

Heat, on!

Now, a touch of olive oil. *half the bottle

Onions in.

Beef In.

Dash of salt!

And everything else… in.

Stir, stir,

Now, comfort served.

Red wine spaghetti; brothy chicken and dumplings; and beefy chili are just a few of the comforting meals you can cook. I love cooking the chicken and dumplings from highly-rated Mother’s Bistro in Portland, Oregon.

And as for candles, I consulted with NY MAG’s article for the best-selling candles from the most trusted experts.

So, tell me since this whole, weird coronavirus period.. what’s your vibe or your new obsession?

Asiah G.

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