Sunday, June 5, 2011

Curried Sweet Potato Oven Fries

After this week, I can happily say my summer funk has lifted. I spent the better part of two weeks in my pajamas, lethargic and bored out of my mind. As a Morri always on the go, I was saddened that my body didn’t want to exercise.

I felt like I wasn’t eating more than I usually did, but it was apparent my inactivity was physically and mentally taking a toll. For the majority of my journey in self-awareness I had only two speeds: stop and go. Everywhere I went I wholly put myself into the moment, then crashing as a result for days afterward. I learned to balance my highs and lows, to listen to my body when it was time to step back and give myself a break. But these days, with people coming by daily and my house is full of activity, I felt lazy by comparison. The only thing that kept me from watching cartoons all day was – you guessed it – cooking.

My two weeks of inaction was my time of self-reflection. In a few short weeks I’ll be at my internship, working with wonderful people at George Mason for a month. By August, I’ll be renting a house with the boyfriend and some friends, maybe with an animal or two. Finally, after this fall semester, I’ll have graduated, set out into the world with a degree and a dream. So I think I can safely tell you all that there are a lot of things going on in my near future.

Mama Dazz has been my go-to person to talk about these kinds of things (as mothers typically are) and she helped me put it into perspective. For one, I have learned to give myself some slack and to not punish myself for the things my body wants as a result. For another, I am an active person, and my way of relaxing is by being in motion.

Since I do not have access to the university’s gym this summer, I’m finding different ways to work out. When I was a little girl, the Burt-man tried to get me to play tennis, but I was never interested in the sport. But I was desperate. I needed to get outside, to feel the strain on my muscles and the sweat trickling down my face. I yearned to hear the playlist I made specifically for exercising.

Tennis has become my summer sport, to which a shocked Mama Dazz looks at me and says, “Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?”

She was right about one thing, though; giving your whole self a break is good for the soul. Truthfully, I was in a funk for most of it, but my creations in the kitchen have definitely been some of my best works yet.

I now have an outlet for my body, a way to keep myself balanced and mobile, but I am learning the art of doing nothing (i.e., relaxing) when there is nothing to do, to accept and trust that my body is resting for a reason, and to enjoy being still.

Even when I’m not in the mood to play, at least I have refuge in preparing meals for the people I love.

Curried Sweet Potato Oven Fries

3 medium Sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and slice (each potato can be made into 32 pieces)
2 tsp Garlic, finely grated
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala (or curry powder)
1 dash Cayenne
3 tbsp. Olive oil (or flaxseed oil)
1 tbsp. Orange juice

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a large plastic bag, add all of the ingredients and shake the bag until the sweet potato strips are equally coated.
On a greased baking pan, spread out the strips on a single layer.
Roast the fries for 45 minutes to an hour, turning them over at the 25-minute mark.

Makes 96 fries and can serve 3 to 6 people.

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