Eating My Feelings.
And a recipe to eat your feelings too.
My eyes scan the mini whiteboard sitting at my desk scribbled with a to-do list that I want nothing to do with. It's filled with important deadlines, reminders for emails, and a million tasks. It’s a visual representation of overcommitting to commitments. I try to ease into the workload by scratching off the easiest one: reply back to emails.
“Hi Jane, hope you’re doing well. I was wondering if-”
Nope. Let’s try it again.
“Hi Jane, hope you’re enjoying this beautiful weather! I just had a thought about-
Ugh. Okay, one more time.
“Hey Jane, what’s up!? I’ve been thinking that maybe we should look over-
Out of frustration with email etiquette, I try to move on to something just as easy on the list. Maybe I’ll finally get around to working on the PowerPoint slides for a panel I’m speaking on. Naaaah. I’ll finally start writing my newsletter for this week.
I open a Google doc and start typing gibberish on the screen. This just won’t do. I get up in frustration head to the freezer and take out frozen homemade pie dough. I slice up apples and toss them with cinnamon, sugar, a dash of nutmeg, and a squeeze of lemon. My hands do all the work as my mind rests easy knowing I don’t have to think about the recipe.
I form my galette into a rectangle because who has time for rolling out dough into a perfect circle? About 40 minutes pass by, and warm crumbs are falling from my lips. I’ve barely let the pastry cool down before my chef’s knife is cutting a lopsided square.
Mmm. Momentary bliss. The spiced apples hitting my taste buds are validating my feelings of overwhelm and stress. I’ve done it again. I’ve lulled myself back into feeling less frenzied and way calmer than before.
For the last two and half months, I’ve been snacking, munching, baking, cooking, tasting, savoring, and relishing every bite of food that comes within arms reach. At first, I chalked up my slight overeating to “research” for the newsletter and to recipe development, but I just recently realized that it's much deeper than that and my brand new jeans that don’t fit are the proof.
I’ve been toiling away on so many projects at the same time that I’ve lost count. Baking has become my salve when I’m stressed out. Sugar has become the ointment to my procrastination, and eating out has become my excuse not to be at home looking at my damn whiteboard. Also, my bank account isn’t really happy with me right now.
My newfound realization has made me more aware of how I’m feeling week to week, day to day, and hour to hour. When I’m craving a cookie I reach for my water bottle. When I want to go out for dinner I force myself to look in the fridge and craft a meal. When I want to avoid work at all costs, I take a walk in the woods to let off some steam. Adulting sucks some times, but I guess sometimes I’ve gotta do it.
What are some ways folks decompress during stress?
If you’re in the mood to eat your feelings try my apple galette!
(Adapted recipe from Delish.com - Unfortunately, I don’t use a recipe for my own galettes!)
1 basic pie dough
3 apples, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
1 tablespoon white sugar
Preheat oven to 400°and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine sliced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Gently fold to coat apples. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a 12" circle about 1/8" thick. Arrange apple slices on top of dough, leaving a 1 1/2" border around the edge. Fold the edge nearest to you towards the center. Rotate sheet plan slightly and repeat, until all edges are folded towards fruit.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush egg wash over crust and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake until crust is golden and fruit is tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.
Cook. Eat. Repeat.
Eating My Feelings.