I’ve had this recipe (and Cheryl’s amazing photos to accompany it) to share with you for a while. I knew there was a theme or metaphor in it somewhere and I’ve finally figured it out. Sometimes you just have to get dirty, and it’s usually a good thing.
What are some the dirty jobs that we pass on to others? I mean anything can be cleaned up for a price, right? Lawyers. Therapists. Sanitation workers. Plumbers. Lawyers clean up our messes when they tidy up the legal trouble we’ve gotten into. Therapists make sense of our emotional struggles. Sanitation workers and plumbers have literal dirty jobs as they clean up our waste.
What are some of the dirty jobs that we can take care of ourselves? You know, the things we avoid because of the immediate ickiness/resistance we imagine we will feel if we tackle the job…
Saying we’re sorry
Admitting we’re wrong
Asking for more money
Asking for more time on a project
Answering the hard email
Sticking to a budget
Making the difficult phone call
Not taking NO for an answer
Waking up early
Getting to the gym
Saying NO to the piece of cake/candy/cookie/treat
That’s my list these days. Add your own tasks and projects that are keeping your life messy.
But think about all the times you dug in, did one of the ‘dirty’ little tasks above. There was relief, right? We expand in those situations; we actually create room inside a situation and inside of ourselves for more goodness. There’s progress on the other side of doing the things we avoid.
It may not be immediate, but it creates forward movement. It keeps situations from getting stuck.
You know how children seem to gravitate toward the messes? It’s almost a contest - how dirty can they get? They are so free and all they can see in a mud puddle or a face covered in smashed peas is how much fun the situation brings. They have no care about the mess they’re making, nor do they care who’s going to clean them up. When I was making this dish I felt like a kid. I gave myself permission to get dirty. I found it liberating.
So this week if you find yourself avoiding a task that seems like a dirty job, I invite you to take in a deep breath. Inhale and create space for this task and imagine it going off without a hitch. Then breathe out. In this exhale find the freedom to go for it. It may take a couple rounds of breathing and you may feel silly. That’s ok. Keep breathing. Pretend you’re a kid making a mud pie or finger painting. Get dirty! You’ll be so glad you did.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Red Wine Paprika Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 whole head of cauliflower, green leaves trimmed away and stem cut just enough for the whole head to stand up in a pan
- crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl to form a paste. Place the whole head of cauliflower in the bowl and generously massage the wine and spice paste into all the nooks and crannies. Get dirty! Place the cauliflower into the baking dish and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. It should have an all over char to it and the paste should be dried. Remove from the oven and slice into ‘steaks.’ It will be tender, but should still hold its shape when sliced. No worries if florets fall off, just add them to the platter when you serve. Sprinkle with cracked red pepper flakes.
Thank you Cheryl Stockton for your stunning photography!