My job before moving to Philly consisted of me being in the community all day long. I barely ever saw my desk or my co-workers because I was out and about in the community interacting with people I didn’t know. Talking to staff at local resources, advocating for my clients, talking to landlords, potential employers, etc, etc, etc. I was pretty comfortable with this even from day one. I can talk to people I don’t know if the attention isn’t on me. The topic of conversation was always about my client and that takes all the pressure off me.
But since moving to Philly my anxiety has been in full force. The pressure is on for me to advocate for myself, to find a job for myself, to meet people, to ask people for advice on where to go and what to see… I hate it. I go to the grocery store and I can’t find anything because it isn’t set up like any grocery store in Kansas and so I have to ask someone where the heck I can find rice flour. I go to run errands and I have to ask our doorman where I can print something or where you can buy beer in this town where nobody sells beer! Hate it. It is irrational. Being anxious about things that should be so simple.
I know I’ll gain my confidence back and the anxiety will get under control. It will just take me establishing my place in the city. I think that is why blogging and social media are so appealing sometimes. It’s a way of putting yourself out there in a sort of anonymous way. Yeah sure, you see what I look like and I give you little peeks into my life, but you can’t see me exactly at the moment I’m writing this and, more importantly, I’m not having to make eye contact with you. (don’t take that the wrong way, I’m sure you are all lovely and have pretty eyes!) But I know this can be a slippery slope. I don’t want to hide behind my computer all the time, so I’m working on forcing myself to work through the anxiety and have real life awkward social interactions with new people. I’m even planning on meeting up with a few blogging friends soon. Ladies, you know who you are, be prepared for the first 30 minutes of us meeting to be filled with quick talking, awkward fidgeting, anxiety filled interactions.
But food is always my savior. Perhaps it’s why I’m so passionate about it. It is always a common ground. Pretty much everyone I’ve ever met either likes to make good food, likes to eat good food, or is passionate about both. And instead of overanalyzing how conversations with people I don’t know can go, I need to just be simple about it and take it for what it is. It’s a simple interaction. I don’t have to over complicate it in my head and work up my anxiety. It can be just as simple as this dessert.
I was walking around the grocery store the other day trying too think of something sweet to make. I had several elaborate, overly complicated ideas and then I laid my eyes on these gorgeous peaches. I knew exactly what I wanted to make right then and there. And it was definitely not elaborate. Sometimes I forget how beautiful real food can be without a lot of embellishment. Like these juicy ripe peaches. They are so delicious and sweet on their own. But I wanted a little something to go with them. So I made a cashew cream. Perfect. Simple. Fresh.
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour if you do not have a high powered blender such as a Vitamix
- ½ cup raw nut milk, or other milk of your choosing if you are not concerned with this being raw
- 2 TBSP pure maple syrup, can substitute honey or agave
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 4-6 peaches, pitted and roughly chopped
- ½ cup of chopped pecans, or other nut of choice
- Combine cashews, nut milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a blender and blend until a smooth cream. You may have to scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Divide the peaches evenly between 4 dishes.
- Top with cashew cream, and sprinkle with pecans.