Procrastination and Cassoulet

I’m not usually one to struggle with procrastination, but this ‘revising’ of my novel is kicking my butt. I have an incredibly deepening respect and gratitude for those authors whom have worked through this stage, completed their writing, and shared it so that I have been able to read amazing and wonderful stories. Thank you.

I’m not liking this part; which, according to what I read from other writers, is often the case. Not that the act and process of writing those 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo weren’t hard, they were. It’s just that this process, at this point, is much more difficult. Today my procrastination took me into the realm of cooking. It’s something I enjoy, also  the process of cooking or baking help me when I’m feeling stuck, sad, happy, hungry, unsure of what to do;  kind of like going on walks, going to yoga, and writing in my journal. I’ve been so stuck with revising though that I haven’t even been writing in my journal. What????? Yep. So, I’m writing here while my ‘alternative cassoulet’ bakes in the oven for dinner later this evening.photo 18

After I slid the cassoulet into the oven and closed the door, I was able to sit down and make some progress on my novel. I printed out my most recent rough draft, post – it noted my story theme (life and loss) above my laptop and on my story, wrote my one sentence elevator pitch and my back page book cover paragraph, should this novel make it into some form of  publication. Phew, it needs to be written again, PHEW – with a deep breath – inhale/exhale, repeat.

photo 19

My word, I’m going to enjoy my alternative cassoulet this evening;  alternative because it varies from a traditional cassoulet in that it has no red meat. I love cassoulets – particularly the one served at Cafe Campagne, Seattle. The trouble is that I’m having to drastically limit my red meat intake in an ongoing attempt to lower my genetically high cholesterol. I’ve also added carrots and celery and substituted the traditional pieces of pork, lamb and duck confit with ground turkey and italian chicken sausage. The intention I negotiated with myself earlier today was that I needed to be at home, in my office, beginning the next phase of revision. That has meant more time at home this afternoon, which gives the perfect amount of time for the cassoulet to simmer on a low heat in the oven while I edit, revise, and later teach a piano lesson. photo 20

If you’re interested in the recipe, here goes:

Saute 1 medium onion (diced), 3 chopped garlic cloves, one diced carrot and one diced celery stalk in olive oil in an oven proof skillet. Add salt and pepper ( today I added chopped fresh rosemary and basil as well). Saute for about 5 minutes, then add one can (drained ) of white cannellini beans, saute for another 4 – 5 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup red wine, simmer for about 5 minutes, add 1 cup chicken broth. While that’s simmering, saute some ground turkey and diced italian chicken sausage, then add to the vegetables. Add one can diced chopped tomatoes with liquid, stir in one tablespoon of flour to thicken, add some more chicken broth if it seems too thick, cover with a lid and put into a 300 F degree oven for 2 – 3 hours. Check on it every half hour or so and add more broth if needed. About 20 minutes before serving, take the lid off and cover the cassoulet with bread crumbs, then put back in the oven until the bread crumbs get nice and toasty. Pull from the oven and serve with a side salad. Enjoy!

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