Broccoli Stem Pecan Pesto (V)(GF)

IMG_9607Welcome back to the blog, a.k.a. Allie’s weekly opportunity to embarrass herself! I decided today that I’ve produced far too many sappy, meaningful posts recently and that the only solution is to break the streak with the lastest account of my lack of common sense. I hope you can take this as an opportunity to sit back, relax, and feel the prevalence of your own competence as you read about mine momentarily dwindling–don’t worry, I’m not looking to self-deprecate. It’s only that I realize the strangely therapeutic nature of entertainment that, in it’s ridiculousness, makes you feel better about yourself (I’ve binge watched more Toddlers and Tiaras in my day than I’d care to admit)–and I have plenty of experiences that will do just that. Prepare for the following ego boost.

Lately, I’ve incorporated a news podcast into my morning routine. As I’ve explained in the past, I sometimes struggle to stay as informed as I’d prefer, whether it be from busyness, anxiety, laziness, or occasional apathy. Listening as I get ready for the day has proven to be a manageable source of information and one that interests me, though. My choice podcast is The Daily, a New York Times created audio show that delves into one story of the news for an extended segment and then ends with a summary of other top happenings. I did listen to it for a brief period a while back, and because I subscribed to it then, every day’s episode was saved on my phone for years, leaving me with a bulk of episodes that needed to be deleted when I dove back into the podcast last month. Generally, I deleted a few each time, hoping to one day eliminate the clutter monster that greeted me each time I opened the app. IMG_9567

This morning, I realized I’d missed the show a few days earlier this week and immediately grew excited at the fact that I had a choice of which episode to play. Excited is a strong word–I’ve had a rather emotionally exhausting week, so the fact that I had options simply broke up the monotony of brushing my teeth and blindly pushing play. I quickly reviewed a few titles at the top of the list and chose the one that sounded most intriguing to me.

I’d like to preface this section with two points: 1) Remember that my level of political awareness has experienced much rise and fall, especially in years past. 2) I have a terrible reputation for being unobservant.

I absentmindedly washed my face as the familiar opening tune of the podcast bubbled from my phone’s speaker, followed by the date and introduction of the show. As the host began making his way into the featured story, though, my attention shifted more intently to his words. He described that an op ed had recently been published by the New York Times from an anonymous “senior official” in the Trump administration, and that it essentially spoke to the idea that there were individuals within the White House who were actively working to undermine the president’s unfavorable choices. The author claimed that multiple people in the administration were fully aware of and working to combat Trump’s lack of moral compass and resulting dangers to the nation. The Daily’s host was interviewing a New York Times editor to discuss (and to be blunt, pry for information about) the mysterious article.

As the episode continued, my interest and shock ballooned. My mind swirled with questions: Who published it? How did he or she have the guts to publish this at such a sensitive political time?? How is this affecting the current impeachment trial in the Senate??? Surely this was a publication bomb–how hadn’t I seen it blowing up on social media???? I reeled in my dimly-lit bathroom, confusion and bewilderment clouding my head. Man, I really can’t miss one of these again, I thought. This is crazy.IMG_9614

I rushed out the door to physical therapy, allowing the next episode I’d missed to play in the car as I drove but barely listening because I was still stuck on the previous story. As the kids say these days, I was shook.

At the end of my appointment, I had fifteen minutes of icing before I was finished. Seeing the perfect opportunity to research the dramatic news I’d heard that morning, I found the original op ed online and furiously began scrolling through it. The harsh tone of the writer was equally astonishing and inspiring, and the general sentiment regarding Trump was unfortunately accurate. Reaching the bottom of the article, I noticed a listing of articles written in response to the editorial. Oooo, this should be good, I thought. I clicked on the first one, noticing a detail on the page that I’d managed to, until then, overlook for the entire: the date. The article was written in september of 2018.

Yep. For those of you similarly uninformed people who haven’t been laughing at me for the preceding two paragraphs, I had not listened to a podcast from last week. I’d listened to a podcast from September 6, 2018, the next one in line for deletion. I’d hurled myself into an unnecessary and entirely misinformed agitation over news that happened a year and a half ago. This was just one of the many times I was thankful that I kept my realizations to myself–I can’t imagine the hilarity that would have ensued if I’d been on the phone with my mom and asked “Could you believe that article the New York Times published?”

If I had, though, or if I’d asked my physical therapist or inserted it into conversation with one of my friends, there would have been embarrassment. No doubt about that. Luckily, I refrained from those and chose the much more low-key option of exposing myself on my very public blog on the very permanent internet. You might laugh–you should, actually.IMG_9516

We all have dumb moments. We all have difficult days. We even all have heartbreaking, gut-hollowing, tear-filled experiences. That was quite an escalation, but it’s the truth. And regardless of which of them you’re handling right now, you’re going to come out okay. I recovered rather quickly from this morning’s political upheaval that occurred entirely within the confines of my bathroom and car. But I’ve been through some things recently that will take a lot longer than that. Sometimes it seems like a difficult incident just won’t go away, won’t stop reminding you of how much it hurts. I encourage you to breathe and take each day, each moment, at a time. The last time I had an actual meltdown, my friend lent me some makeup, and I walked out of the room ten minutes later standing a little taller and with a face that looked like it had never seen a tear in its life (or at least that’s what I imagined).

The reality I want you to remember is that you will make it through whatever it is. God will give you the grace to face whatever day and people and situations are threatening to steal your confidence. It will be hard, and you might have to sneak into a bathroom now and then to touch up your makeup, but you’ll do it. Next time you’re tempted to let shame take over your grasp on the day, don’t let it. As my mom once said–on a day where I wanted to keep my eyes down and disappear and the ONLY time she’s ever cursed–“Give ’em hell, Allie.” I like to think God was on her side for that one.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.

Proverbs 31:25

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Broccoli Stem Pecan Pesto (V)(GF)

Ingredients

  • 6 broccoli stems (the big stalks, mine were about 4 inches each)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP canola or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor/Nutribullet. Pulse until no large chunks remain.
  2. Continue processing until desired smoothness is reached. (I like to stop it before it’s completely smooth to add a bit of texture from the pecans).
  3. Serve on pasta, sweet potato, sandwiches, veggies….anything your heart desires!
  4. Store extras in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use.

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