Before I share Chef Jackie's delicious Sweet Potato Salad recipe with you, I want to share how she made my life easier with one simple thing she said last week. So simple that it's kind of embarrassing to even share with you but I'm thinking that it might help you or someone else the way it did me so here it goes...
She was telling me about walking into a house and there were dirty plates and bowls and glasses in the sink and covering the counters. The friend shared that they were having a hard time keeping up on it due to some extenuating circumstances they were dealing with. Jackie, being Jackie, zeroed right into the issue in the kitchen: "You have too much stuff in your kitchen. Don't keep so many plates and bowls and glasses. When you have more than you need, it makes it too convenient for everyone to grab a clean one instead of washing the dirty ones."
That was my, 'slap-my-forehead-duh!' moment. Of course. And yet, this was one of those moments that made me realize how I could suddenly make my own life easier. One of our go-to coaching questions here at the Nourish to Flourish Society is, "How can I let this be easier?" Whenever something feels too stressful and hard, either internally or externally, we encourage our clients and our Reset ladies to ask this question. We ask each other and we ask ourselves: How can we let this be easier? But, sometimes we are so stuck in habits and ways of being that we forget to ask. Or, we are so 'in it' that we don't think it can be easier. We forget that a really simple shift could make our life easier.
This is how it's been for me with my kitchen. First, I don't have a kitchen I love...yet. It's an old builder's grade kitchen that I plan to renovate one day, but for now it's what I've got to work in. I practice gratitude daily for all the ways it's served me and for all the stories it holds. But, truth-be-told, I also feel frustrated daily because it seems impossible to keep organized. I often blame it on the lack of space or poor design, which keeps me stuck in victim mode, feeling like I can't change the situation. I tell myself that I will just continue to have to stack glasses and bowls and store things in ways that make it hard for me to get them out without knocking a bunch of other stuff over because I don't have enough of the right kind of cupboard space. And, I will continue to have a sink and counter filled with dishes because my dishwasher doesn't work the greatest and I don't want to replace it until I can upgrade everything. And, despite my attempts to organize drawers there aren't enough of them. And, on and on and on go my reasons for my kitchen struggles and woes. So many reasons to feel frustrated about my perpetually messy and disorganized kitchen.
Jackie's comment was just the lightbulb moment I needed. My issues aren't about my old, poorly laid out kitchen or lack of the most up-to-date dishwasher or drawer organizers. It's mostly about the fact that we have too much stuff. I always thought it made it easier to have extra glasses and stacks of plates and bowls and lots of mugs so that there is always a clean one available. Which works. There is always a clean one available. Hence the problem. I get snarky with everyone for always getting out a clean whatever while the sink is overflowing and the dishwasher is full. Not sure what I expect of three teenagers (ahem, and my hubs), especially when I do the exact same thing!
This is where you might be thinking, 'Duh!' yourself. About me that is. I know this isn't rocket science and if you are organized in your kitchen, so far this post probably isn't resonating with you at all, but stick with me for a minute. (and not only because I have an awesome recipe for you...).
So, within 24 hours of seeing Jackie, I went through my cupboards and drawers and took out ALOT of stuff. I left 8 glasses and 8 bowls and a few serving utensils. I took out a bunch of pans and serving dishes I rarely use along with all the tools and gadgets that I think are cool but also rarely use. Anytime I had any anxiety about taking stuff out of the kitchen, I'd remind myself that (a) I'm going to feel a lot better having less clutter in my kitchen, (b) it's going to be easier to keep the sink and counters less backed-up, and (c) I'm letting go to let it be easier. And, I have downstairs storage to keep some extra glasses and bowls and plates in for when we have company.
Chef Jackie, the actual chef-chef, has very few gadgets and tools in her kitchen. She's a big proponent of having just a few things you use regularly like a good set of pans and a good set of knives. If she doesn't need all the extra stuff or have lots of bowls and dishes and glasses in her kitchen, I probably don't need them either.
I also realized that my frustration with my boys for always having clothes all over their floor has a lot to do with this very same thing - too much stuff that they don't use or need. They have too many t-shirts and too many pairs of socks and so they don't need to do laundry very much because there's always a clean one ready to go. (Although that doesn't stop them from picking a dirty one from the floor instead but that's a whole other post!)
Maybe this story alone will give you that aha moment about how your own frustration with yourself or your family is related to having too much stuff. More than you need or can use. If this isn't you though, and you're good in this department, I'm going to invite you to consider there's another area of your life that could be made easier with one simple shift internally or externally. Something so simple and easy but you just haven't opened yourself up to the possibility that it could be easier. How can you let that something be easier in your life starting in the next 24 hours?
And, as promised, I also have one of Chef Jackie's recipes for you. It's a good one. One time I served this at a party and the owner of a local real food restaurant wouldn't stop raving about it. He asked me for the recipe even. Another woman emailed once to say that her husband told her it was the best potato salad he'd ever had but please don't tell his mom that! Anyway, it's perfect for summer. As always use the best quality ingredients you can find and afford, especially when it comes to the mayo. Go with pure avocado oil mayo from Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen so you can avoid the ones with canola, soy and grapeseed oil.
Sweet Potato Salad
- 4 sweet potatoes, cubed - no need to peel unless you prefer to
- 2-4 regular potatoes, cubed (optional)
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, cooled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup mayo (see note above about getting the good stuff)
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook sweet potatoes and potatoes until tender but still firm; about 30 minutes. Drain and cool.
- In a large bowl combine mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. Add potatoes, apple, eggs, celery and onions and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours for best flavor. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
I usually make extra of the mayo mix because we like our potato salad to have PLENTY of it so I'd suggest doubling it and if you don't use it all for the potato salad you can use it for a veggie dip. Enjoy!