To Future Me,
Hey, future Megha. You could be one day ahead of present Me or one month ahead or maybe one year ahead. I don’t know the time difference. But, I know full well you will return to read this letter once again especially for the recipe.
First, we will focus on comfort zones.
“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett
My current comfort zone.
Let me show you my current comfort zone. For this blog, I am the photographer, editor, and writer. And I take the pictures using iPhone. Even though I have a DSLR, I am adamant on using iPhone. Why? Because those controls on the DSLR intimidate me. And learning DSLR entails learning about aperture, depth of field, etc. All of which are an enigma to me.
On the other hand, iPhone is straightforward. Point and shoot. No need to learn or make any efforts taking photographs. Maybe somewhere, I don’t even want to explore the territory of DSLR photography.
In a way, I have blocked my mind to believe that DSLR is difficult and out of my reach. You could say, I have made DSLR as my Mount Everest. You can figure out by now, I am stuck in the comfort zone of iPhone Photography. I don’t want to go out and put some efforts into learning how to use DSLR.
“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.”
― Pandora Poikilos,
How and when I came out of this comfort zone
Remember the time you learned to drive bicycle. You slipped and injured yourself every day. But when you first rode without support, you were proud of yourself. I felt the same when I took my first step towards learning DSLR and clicked my first picture doing the settings by myself.
For this purpose, I joined a 30 day to better food photography email course. They don’t teach about the DSLR controls in the course. But for doing assignments I picked up DSLR. And then, by some miracle, started exploring all those buttons and settings on my own. Eventually came out of the comfort zone. Now I have a little confidence in myself and the DSLR!. See, the only roadblock was picking up the camera.
Anyways, the main point I want to make is, get out of the comfort zone and do the thing that will enrich you. Do anything that will push you out of the comfort zone. I joined a course to come out of this one. You could do something else. Just stop making excuses and lying to yourself and go do it.
“Do Not Lie to Yourself
We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett,
Now about that date with asparagus
You are wondering why I used the date with asparagus. Right? On a date, you meet the person, talk with him and get to know him. Similarly tonight I met asparagus for the first time, learned how to cut it and use it for pasta.
Asparagus is a spring vegetable and so can be seen in abundance at the grocery stores. Cutting asparagus is very simple. Just need to cut out the hard woody part of the stem. Normally 1/4 of the asparagus. And add it to boiling pasta for the last two to four minutes. Before today I had eaten asparagus while dining out only. Let’s see what will I make next time I buy asparagus.
When it comes to cooking, I can easily slip into the comfort zone of preparing the known recipes using the known vegetables. But, from time to time, I force myself to buy new vegetables or cook new recipes with the trusted vegetables. This ensures I have a variety on my dinner table always.
If you recall, monthly recipe bucket for this month, I included asparagus there. And true to my word, I used it in pasta.
Here is the recipe for that Vegetable Pasta in White Sauce. I could have added asparagus in my Spinach Rigatoni recipe but decided to make this with white sauce.
Vegetable Pasta In White SaucePrint This
- 8 ounces/250 gms Whole Wheat Pasta
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot cut into juliennes
- 1 small or 1/2 large capsicum cut into juliennes
- 1/2 cup sweet corns, boiled
- 1/2 lbs asparagus chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 cup spinach washed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- Salt to taste
- Add butter in a pan and wait for it to melt.
- When butter melts, add flour and whisk to avoid lumps.
- Once the flour turns light brown (Takes 1-2 minutes), add milk and mix.
- Once the milk starts boiling, add shredded mozzarella cheese and mix.
- When the sauce is thick and not running, close the burner.
- Add salt, Italian seasoning and 1/2 tbsp black pepper to the sauce.
- The sauce is ready, keep it aside.
- Heat water in a pan. Add 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp oil to it. Bring it to boil. Add the pasta. Add sweet corn. Tip: Can boil corn separately. I boil pasta, corn together to save time. Boiling broccoli removes its slightly bitter taste. Turn the timer on for 12 minutes.
- Afte about eight minutes, when the pasta is half boiled, add asparagus to the pasta. Boil for the remaining four minutes.
- Strain the pasta with corn and asparagus and pour a little tap water over it, and keep it aside. Tip: Pouring cold water prevents pasta from sticking together, and breaking.
- In another pan, heat oil, saute garlic till it turns golden.
- Now add onions to the mixture.
- When the onions have turned translucent, add the capsicum, carrots, and spinach. Saute on medium heat till they become a little soft. We like the vegetables a bit crunchy with a raw taste, so we don’t cook for long.
- Next, add the pasta with corn and asparagus.
- Season with salt, Italian seasoning, 1/2 tbsp black pepper, and mix.
- Now pour the white sauce over the pasta and mix.
I made some pan fried asparagus and rice cutlets as sides to pasta. The creamy and cheesy white sauce pasta with the crunchy vegetables was a delight to my taste buds. It’s a must try, and asparagus adds to the flavor.
See you in the next letter. Till then enjoy any one of these desserts after the pasta.