This post is inspired in part by the post I did a couple of weeks ago on being happier with simple pleasures than big New Year Resolutions, but it’s mainly inspired by the genuine euphoria I felt when I took my bra off about 5 minutes ago. In an attempt to think of something that equates to the feeling of satisfaction one gets from taking a bra off at the end of the day, so that non-bra wearers can relate and attempt to create the same sense of satisfaction themselves, I made a list of satisfying things that have happened in the last few days that have made the first week back at uni bearable.
- Taking off a bra at the end of the day (I know I’ve already mentioned it, but seriously give it a go, male readers included. Just steal on for a day, no one will see it under a jumper)
- When you boil an egg and 1) the shell peels off without a single dent in the egg, and 2) the white is perfectly opaque with the middle still runny.
- When you reheat leftovers and for once you didn’t eat most of it the first time you made it and put the measly leftover portion in a tupperware thinking ‘yeah that’ll do for another meal, just bulk it up with more veg’. Bulk it up all you like, you won’t fool yourself.
- When you write a page of notes and didn’t have to cross a single thing out. Almost picture-worthy, except no one else cares about what your notes look like (this doesn’t stop you from sending a picture anyway).
- When the toilet roll runs out at exactly the right time (extra satisfaction points for this because it’s so bloody rare)
- When the song in the car ends just as you’re parking/leaving the shower/finishing whatever you’re doing, and you feel for a minute like you’re in the opening titles of a film.
Proper achievements like getting a job or a good mark on an essay are nice and all, but when you go for it anyway after realising there are only a few sheets of toilet roll, at best, left on the roll, and succeed – that’s the true mini fist pump moment. So if you’re having a shit week, put on a bra in the morning, boil yourself an egg for breakfast (and keep boiling eggs until you attain that perfect egg peel; a trip to Tesco to get more eggs may be in order, but don’t let this deter you), batch cook something and split it exactly in half so that you have a FULL meal the next day, and play music throughout, making sure to purposefully walk out the door every time the song ends. If you still don’t feel a little more self-accomplished or satisfied, take off the bra you put on in the morning, and you’re sorted.
To kill two birds with one stone, I would suggest making this recipe for butternut squash brown rice congee with greens and a boiled egg; it’s kind of like an Asian take on a risotto or rice porridge, and it’s even better reheated the next day. I only advise you have patience, and maybe some long sleeves because it does spit a wee bit.
Miso Brown Rice Congee for 2, adapted from Food 52‘s brown rice porridge
A large handful or about 1/2 cup of short grain brown rice (I think this equates to about 90g)
1 tbsp miso paste
1 thumb of ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 large eggs
About 8 mushrooms (or enough for 2), sliced
1 pack tenderstem broccoli
To serve: coriander, sesame seeds, a lime
- Dissolve the miso paste in 500ml water, and put onto boil with the rice. Cook on medium until the rice has absorbed all the water.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180 degrees c and toss half of the butternut squash cubes in olive oil, salt and pepper, before putting in the oven to roast. Boil the leftover butternut squash cubes in a separate pan until tender.
- Drain the butternut squash and, using a potato masher or hand blender, mash the squash until the consistency of a puree. Add this, the grated ginger and garlic, the toasted sesame oil, and another 500ml water, to the rice.
- Simmer this until the rice has absorbed the water once again, and the consistency is that of a thick soup or porridge. You may need to add more water during this process.
- One it has reached the a consistency you’re happy with, put a pan of water onto boil. Boil the egg for 8 minutes, adding the broccoli to the pan after 6. Whilst the egg is boiling, fry your sliced mushrooms until done to your liking.
- Spoon the congee into a bowl and top with the sliced mushrooms, roasted cubed butternut squash, boiled eggs, tenderstem broccoli, coriander and sesame seeds. Add a squeeze of lime juice and season. Pat yourself on the back.