September 3, 2014 19

Transitional Stuffs + a love letter to my csa!

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I had a recipe planned for you guys. A recipe + a love letter to my CSA. But when I set out to cook yesterday, things just weren’t making sense. I was having some, well let’s just call them creative issues. You see I was in my kitchen, all two square feet of of it – man I can’t wait to someday have a bigger kitchen. I’m not asking for a lot, just maybe an actual counter-top, an actual work space that doesn’t involve spreading my mise en place all over my living room.

Before I leave Philadelphia {more on this, keep reading}, before I leave my humble urban abode, I really must do a post on my kitchen. If I can cook in the space I’ve got, you can definitely cook in yours.

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Back to the recipe…I was short on time, what else is new? I’m constantly short on time because I’m constantly over-extending myself. Both my parents are like this, my siblings are like this. I’ve learned it from the best of best. The best over-extenders/perfectionists I know. I can’t really help it, but I’m working on it. I proudly seek counseling for this short coming of mine. Which I’m learning can actually be used in my advantage, now I just need to start implementing it.

SIDE NOTE – counseling/therapy does not make you weak, it makes you a better human. To understand and communicate the makings of your mind, is not only primal, it is necessary.

I am always in a rush, I’ve written about this before. My husband hates this about me. Maybe hate is too strong a word, he probably wouldn’t use the word hate {I don’t think he could hate anything about me…I’m perfectly, remember?} – but, I do know it bothers him, a lot. So I’m working on it. For him and for me, I know we’d all be in better space if I wasn’t always so, rushed. If I could learn to just slow things down a little bit more. To say no more often, realize I don’t have to do it all. It is okay that I don’t bring you a new recipe today. My words are enough. These photos are enough. I am enough.

Nothing good comes from being rushed. Nothing beautiful comes from haste. So you guys, for now, I need a break. A break from creating and a time to spill some thoughts onto this page. Thank you for allowing me to vent this. Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening.

Last week I took a field trip, I got a chance to unplug, slow down and escape my hectic city life. So kindly and so graciously, the Rehil Family allowed me to photograph and experience life on an Amish farm. Even if it was only for a few hours, I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. One day I’ll live on a farm, one day I will tend to my very own garden. One day I will eat the foods I’ve nurtured and nourished with my own two hands. This time will come, I am sure of it. But for now, without my own garden, without the space to grow, my life really wouldn’t be the same without my CSA. The gratitude and love I have for them runs so very deep.

To brag on them for just a moment, check out their front page feature in the September issue of Grid Magazine. Also, they so awesomely published an interview with me on their blog last week. This is my first interview, like ever, and kind of geeking out over it. So many thanks for having me you guys.

If you read my blog often, by now I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about the little slice of heaven that is, Philly FoodWorks. With them, every Thursday afternoon feels like Christmas morning. And when I go pick up my share of local, organic produce and farm fresh eggs I proceed to obsess over them for hours. Planning + mapping out new recipes for my husband and for all of you to enjoy. At the beginning of the summer season, the beginning of our collaboration, I took a trip to one of farms that provides the produce. Read about my experience at the West Philly urban farm, Neighborhood Foods here.

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To finish our collaboration together {the summer share doesn’t end until October 23rd…I’m leaving early, for more on this keep on reading} I wanted to experience the other spectrum. Visit the Amish farm that provides just about half of their produce. I took the two hours drive west to the Rehil Farm in Honey Brook, PA and when I got there, it was literally picture perfect. From the long winding driveway, to the picturesque corn fields and buzzing chicken coop {they lay my eggs, so cool!!}. I walked and talked with Rubin Rehil, the patriarch, the head-honcho, the farmer extraordinaire. His humble expertise and wisdom were undeniable. I felt like I was asking him so many questions, like something only a three year could relate to. I felt like I could have listened to him for days.

I walked around snapping shot after shot. The animals, the scenery, the oxygen – it was all so refreshing. I just couldn’t get enough. Finally, as I neared over-staying my welcome, I pulled myself away. I was so connected to this pace of life, a moment to forget about all the ‘goings on’ back at home. The truth is my life is pretty hectic right now and here’s why.

About six months ago I was out to dinner with my husband, you know just a quick mid-week bite at our favorite Thai spot down the block. What I didn’t know is that he had a secret to share with me, a secret that would in fact, if acted upon, change our lives forever. He told me, he had been thinking a lot, which I know means he’s been obsessing over for months. He can be quite slow to change and apprehensive to newness, which is a great thing considering my too-quick, often impulsive behavior. We balance each other out like that I suppose.

He said, “I want to pursue a career in aviation and I want to go back to school.”

I immediately said, “hell yes – I love everything about this, I do, I do!!” You see airplanes are in fact Christopher’s one true love, besides me of course. And, I love an adventure!! I love change, I love a challenge. And I have never been more supportive or proud of my husband than I am right now. I mean there aren’t many people in our world today who are willing to leave a seemingly stable job in pursuit of greater happiness and quality of life. And to know he is doing this for both himself and our family is so self-less, so loving, so honest and true.

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But as quickly as I was exhilarated with our future, I had grown equally anxious. School means, Chris temporarily leaving our home in Philadelphia. School means Chris going out to Denver for nearly two months, with or without me. School means our lives shifting, undoubtedly for the better, but scarily all the same. I know this is temporary, but ultimately means leaving Philly, perhaps sooner rather than later. Settling into a new home and finding a new community, a new life. Consequently, a lot of in-betweens and a lot of stuff I cannot plan for. If you haven’t already suspected, I like to be in control. One might say I am a bit of a control freak. Going with the flow – can be, at times, pretty hard for me. But I am flexible, I am willing and I know I can do this.

Chris will be in Denver full-time until the end of October, and since I can work from virtually anywhere, we decided I’ll split my time between Philly and Colorado. Denver is a special place for us, it is where we met almost ten years ago.  My brothers, sister-in-law and sister-in-law to be live there, so getting to spend all my days with my siblings is a special treat. My little brother will be getting married at the end of this month, so I suspect my time will be mostly spent DIYing like a crazy person, instagramming new life-scenes, cooking in unfamiliar kitchens, shooting food outside {oh my, I can’t wait for this!!} and walking around barefoot in my brother’s grassy backyard.

Preparing my house and my life for the next two months have led to some pretty wild + frenetic behaviors. I’m talking about working from six in the morning to midnight, a serious almond milk cappuccino addiction, creative droughts, energy lulls, energy spurts, writer’s block, excessive eating, not eating enough + strange mid-day cleaning attacks. Note to self: your refrigerator, the one you aren’t going to use for the next two months does not need to be re-organized right now, spend your efforts elsewhere.

For all of you who have spent significant amount of time away from your spouse, how did you even manage? I fear for those days where I will be too sad without him near. But I constantly remind myself that this is a very short ride and one that we chose. Soon all the uncertains will become clear. Soon your life will be back to normal. Soon you and Chris will be together again, cooking and eating and loving your days away.

Oh and I almost forgot, over the next few weeks three of my friends + favorite bloggers are going to be bringing us some stunning vegetarian, gluten-free eats. Please give Cynthia of Two Red Bowls + Ashley of Local Haven + Elizabeth of Brooklyn Supper the warmest of all welcomes!!

{{disclaimer}} This post is in partnership with Philly FoodWorks, this helps support the continued growth and development of my site. All opinions are my own.

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19 Responses to "Transitional Stuffs + a love letter to my csa!"

  1. Reply

    Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish

    September 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Beautiful honest post. Excited for you for the things to come… and I HOPE to fill one or two of those Denver days with a cook-fest at my mountain house :)

  2. Reply

    Maggie Langford

    September 3, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    My refidgerator is super clean now too! ;)

  3. Reply

    Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    September 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Wow, what major changes are coming up for you guys! I wish you the best with all that will bring; it sounds like you guys have a great relationship, and I’m sure the time will fly by faster than you might expect it to. I hear you on the whole being-rushed problem. It is hard to slow down sometimes. Life never stops moving, though, so how do we deal? Ugh, I feel your pain. Also, side note – I don’t live far from Philly and am actually there like at least once a month on the weekends. (I went to school there and my best friend still lives in the city.) Maybe we should meet up sometime and get to know each other! (When your life is maybe not quite as hectic, haha) If your’e interested, shoot me an email. Again, good luck!

    • Reply


      September 8, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Hey Sara!

      I would love to meet-up some time. I probably won’t be around till closer to November, but I live right in Center City and can meet you anytime. Thanks for reading friend. XO

  4. Reply

    Zoe @ One Beet

    September 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Congratulations on this new adventure! As someone who has had some ‘leap and the net shall appear’ moments myself, I can’t wait to see what this new chapter will bring for you. I have no doubt it will be extraordinary! Xoxo

    • Reply


      September 8, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Awe thanks Zoe, thank you ALWAYS for your support :))

  5. Reply

    Ginger Stark

    September 3, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Congratulations and best wishes with life chsnges. I know exactly what you mean by both therapy improving us as humans and what it’s like to always be rushing. Nothing will slow down the rushing like a chronic illness diagnosis. Lupus is a curse, but has also been a blessing. I have cut back my schedule and truly enjoy my life.

  6. Reply

    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    September 3, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    congratulations to both of you! How fun! As for being apart from your spouse for a few months… oh girl, as a political consultant I’ve definitly been there. Keeping bust helps a lot. The time will fly!

  7. Reply

    Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

    September 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    Congrats to you! Lots of changes! And be sure to slow down. It’s SO important to disconnect and give your brain a chance to breathe.

  8. Reply

    Em | the pig & quill

    September 4, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    This is such a heart-warming post, Sherrie — and I’m glad for the lack of recipe if it meant getting a little closer to what’s going on in that pretty little head of yours! I think we all run up into that wall sometimes where creating fresh content for the blogs we’ve passionately poured our hearts, our everythings, into starts to feel just the teensiest bit like — heaven forbid — work. And it’s then that resetting or taking a breather or forgiving yourself a change in schedule is just the ticket. Don’t you fret one bit.

    And as for the time away from your husband, I was away from (my) Chris for five months when he first moved back to CA and I stayed behind in OH to sell our house (yeah, that didn’t happen) and find a West Coast job of my own so we’d have two incomes when I finally made the move. It was BY FAR the most challenging period in my life, to date — which I realize makes me incredibly fortunate, but it also highlighted tenfold how much a part of each other we’ve become. (It was made all the harder by the fact that we got married two months into the separation, so on the Tuesday after the ceremony, back to OH I went, alone to an empty house. There were a lot of homemade Peanut Buster Parfaits happening in those days…)

    On the hardest days, when I would come home from work and literally sob until I was puffy all over, the only thing that made me feel better was exercise. All that shit about endorphins is absolutely true, and no matter how hard it was to get myself off the couch, an excruciatingly slow jog through the neighborhood always did wonders for my mood!

    Anyway. This is ridiculously long, and I’m sure you’ll receive loads of advice from all directions, but SO much luck to the both of you — you’ll end up stronger in the end!! — and thank you again for opening up. It was kind of the bestest. :) HUGS. -Em

    • Reply


      September 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Wow Emily, I can’t believe you were away from your husband for so long so soon after you got married. That must’ve been crazy hard. I’m really looking forward to this change and I have to keep reminding myself it is something that we chose and something that will benefit it so greatly in the grand scheme of life, but there’s still something so hard about being away from the person you want to spend every second with. We’ve been out in Colorado for 3 days and so far so good…till I go back to Philly alone, lol.

      EXERCISE!! Yes – awesome point, thank you for that reminder. I foresee lots and lots of downward dogs + child’s pose.

  9. Reply


    September 5, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    Your photos are plum gorgeous! Good luck to you and your hubby as you head on this new adventure…

    • Reply


      November 24, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Thanks Liz!! xo

  10. Reply

    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet

    September 5, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    What an awesome adventure you are about to embark on!!! I love that your hubby is chasing his dreams and you are super supportive of that. Todd and I are unfortunately too familiar with spending time apart. Every cross country move we have made (and there have been 3 together) We have spent about 6 months on opposite coasts. It was hard and sometimes overwhelming, but for us it just made us stronger. We made lots of time for Facetime dates and were sure to cherish each and every moment when we were together. I know you can make it through this friend!!

    • Reply


      September 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      Whoa girl, let’s just talk about the 3 cross-country moves!! Yikes that’s hard in itself.

      And yeah, Facetime will probably be our new best friend – what would we all do without it?!


  11. Reply


    September 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Gosh, do I know about extending yourself! I feel like I did that and then let people down for the last several months. It was awful. You are giving yourself and the people in your life a gift by taking a break to reconnect with yourself. More good things will come of this. I assure you. Also, your hubby being away will feel like it drags on, but it will also fly by so quickly. A few months, in the grand scheme of things is nothing and you two love birds will stay connected and make the moments with, and apart from, each other meaningful. Sending you lots of love at this time. xoxo

    • Reply


      September 8, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      Thanks Kris!! XOXO

      And it won’t hurt to have a few visitors to take my mind off things, yay to seeing you soon :))

  12. Reply

    Alissa N @ Girl Makes Food

    September 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    First of all, the photos in this post are just lovely. And I so deeply relate to everything in this post. I have been in therapy for almost 10 years and couldn’t agree more that there is nothing to be ashamed about. It is a serious pet peeve of mine that mental health has such a bad stigma. Therapy has helped me to be the best version of myself, and I feel like I am the happiest I have been in my life thanks to therapy. I am a huge advocate of it for anyone and everyone.

    I also tend to over-extend myself, I work a really demanding full time job, health coach on the side, as well as blog. You probably understand that load of responsibility better then anyone as I believe you do nearly the same. This summer I had to step back from the blog a little so I could have some time to find balance, and slow down a little.

    The new chapter you are about to step into is going to be wonderful, I am so excited for you and your Hubby! I heard earlier today that Denver has something like 250 days a year of sun.. which sounds pretty heavenly!!

    • Reply


      September 8, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Thanks so much Alissa!! This farm was so stunning, I didn’t have to do much work at all ;)

      GAH – yes we both work too too much!! Finding that balance is key and so hard for people like us. Denver is pretty stormy right now, lol – but they get an incredible amount of sunshine, much more than people would think. When I lived here a few years ago, I think the statistic was actually 300 sunny days a year, so crazy!!


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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.