All-night, all-day dark sky rain. Surgeon thinks leg pain is due to over-use and over-zealous exercising. Femur and new hip prosthesis are still getting acquainted. At 5 months post-hip-replacement surgery, I can expect healing to continue, with the hip and leg needing a rest as much as a work-out. Well.
My options are as follows: until the teaching afternoon begins, I can sit on the couch and surf utube videos of abandoned houses and funny cats…..OR, I can bake something in the kitchen. Inertia almost won, but I’m so glad it didn’t. Choice. One of the major tenets of the Alexander Technique is that we have a choice, that is, faced with a stimulus, (i.e.–pain), we can choose how to respond.
Windows were thrown open (yes, Dear Energy-Conservation-Husband, if you are reading this blog entry, I DID turn the thermostat way down), ingredients assembled, pans, bowls, spatulas gathered, AND, most importantly, the entire endeavor was designated an experiment in what I call, “How Little Does It Take??” It’s a practice inspired by AT matriarch, Marjorie Barstow, who would often say to her students, “It (the Technique) is a little bit of nothing.”
Stirring the thick gingersnap batter, I had a choice. I could bear down and exert more force than needed to blend the ingredients, or I could give myself what F.M. Alexander called “Directions,” and direct in this way…..”Ease up with the head. Let gravity travel through your structure. Feel your feet. Include the sound of the rain patter in your field of attention as you stir.”
A session in the kitchen undertaken with thoughtful use of Self and goodwill toward myself and others, results in something that tastes and looks so much better than the ‘pulled-down’ alternative. See what you think:
If you would like to play with the Technique and end up with a fine batch of gingersnaps, here is Marion Cunningham’s recipe from her book, Learning to Cook:
Snappy Gingersnaps (about 40 1 and 1/2 inch round cookies)
3/4 C. shortening (Crisco), 1 C. sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 C. dark molasses
2 C. all-purpose white flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 T. ground ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon (Penzy Spices are THE BEST; freshest ginger ever)
1/3 C. sugar (to roll the cookie dough in)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the shortening, 1 C. sugar, the egg, and the molasses in a large mixing bowl. Using a large spoon, beat the mixture until it is smooth and blended.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon with a fork.
Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture. Stir vigorously until everything is smooth and blended.Scoop up a rounded teaspoonful of dough and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands. Roll the ball in sugar, and place on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes, then remove to cooling rack. They freeze very well should you have any left the next day.