Back in the days of high school and homework, due dates and deadlines were something to be avoided at all costs. We wished they didn’t exist and were constantly trying to push them just a little farther away in hopes that maybe they would disappear. Did anyone else feel like that in middle school, high school, maybe even in University?
The funny thing is, now I am the exact opposite. Due dates are something I self-impose and have a hard time functioning without. Maybe it is all of those years of conditioning, but if I do not know when I need to be finished with a certain project or task, it’s all the less likely that it will ever be completed. This is especially true considering the fact that while I was a dedicated and good student, I have always been a natural and hopeless procrastinator, the kind of girl frantically writing her essay at 11pm the night before the deadline.
This is, for better or worse, the case with any choreography or performance I may be working on. I need a specific time when I know it must be finished. Part of this may come from having done so much theater in middle and high school. I became used to a very traditional structure of rehearsal, the hustle of dress rehearsals, a final performance followed by striking the set. There is a logical, fixed order to the creation of a group theater piece and because of this, it is how I am most comfortable working on my own pieces. Without a performance date, I tend to have an awfully rough time stitching together anything into real choreography. I endlessly improvise, which granted, gives me a lot of material to work with, but until I see some kind of end in sight, it is hard for me to really mold movement into anything besides fleeting beginnings of thoughts, like scraps of uncompleted poems.
Working freelance most of the time means that I have to be all the more strict with myself when it comes to due dates. Foe example, Marouan and I have created a timeline for our duet, even if the exact performance date hasn’t been decided. We know when we need it to be done and have to be rigorous in our work towards that day. This way, there is no hanging question of “well, how do we know the piece is finished?” It is done when the deadline rears its head and we have to be done.
Similarly, if I don’t set blog publishing dates for myself, who knows when my next post would be? I find that if I do not make a schedule for myself in my creative projects, the work will only happen sporadically with much less accountability. So I give myself weekly deadlines, knowing that I will probably procrastinate on them, but at least they are always eventually completed. That way, I stay accountable for writing regularly and recipe testing in enough time to share something tried, true and delicious with all of you.
I am curious about you other bloggers, creatives, or self-employed friends- how do you know when your work is finished? Do you set deadlines for yourself, and how?
With recipe deadlines in mind, enter this Broccoli Chickpea Soup, a recipe that I made for the first time several weeks ago, loved, and knew I had to recreate again for this space. Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, even though I knew that I wanted to share this soup long before today, I waited until yesterday to cook up another batch, photograph it and write the instructions. Typical.
The reason I loved this dish from the beginning is that there is something about it that is faintly reminiscent of creamy and rich broccoli cheese soup that I always used to love as a kid. Of course, there is nothing at all resembling cheese in this soup, but the way the chickpeas mix with the turmeric and tahini gives a similar creamy nuttiness. Whatever it reminds you of, or doesn’t, it is still a simple and delicious meal, easy to whip up and comforting to the core. It is also a good transition soup, soft green for spring, but still just cozy enough to keep you warm until April or May.
Broccoli Chickpea Soup with Turmeric + Tahini
Makes about 4-6 servings, vegan + gf
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent. Mix in the salt, pepper + spices, then toss together with the broccoli and chickpeas. Pour in 4-5 cups of water or stock, just until the broccoli and chickpeas are completely submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli stems are soft, testing by cutting through a couple with a knife.
Either blend the soup with an immersion blender, or wait for it to cool a bit and carefully transfer it to a stand blender and mix until smooth. Transfer back to the same pot, then stir in the tahini, taste, and add any extra salt or pepper if needed. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and an extra little drizzle of tahini.
- 1 lb (450g) head of broccoli, chopped (including the stem)
- 2 1/2 cups (525g) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp fresh ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 4-5 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) drizzle-y tahini
- Lemon slices for serving