Thursday, October 1, 2009

Self-Care: In the Kitchen with Allison

from Allison Hrovat, Adult Therapeutic Services Coordinator

In my work at CRCC, I spend a lot of time working with clients on developing plans for self-care. Trauma impacts an individual on many different levels, and making the decision to seek support and begin working on the effects of an individual’s trauma history requires hard work. During this work it is especially important that clients are able to find time for self-care.

Likewise, trauma impacts the people that support survivors. In order for staff and volunteers of CRCC to be able to effectively do their jobs, it is important that we are able to do the very thing we encourage clients to do- namely to take really good care of ourselves. One of my favorite methods of self-care is cooking. I love being surrounded by fresh ingredients and creating something new every time I step into the kitchen. As summer comes to a close and the end-of-the-season produce is in abundance, I start thinking of the soul-satisfying meals of fall. With the leaves beginning to change, so does my appetite…whereas the summer days have been filled with guacamole and corn on the cob, fall promises satisfying soups and anything made from apples.

One of my favorite recipes isn’t much of a recipe at all- just a few ingredients thrown together and cooked for a few hours. If you have a slow cooker or a crock-pot and like apple cider, I encourage you to try this out (you can also make this in a pot on the stove, it just requires attention). I can think of few things more comforting than the way the house smells as this cooks...I hope you’ll enjoy and be encouraged to continue to find new methods of self-care in your own life!

Spiced Cider
-apple juice (qty. depends on the size of your slow cooker, usually 1-2 large bottles. I use the unfiltered kind, I think it has better flavor)
-2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
-1 orange
-whole cloves

1. Pour apple cider into slow cooker, about 1 inch from the top.
2. Use whole cloves to “stud” the orange (push the pointy end of the clove into the orange, I usually put about 10-15 cloves into the orange).
3. Place studded orange into the apple juice along with cinnamon sticks.
4. Cook on low for a few hours until fragrant….enjoy!
*As you begin to drink the cider, you can continue adding more juice to keep cooking more cider.

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