One good thing about getting older is this - you stop caring so much about what other people think. Of course criticisms and naysayers can potentially hurt your feelings, but at your core essence, it seems to matter less and less. I know that I've stopped caring so much about how I look (much to the dismay and chagrin of friends who are forced to eat lunch with me while I sit in my workout clothes) and my hair style isn't that important; instead, I march to the beat of a different drummer - me.
When I told friends that I wanted to learn how to play the drums, many of them laughed. Not cruelly or anything, but they just thought it funny that an almost 40 year old woman, with three kids, who barely keeps it together as it is, wanted to learn to play the drums. A few of them said, "Go ahead and try" but smiled indulgently at me, as if I were some five year old child asking if she could learn how to ride an unicycle. The pastor at my church, who needs a drummer for the praise team, had a glimmer of hope in his eyes when I told him, but I also saw skepticism there as well. It is, I know, somewhat ridiculous and unusual, but playing the drums was a thought in the back of my head from a long time ago. When I told Husband about it, he was completely supportive, told me to get a drum set and learn how to play. Fortunately for him, (and me) good friends of mine happened to have an amazing drum set that was not being used, and offered to let me use it. Suddenly, the day after my birthday, I had a beautiful drum set at my disposal; Husband bought me new drumsticks, and a drum throne and I was all decked out in gear to play, only I didn't know how.
My first lesson consisted of friend PS teaching me the fundamentals of how to hold the sticks and flick my wrist. He suggested that rather than hit the drums (they were his after all) that I would probably benefit from practicing on a pillow. Repeat. Repeat. And repeat again. I followed his advice and for three days straight beat a pillow so hard that I almost ended its life. But it did teach me the fundamentals and the sticks started feeling better in my hand, less awkward, and more an extension of my fingers.
Soon thereafter, in exchange for food, another friend EK, came by to give me drum lessons. I gave him chicken biriyani and he taught me some basic patterns to jazz up my beat and suddenly - I was playing the drums! And it was fun! And I felt like a rockstar! I am a long ways from playing in front of the church or in any sort of public setting, but I do enjoy my daily 35 to 40 minute practices jamming to tunes while Son and Daughters dance to my crazy rhythms.
For me, learning the drums really is about throwing caution to the wind and trying new things. Perhaps it was while I was trying to figure out some beats on the drums or just the sheer exhilaration at being a "drummer" that inspired it, but I decided just to test out a new carrot soup recipe, mostly because I had yet again, way too many carrots in my fridge. I decided to go with some Thai flavors - fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger and cilantro and made a refreshingly different soup. Son and Daughters all loved it, and it is right now Son's favorite lunch time meal. If you like Thai flavors - the bite of acid, the tang of fish sauce, and the sweetness from carrots, you'll definitely like this soup as well.
Thai Flavored Carrot Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion diced
1 lb of carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks (or smaller if you want it to cook faster)
1 shallot, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of one lime
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add vegetable oil and onions, and cook until onions are wilted, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, shallot, garlic, ginger and saute until the ginger and garlic become fragrant, about another 3 minutes. Add fish sauce and lime juice and cook for another 2 minutes. Add all of the chicken stock, and cover soup, simmering until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a handblender, puree soup, until it becomes smooth. (Be careful! HOT!) Add coconut milk and cilantro, and puree again until soup is a lovely uniform texture and smooth. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Eating this is ALMOST like playing the drums...but not quite.