The art of venting your hurts and pains to keep them at bay and a Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto for the bountiful autumnal harvests

After all is said and done, I have to admit I have an amazing life and am one lucky biatch. And I am so grateful for that, don't get me wrong. I get to do what I'm passionate about, what I love doing, I get to follow my dreams and do what makes me happy every single day. I have a roof over my head, and despite certain problems this house may have, I am lucky enough - and talented enough, I might as well just admit to it! - to have made it into a home. I may not have a wardrobe filled up with all the latest trends and hyper vibes, but I have clothes that I enjoy wearing and styling and that go beyond their basic utility, which is covering my body up and keep me warm. I am grateful for that. I also have plenty of ingredients to cook with and experiment with, when so many people don't even have enough food to silence their hunger. I am thankful for that.

Unlike plenty of people, I don't have to get up early in the morning and hurry myself, my spouse, my children to get ready and out of the house, and rush on to a job I hate, with a lousy pay, suffering plenty of humiliations and no recognition for the hardwork one puts in, being made to stay over later and worry about who is going to pick up the kids, and then rushing back home to make dinner, see to the kids' showers, help with homework, do the dishes, prepare everything for the next day, and finally colapse in bed utterly tired, with the sense one is not living, merely surviving. I am lucky enough that I don't have to go through that - and because I have gone through that and was so unhappy, I value the lifestyle I get to live right now very much so. I'll grant you this, despite sometimes feeling disapointed, or not given enough credit, or being irrelevant, I do know I have an amazing life, if only for the fact that I get to do what I love doing, what makes me really happy doing.

But I also believe that, in order to keep my own sanity and my mental health safe, it is ok to sometimes feel less than grateful when things do not go the way you wish they would. I believe it is ok to feel disapointed, or jealous, envious of someone's seemingly undeserved sudden success. It is alright to sometimes feel like life is simply taking and not giving - even when you have so much already! I feel it is human to go through those feelings, and I wouldn't want to be any other than human. And it is ok to vent, to talk about it, to complain of shit that happens and has left you angry and feeling like it's just not fair. It's ok to say that it just ain't fair. Because once you do so, once you put it out there, outside of your head and heart, you can start to look at it objectively. You have gotten rid of that feeling by venting it out, and now you can analyse it and come to terms with it, and move on. Go on with what you do, striving to get to where you want. You've looked at it and after you have given voice to it, you realize it's not that big of a deal, or that yeah, it feels unfair but it won't truly harm you, and you get to move on from that moment, those feelings. By putting them out, by giving them voice, you don't let them fester inside you, like a growing wound, something that will infect the rest of you. 

Because I really do not believe there are people who never go through that kind of feelings in their lives. I don't believe in silencing those voices of hurt and pain and jealousy and unfairness. I don't. Even if you have everything in the world. It is all pretty relative, in the end, but keeping those feelings silent will turn you into a bitter person, someone who cannot deal with adversity rightfully, someone who lives in the illusion that everything is good and peachy. I disagree with that theory of not venting when you're feeling bitchy. Please, do complain about shit, and once you're done with it, I'm pretty sure that you will look at your complaints in the eye and see that they're not that big of a deal. And quite frankly, it feels great to get those feelings out, out of your heart and mind. Wooofff, now they're gone! And you can safely look at where you are in life, and all you have, all your blessings, and really see them as blessings. You get to feel like you're the lucky one once more.

So, even if I do come out like some sort of whiner, always complaining about something or other, be assured, it is how I get rid of those feelings. I acknowledge them, give them voice, and look them straight in the eye. I see them for what they are, and they become less than they were five seconds ago. Until they finally disappear and I can go back to counting my blessings. Which is something I prefer to keep inside me, inside my head and my heart. I don't want to put that out of myself, I want to keep those feelings in, how grateful I am, how much I love the life I lead and all the blessings I have in it, how I feel like I get to have more than I might deserve, and that I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's. How I truly feel like I have been granted a path that is so amazing, getting to do what I feel makes me better as a human being, that of turning a house to a home, that of caring for those who share it with me, that of nurturing and feeding and tending to the gardens of their hearts. And all the food I get to cook, as the seasons turn and provide me with an array of produce that I can play with, and make life better and tastier and more complete inside our home. These blessings, these feelings of gratitude, I like to keep to myself, despite the fact that my not voicing them will make me look like a vicious, ungrateful bitch. I don't need to show others I am grateful for all I have, that's a private matter. I know what I have and I know what I want, and sometimes, it is only natural that the two diverge and one ends up feeling let down by a series of events that never seem to collide and make magic happen your way. Until one goes to the market and sees a butternut squash and instantly thinks butternut squash risotto, because it's Autumn and butternut squash is in season and risotto is so autumnal you could sing hymns to it - I know I do!

And because roasted butternut squash risotto is one of the many blessings that make me so happy and grateful for the life I lead, here's how to get some of this for you too!
  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • a cup of arborio rice or any other risotto rice you might prefer
  • glass of white wine
  • good olive oil
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • a handful of freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano cheese plus some slivers for decor
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
Start by seasoning the wedges of squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven for about 40 to 50 m on the 200º mark. Soon as it's cooked, let cool until you can touch it, and start scraping the flesh off of three thirds of the squash into a bowl. Cube the rest of the squash and reserve. Puree the one you scooped into the bowl, by mashing it with a fork, and add some nutmeg to it, as it will take away that slightly toosweet edge butternut tends to have. On a pan, heat up a glug of olive oil, add the onion and the garlic and let them soften. Pour in the rice and coat until it has become slightly translucid. On another knob, get the stock over a gentle heat, allowing it to be slightly warm, but not boiling. Addthe glass of wine to your rice and let it simmer untill all the liquid has evaporated. Now start scooping laddles of stock, one at a time, into the rice, stirring constantly, and only adding the next laddle of liquid after the previous one has evaporated completely. Check for seasoning. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes for the rice to cook, but still keep some bite. Once you reach that stage, take it off the heat and gently stir in the mashed squash and the cheese, mixing well. Check season, if it feels to sweet, add a little pinch of nutmeg. Cover with a lid and let it rest a few minutes, while you heat up a spoonful of olive oil on a frying pan. Throw the cubed squash into the olive oil and let it fry slightly, until it looks caramelized. Turn off the heat, and serve the risotto in individual portions, adding the slivers of cheese on top of the rice and cubes of fried squash as well. Enjoy it over some good white or red wine, I find this is a dish that combines with both, as long as you go for a red that is not too spicy in taste. And feel free to vent your disapointment over this dish, if you find it's not to your liking, but I somehow doubt that this will happen. Ithink you'll be counting my blessings as soon as you cook this one!


  1. Eu acho que se valoriza demasiado o ser positivo e arregaçar as mangas, o ser queixoso é visto como ser preguiçoso. Quando saí da faculdade andei estupidamente frustrada com a minha vida e demorei 2 anos para perceber que podia ser xoninhas de vez em quando pra ganhar energias, como tu falas, aliás foi assim que eu aprendi a lidar com parte da minha ansiedade e agora consigo pensar melhor nas coisas sem entrar logo em pânico. Antes tentava ignorar esses sentimentos, e acabava por explodir algum tempo depois, no es nada bueno.
    Em relação ao risoto, nunca comi e não sei se me apetece, especialmente da textura, i'm crazy right?

    1. se não aprecias arrozes mais húmidos e "starchy" - á falta de expressão portuguesa!! - não vais gostar de risotto, isso é garantido. Já eu deliroooooo com a textura cremosa dos risottos bem feitos eheh.

  2. entendo-te tão, mas tão bem e acho que nem conseguiria tê-lo expressado melhor, aliás nem assim!
    quanto ao risotto está on point, com um aspeto bestial e o empratamento muito, mas muito apetecível.
    beijinhos querida e bom resto de semana cheio de good vibes!


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