Italian Meatball Sandwich, and Learning to Quiet the Chatter

Italian Meatball Sandwich |

With all the “buzz” that life provides us with, preparing and enjoying a delicious meal like this Italian Meatball Sandwich is a good way to quiet the mind and simply focus on what is front of us; it is an opportunity to be present, and to listen to a deeper part of one’s self.

There never seems to be a shortage of things that vie for our attention and create the constant “background noise” that can become the soundtrack to our daily lives.

Whether it’s money issues, the car needing attention (e.g. work neeing to be done on it at the most inopportune time), job worries, appliances breaking down, home concerns, health concerns, relationship concerns…

You get my drift.

Italian Meatballs |

Concerns, distractions, things to worry over, things to mentally “rehearse” and try to solve—there never seems to be a shortage of those.

With everything that we have going on in life it’s often extremely challenging to quiet the seemingly constant stream of thought that tends to pull the attention and cause one to become distracted from listening to what one’s inner soul is trying to say—that still, quiet voice within that is simply begging to also be heard and interpreted.

Garlic Ciabatta |

Quieting the chatter has always been something that I’ve struggled with, yet I strive to learn how to do it—to practice it—each and every day.

And believe me, some days this noble-enough endeavor is tougher than others.

Each time I sit down to write a post, it takes a real effort to center myself, to quiet my mind that seems to want to pull me in this direction or in that one, and to just breath, be conscious, and be present.

So I try to help myself a little.

Italian Meatball Sandwich |

I’ve got my whole little ritual where I brew myself a cup of tea, plug in my aroma-therapy water vaporizer (complete with lavender essential oil drops), pull my hoody up over my head (certainly during the winter, possibly even during the summer), and open my laptop up and stare at the blank, white screen with that mocking cursor that blips for a good while until my mind slowly stops wandering and finally settles down.

Then, and only then, when I am listening in the silence, will I be able to hear anything of any real meaning and depth, anything of any real substance.

Italian Meatball Sandwich |

And I am then grateful for that time when the chatter is hushed, when all else must stand still and wait in patience while I have some time with the deeper part of myself that needs its voice to be heard as well.

Anything we can do to help quiet the chatter is worth doing, whenever it is possible.

And cooking—working with food—is an amazing way to help one become centered and “in the moment”, nurturing both the physical and the spiritual I find.

Italian Meatball Sandwich |

Those moments when one actually ponders what they’d like to eat, what they’re cravingthat is a moment of centering.

The moment when one has an idea for a recipe, or for putting together the ingredients on hand in a creative and new way—that is centering.

The act of slicing, dicing, stirring, searing, and preparing—that is centering.

And then of course sitting down in a conscious way to take that first bite of that savory, saucy, tender, juicy and delectable Italian Meatball Sandwich on garlic ciabatta—that, my friend, is centering.

Italian Meatball Sandwich |

There will surely never be a shortage of things that our daily living will provide us with as a distraction, or as something to pull our attention, or as a problem to solve; but it is up to us to carve out a space for the quiet, to find a way to consciously hush the chatter that flows in all too easily.

After all, isn’t it in that quiet, centered space where all the answers lie anyway?

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Roseanne V. Sabol March 18, 2016, 4:41 am

    Hello, Ingrid ~ glad you and Husband are feeling better. What a nasty flu season – and just when we get our first taste of spring (at least in the northeast), here it comes again.
    Just as I began reading your words, I thought, YES! and got up to turn off the news. Quiet. So necessary for going to our center and hearing our inner Voice.
    And your meatballs sound amazing. My Italian tastebuds were jumping up and down! Many don’t add a drop of dairy but I do. I think it adds something – like a smoothing texture or something similar. This sounds like a perfect Saturday or Sunday night supper. I’ll add a green salad because I’m Italian and the only meal at which we don’t eat a salad is breakfast (well….unless it’s leftover!)
    Take good care. Sending fond regards.
    (PS: love hearing how your Marine is doing.)

  • The Cozy Apron March 18, 2016, 5:10 pm

    Hi Roseanne, so wonderful to hear from you! So glad this recipe sounds like something you’d like to try, and I, too, am all about salad. That’d be a great side with this! (One can never get enough salad, right? :-) ) Thanks so much for your kind words; we are, indeed, getting much better. Hope you and your loved ones have been healthy this season! Sending you my well-wishes and hugs—here’s to that sliver of quiet time, and enjoying each moment we’re blessed with, and making it count!

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