I have friends visiting from out of town this week. A tribe of beautiful, colorful, genuine women. The conversations are lively and meaningful. We wrap our voices around sex, parenting, friendship, divorce, art, heartache, happiness. Things we all know to varying degrees.

I’ve been excitedly going through my dusty recipe box, pulling out things I’ve wanted to try. I had ripped out a recipe from a magazine awhile ago for a broccoli and cauliflower bake that sounded yummy. It called for avocado oil, ginger and red pepper flakes. Savory, bright, spicy. I offered to make it last night as my contribution to the group dinner. Simple recipe with powerful flavors.

When it came out of the oven, I popped a piece of broccoli in my mouth. It tasted like broccoli and cauliflower and nothing else. No ginger. No red pepper. No avocado oil. Everyone ate and nodded in my direction. It was good enough.

I woke up before everyone else this morning and attacked the pile of dishes from last night. When I was scrubbing the casserole dish that I had used to bake the veggies, I made a mental note to write a blog post about how my cooking reflects how I approach a lot of things in my life, including my writing. I don’t take chances because I’m terrified of offending. I hold a little back when I’m in a position to give of myself. I procrastinate blogging until I have the perfect idea and have the perfect amount of time to write it out perfectly. Which never happens. So instead of making yet another note about something I will eventually say, I decided to just sit down and bang this damn thing out (and on my phone, no less).

It might be a little overdone. It might not be exactly the flavor you were looking for. That’s ok. You don’t have to keep eating. I’m tired of not surprising myself. Caution and under-spiced broccoli is boring.

I’m going to start flavoring my life. Right now. Damn it.