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Monday Morning Motivator: A "TAPAS" APPROACH TO LIFE...

A "TAPAS" APPROACH TO LIFE... 


 

I love tapas. I really do. I love those very small plates of delicious morsels - like marinated olives mixed with bits of Manchego or warm almonds fried in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and served while they're still warm - or toasted bread spread with a dollop of roasted garlic aioli and topped with marinated sardines or red peppers... Seriously, I can taste them right now. Did you know that "tapas" comes from the word "tapar," which means "to cover" and that tapas were originally small pieces of bread topped with a slice of cured ham that bartenders in Spain used to cover your glass of wine to keep away swarms of fruit flies? But now the word is synonymous with "little dishes." In fact, many people call them "heaven on a small plate."  Here's the thing: Tapas require little or no preparation. Actually, tapas is a style of eating rather than a form of cooking. It connotes  "sociability - friends, family, people who just like each other, talking and drinking in a relaxed atmosphere with no particular agenda, all the while nibbling away on tiny, flavor-packed little bites. 


 The bottom line is, tapas are no big deal. You don't have to cook all day to make them. In fact, with tapas you can just "make it up" as you go along.  And you don't have to commit to eating an entire "meal" (like a giant steak). In fact, you don't have to commit to anything. It's more like "sampling" - a little of this, a little of that - and discovering what delights you. And not surprisingly, the conversations you have around a tapas table are likely to be pretty free-flowing and imaginative - and involve a lot of laughing...


So every now and then I try to develop a kind of "tapas approach" towards life and I invite you to try it, too.  Like tapas, it's no big deal. It can take the form of meeting new people - you don't have to become best friends or hire them or marry them - you can simply take them as they are and enjoy the moment. Or it might take the form of trying a new sport - like golf, or a new workout routine, like Pilates. You don't have to attack it and be the absolute best at it; you can simply give it a shot and enjoy what's enjoyable. And what about your vacation?  You don't have to go to Spain to take little "nibbles" of anything you find tantalizing - or just "different." You could even apply the "tapas approach" to the music you listen to or the clothes you wear: Loosen it up! Experiment! Don't make it a big deal! Get a kick out of yourself! Laugh a lot...


Our lives are overflowing with deadlines, regulations, parameters and commitments. And we have to live up to them. That's part of the deal - and comprises part of the rewards we get - and the pride we take. But if we can mix in a bit of "tapas" - a bit of experimentation, serendipity and "play time" - we could make it a lot more well, delicious. So forget the big deal dinner every now and then, dig out some cute "little dishes" and fill them with everything from nuts to olives to mushrooms to peppers to chorizo to....whatever. And maybe put on some Spanish guitar music and sit close together.  Oh, and even if the fruit flies aren't in attack mode, for the final touch you can put a piece of bread decorated with a tiny slice of something delicious on top of those wine glasses... 


 

 

 

 

Here are some delicious recipes for tapas...    


 

  


   

                                                            

 

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