It was Christmas Eve and I was in the supermarket. Suffice to say, it was heaving. The queue was particularly long, though moving quickly. The store manager was walking along with a tin of chocolates to keep everyone smiling. The mood in the queue was cheery and expectant and some of us were chatting to each other.
The man in front of me in the queue was telling me about his Christmas lunch plans. He was cooking a veal fillet stew for his friends, an Italian recipe traditional in his family. Of course I asked for the recipe!! Sear the cubed fillet in a heavy based casserole dish and add in sliced brown onions, carrots, leeks, tomato puree, bay leaves, fennel seeds, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, pepper, sea salt and almost cover with stock. Place in a slow oven for a couple of hours till everything is divine.
When I finally got to the checkout, the lovely man asked me whether I was looking forward to tomorrow. Quick as a whippet I replied, "I look forward to every day, every single one is awesome". His eyebrows raised and he smiled. "Wow, that's unusual!"
I have gathered so many amazing recipes from the ladies at the checkout, people in the queue and my friends at work. What would happen if we connected with people all the time? What if we actually let them into our lives, even if only for a moment?
How often do we really connect with people in our lives? Why do we walk around looking down?
Maybe life is truly about expressing love to each other. Not just our families, not just when we're drunk and definitely not just at Christmastime. Love thy neighbour rings true - they way we speak to the people in the bank, in the local supermarket and at work should all have the same respect and care we treat our families. Why do we feel we can treat those people differently to our blood relatives?
This year I have made a choice to connect with people and let them in. No matter if they are on the tube, in the butcher or the dry cleaners. Every one has smiled back and even if we don't utter a word, there is a connection there that lights my soul. It's so simple and yet we think we are all separate - how wrong we are!
Sharing recipes and ingredients is my way of connecting with people. Whatever way we choose, there is a chance, just a small chance, that we may receive a little treat, a smile, a tip on how to cook aubergine, a fish recipe and a way to make Dahl that we never would have considered. When we are open, we allow for magic to happen.
My New Years' Resolution is to have a year even more amazing than the last one! More love to be in the magic of my life, to see more butterflies, receive more tenderness, allow more flow, ask more questions, be open to new recipes, to see glory in everyone and most of all, be open to more love.
Who knows... it might just be the best year of my life so far. Give it a try - maybe, just maybe, you will see the sparkle of love too.
Follow Sarah Cloutier on Twitter: www.twitter.com/michoncloutier