Archive: Apr 2012

  1. Peas and Bows


    I knew we were in the final stretch today while in the market I picked up a bag of garbanzo bean flour and actually hesitated, wondering, will I be able to use all of this by the end of May? As I write this, Shaun is taking pictures of a surfboard and an old printer for craigslist. At the front door there is a bankers box of pots, glasses, and towels for goodwill that we’ve somehow accumulated over the past few years. Books are stacked for sorting, graduation announcements strewn about the table waiting for stamps.

    By now it’s probably a good time to tell; we’re moving to Colorado. The Mountains are calling. We’re going where our heart is, not where we think it “should” be. And that feels so darn great. Many of you have been trying to trace our steps since January, and I should give you all gold stars for your patience as I danced around in circles making and un-making up my mind. Brooklyn? DC? Portland? San Francisco? Denver? It has been a long, tiresome, soul-stretching process. Shaun and I honored it, and each other, by digging through the thicket privately. But there is more…

    … since (most of) the whirlwind has subsided, it’s time to let everyone in again. We’re going to Colorado, and in a way you’re coming too (!!). To that, I have to stop and say thank you. Your love, encouragement, and wisdom has enriched my life in more ways than I could possibly put into words. This whole blog thing completely blows my mind. I’ve probably been more vulnerable with you, in this space, than I have ever been with some of the people I call friends in real life. How is that? How does that happen? I think I’m still figuring it all out. Thank you for coming into my life with your unique perspective and light, week after week, and thank you for letting me into yours.

    This is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart. (e.e cummings)

    Here’s the thing. If you have an hour to kill on Sunday afternoon, try the pasta yourself. But because I love you, because I carry your heart with me in my heart, I urge you to take some shorcuts here. How do I put this lightly, gluten free pasta is… frustrating to work with. Time. Patience. Practice. I set out to make fettucine, but failed miserably. Determined to not let the dough go to waste I made bows, instead. The first batch was too thick, but on second go, I got a great size and texture. If you’re feeling gutsy, try it. I love the nutty taste of chickpea pasta, but I think whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice shells, or any other type of pasta would go brilliantly with the lemony, herby peas.

    Chickpea Bow Tie Pasta with Spring Peas 

    • 2 cups garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2-3 tbsp water
    • 1 lb shelled peas
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lg. lemon, juice and zest
    • basil, large handful
    • mint, large handful
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • salt
    • optional: roasted pumpkin seeds, parmasean

    For the pasta, add the flour to a large bowl, making a well in the middle for the eggs. Crack eggs and slowly begin to whisk with a fork, incorporating the flour until you get a shaggy ball. Add a little water to pull together the scraps. Turn out onto a ULTRA floured surface (on the first go, I went straight onto the cutting board, bad idea, second go, I used an old silicon mat underneath the flour to prevent sticking). Roll out until 1-2 mm thickness.  Cut vertical strips, 1/2 inch thick, then cut horizontally every 2 inches until you have made small rectangles. They should look like stubby, short sticks of gum. Pinch at the center of rectangle on the long-side to create the bow.  Set aside. Repeat. Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook in small batches for 2-4 minutes.

    Place shelled peas into a heavy pan. Add minced or grated garlic and the olive oil. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Tear or roughly chop up the basil and mint, add to peas. Stir to coat for for 1-2 minutes. Add zest of the lemon and the juice just before you toss in the cooked pasta. Finish with a bit of salt, roasted pumpkin seeds, and if you’re into cheese, a bit of fresh parmesan.

  2. A Parable + Breakfast for Spring


    “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

    “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

    “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

    Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

    “It’s the same thing,” he said.

    Broiled Asparagus, a Poached Egg, and Charred Spring Onion and Garlic over Grits

    • 1 cup coarse grits (polenta)
    • 1 bundle (about a pound) asparagus
    • 3 spring onions
    • 2 stalks spring garlic
    • Lemon juice, lemon zest
    • 2 eggs
    • olive oil / butter
    • salt

    Combine 1 cup grits with 5 cups cold water in a heavy, deep pot. Bring to a boil, toss in a bit of salt and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring very frequently and adding water and oil/butter to your liking. Meanwhile, prep asparagus on baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and zest of 1 lemon. Broil on the top rack for no more than 5 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside. Slice the white and light green portion of both garlic and onions and toss in leftover olive oil from the asparagus on the baking sheet. Squeeze the juice of the fully zested lemon over the garlic and onions. Add a bit more oil if you feel necessary. Return to the broiler, and check every 2 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Pull them out when they have a nice brown char on the edges. Set aside.

    Prepare the water for poaching the eggs in a deep pan. Once things come to a boil, it’s time to start prepping the serving bowls with the warm grits and asparagus. 1-ish cup of the grits, followed by half of the asparagus… bring bowls/plates over to the stove for easy transfer of the eggs.

    I have recently adopted this bangin’ poaching technique, thanks to Bon Appetit: when the water has just come to a boil, create a vortex in the center by whisking a fork in a counter-clockwise direction. Once you’ve gotten up enough speed, set down the fork and quickly crack the egg into the middle of the whirlpool you’ve created. Now just watch. Seriously. Magic is happening. Cook for 4 minutes.

    Place finished egg on top of the asparagus, and pile on a generous handful of charred onions/garlic.

  3. Onward


    The rope that tethers me to this place, this time, is growing thinner with each day approaching the big move (42, who’s counting).  Things feel different, everywhere. My running route, the struggle to find parking on campus, our favorite restaurants, the farmers market, even the beach. It’s as if my mind has begun the emotional preparations for a new normal by disassociating from the old. More frequently now I find myself caught in the ordinary moments with a feeling of being there, but not really there in the ways I once was.

    I drive through parts of town and see the places I lost myself, the places I really found myself.  I see Shaun and I, younger, and the memories made in our relentless itch for growth and exploration. Everywhere there is a cacophony of light and dark, joy and pain, laughter and tears. It feels sorta supernatural. Hard to describe.

    Standing at the edge of the shore this morning, I looked up to the clouds barreling across the sky after the good storm we had the past few days and felt an extraordinary sense of gratitude for the time, for the place — for all that it gave, for all that it took away. Four years have come and gone. I’m a different person now. I hope a better one. And it’s time. Time to let new faces and new seasons to teach me more about myself, more about the world.

    The strawberries will be missed, California. But I’m so ready for new adventures.

    Strawberry Basil Scones 
    • 2 ½ cups flour (I used a GF blend)
    • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
    • 1 
tbsp baking powder
    • ¼ 
tsp salt
    • ½ cup cold coconut oil or butter, cut into chunks
    • 1 + cup chopped fresh strawberries
    • 2
 tbsp minced basil
    • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
    • 2 

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Scoop out or cut in butter or coconut oil. Stir in minced basil and hulled, and quartered strawberries. In a medium bowl stir together eggs and the milk. (Cream, half and half, or regular milk would work here too.) Add egg mixture to flour mixture in one pour. Stir together until completely moistened, using your hands when necessary.

    Turn out onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Press into a 1” thick circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Brush with extra milk and sprinkle with sugar. If you use butter instead of coconut oil, place baking sheet with cut wedges in the freezer for up to 20 minutes before baking. It will make them magically fluffier and more scone-y. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending. Finish with a good dollop of local honey or clotted cream.