In spare moments, you find yourself running up the hill to Lama House, down the hill to the community room, up the hill to the Institute, down the hill to the main kitchen, up the hill to the library, down the hill to your caravan, giddy through it all. In spare moments, you find yourself occupied by recipes to test, drawings to begin, people to take tea with. In spare moments, you find stillness amidst all the action.
And in the stillness, you remember. You remember, times were, you weren’t so happy as this. You remember disbelieving in impermanence, your sadness had lasted so long. You remember the struggle to stay convinced, day after day, that even if there was no real and permanent you, this current, temporal you had goodness and worth and something to offer. You remember suffering without respite.
In spare moments, you slice eggplant and chop parsley and reflect on this conversation you had yesterday. You wondered if the person across the table from you thought maybe you were fudging a bit in describing life these days, your story was so slanted toward contentment. And you realize how goddamn lucky you are that it’s even possible for some one to disbelieve that you know suffering. And you realize you had better say grace, like every minute of the day, because in this life, nothing lasts. Neither sadness, nor joy, neither misery, nor bliss, and you have known them all and you will know them all again.
In spare moments, you whisper gratitude for what is, you nod at fear for what may come, and you say a prayer for those on the other side of the spinning wheel of life.
Recipe after the jump…
Mediterranean Eggplant Tart (with gluten free crust!)
Gluten-free Pâte Brisée
1 1/4 (170 g) cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup (65 g) potato starch
6 tablespoons (70 g) tapioca starch
1/2 (3 g) teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (115 g) butter, unsalted
1/4-1/2 cup ( 60-120 g ) cold water
2 medium (500 g) eggplants
1/3 cup (35 g) almond meal
6 tablespoons (60 g) olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 g) crumbled feta
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F (180˚ C). Line a 10-inch tart pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients for the crust. Cut in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal. Add cold water a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork, just until the crust holds together. Press the crust into the tart pan. It will be too fragile to roll out and lift.
Peel the eggplant and slice the it into 1/4-inch (1/2 centimeter) rounds. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with the almond meal, oil, herbs, and salt. Arrange half the eggplant in circles in the tart crust. Sprinkle half the feta on top. Arrange the remaining eggplant into a second layer of circles, and sprinkle the rest of the feta on top.
Cover the tart with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to crisp the crust. Test the eggplant with a fork to be sure that it is tender. Enjoy hot or cold, in sadness or joy. 🙂