Full Summer

IMG_1728Made it. The journey took me twenty-six hours, two planes, two trains, two cars, and a bus (let’s not count the elevators and staircases and pounds of baggage I was carrying), but I’m here. And I’m thrilled.

There’s not much in life that stands up to a warm welcome. And when you live in a community of forty or more people who all exclaim and say, “Ah, mais c’est bon de te revoir!“–“Oh, but it’s good to see you again!”–well, let’s just say I have a solid case of the warm-fuzzies.

IMG_1731I’m getting settled back into the kitchen here. I was lucky enough to return in time for the last day of a course with the venerable Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, a Tibetan master who teaches often in the West. I made this tart Sunday night for two of his attendants who stayed with us. Sorry, no recipe, as I just kind of threw it together. You can too if you’re in an off-the-cuff tart mood. It’s just sautéed bell peppers and onions layered with tomatoes and potatoes, all inside of a crumbly pâte brisée.

IMG_1735We are, as the French say, en plein été here. In full summer. It’s an apt term. There is a richness in the air that fills you up. Deep yellow sunshine, a Pantone array of flowers, and the whistle and whizz of things on wings living out their warm-season lives.

IMG_1746I am glad to be a part of it.

Long-Term Magic and Apple Clafouti

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I am going to tell you a silly story, and then I am going to inundate you with pictures. Sound good? I hope so, because that’s what I’ve got to offer at the mo’.

Once upon a time, there was a cake maker who discovered a village in the woods. Though she quite liked making cakes, she had always wanted to be a magician. Turns out it was a village of magicians, and they offered to teach her magic, so she stayed. She got quite caught up in all the magic–about understanding and building community and creating projects to inspire. The thing about magic, though, is that it’s a long-term project, and, our little cake maker, in the midst of toiling away on things that will be done in a few months or a few years or a few lifetimes, found herself a little lost in the endlessness.

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But you know what she did? She made a cake. Or maybe it was a custard. It was a clafouti. But either way, the important thing is that a clafouti is in the bowl and in the oven and in your tummy and long gone in just a few short hours. And it can be shared and it makes you smile and it reminds you that creating something from start to finish is possible, even if start to finish feels long sometimes. And then she also remembered that the finish line of her current project is just a short week away though it has been quite a while in the making, so she went back to paper mâché, pouring plaster, painting, and putting up an installation.

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Recipe after the jump… Continue reading