Thursday, November 26, 2009

HAPPY LITTLE APPY: EATING IN THE MOMENT & the Letting Gophers recipe (bacon, brie custard & cherry bites)

My love of food is complete: Circular, salty overwhelming at times—it is a constant primal swirling sea of recognition, of ebb, flow, neap. Are we having Bay of Fundy yet?

Food is love, food is the constant, the North Star and the Dark Star. Food--and sex--it is my filter. These are complicated ideas we are well-acquainted with here. And this hoar has been quiet--duality noted. I am an Elephant eater, ever the whole elephant attempter, never small bites—so today, rather than apologize for myself or my absence, or land something in your...lap I have worked quite hard on and diffuse it by claiming it's "just" a little something I threw together, I thought I'd simply give you a...taste of what I've been and am thinking.

The charge: a Thanksgiving Day appetizer, a metaphor to chew on, if ever there was one.

Because I am fundamentally disinclined toward crowds, supermarkets in crisis and also because one of my gifts is being equal parts resourceful and cheap, I thought..."What can I make with what I already have on hand?"

First, let's talk turkey: I have always been and still am completely opposed to the term "Leftovers." Forgive me, but this is the linguistic epitome of sloppy seconds, and it's distasteful to this hoar.

The initial issue I have with it and primary assertion is that nothing ever actually goes away--(duh). Second, the strikingly inadequate term "Leftovers" implies an after-the-fact process, a disparate, hopeless assembly of pieces of something which was better or more whole, something glorious which has already occurred but--too bad!-- you'll never have it again, and now we're scrabbling around, rooting around in the past, trying to make do and make do, the best we can which is to put together something "not too embarrassing with what we have left." Excuse the brevity of my technical term here (and even this is borrowed, thank you Little Bush Dog), but ICK.

So, let's agree we won't call them Leftovers, I refuse--plus, this is a recipe entirely made of things around the house. I want to do this now, in the present, and I need to coin a better term for my purpose. Not Leftovers—what am I trying to say?--dammit! It's got something to do with what I have been thinking lately, something new...about letting go. About being willing to see concepts and things as they are and not so linearly (is that even a word?) or in such little tiny old and inefficient cabinets. Not Leftovers...letting go...So, these are then...Letting Gophers?!

I refuse the term Leftovers, because there are always new permutations, combinations, unique possibilities.
Without an attitude of platitude, I will say that the single thing I am most grateful for today…is my ability to choose what I call things--don't you tell me I can't make fetch happen--of course I can. I can choose which language and definitions I want for myself--and whether those are public, or private. And that is a heady ability--the one to choose--and one I am profoundly grateful for. To choose...anything. I slept-ate through life for a really long time—I ate often or a lot even—but I didn't eat well. Because I wasn't choosing well—in fact, I wasn't choosing at all.

Close your eyes, open your eyes--decide to play, decide to recombine, decide to choose.

Make a choice today, just eat something you love, own that choice and savor-swallow and come back and tell me about it. About how it was for you, and why. About what you loved in it. Because I love to be told.

That is what I make and what I see and all I can offer of myself. To let go. To cook for you and hand you something made with these specific hands, to let you taste me.

Okay, I don't remember exactly what I did—I can't give you a recipe, I only offer you my process. Your larder is different than mine, what you have at your fingertips--and the way you see it.

LETTING GOPHERS RECIPE (makes...plenty):

So, I had some old puff pastry,--soft and somewhat dry when thawed. which seemed more appealing tham actually making my own puff pastry at 3 pm yesterday. I cut it up and laid it into some little silicone muffin cups (thank you Target Dollar Spot), kind of criss-cross wonky. I made a custard with some whipping cream and some whole milk and some eggs and some brie and some white cheddar—and even though I tempered the eggs—it still broke and what I really made was…some kind of brie ricotta—which was DAMN good.

I grabbed some handfuls of the still-endless chard from my garden, and after frying some of the bacon from "our pig" I tore up the chard and quickly turned it over in the hot fat till it wilted.

I laid the brie ricotta into on top of the puff pastry in the muffin cups, folded on a little swish of chard (of course cracking myself up all the time), then crumbled some bacon over it, a pushed a big sweet dried cherry into the little pile. Oh, and a little eency leaf of fresh basil which is still hanging on here in Baltimore. Finally, I sprinkled some of this amazing sweet-hot spice mixture my dad brought back from Italy (and is now kept in something cloudy and well-worn and looks like a dime bag) all over the top and baked it.

For maybe 10 minutes at 425—but I'm not sure. I don't know--I have no idea how they will go over later today. But they were delicious for me in the moment.

Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy ITM.

1 comment:

A J Dubuc said...

Letting Gophers is a beautiful place to find oneself. And it is not easy to come by. The world would encourage you to re-use, re-cycle, and accept. It's built that way, Re-invent, re-classify, and reconsider upset the continuum. Lets strive to do that.