I am idealistic by nature, and because of that, I find beauty and inspiration in so many things.
Sometimes I believe that they search for me instead, and then engulf me, and leave me wanting more.
At times, it is the depth of a mother’s love – one untainted by any conditional expectations and given so generously – that makes me sigh a deep and happy sigh; sometimes it is the gentle wind that blows on my face – and messes up my hair but leaves me feeling incredibly refreshed; and other times, it is the beauty of writing that is so simple, so short but so unbelievably impactful.
Life as I know it, is full of surprises and discoveries.
The world as we see it, if we do so with wide-opened eyes and an embracing heart, has so much to offer us – nature in its imperfect perfection; the kindness of strangers on the subway; and the constant change in seasons that goes on like clockwork.
When we respond to beauty and love and goodness; when we allow ourselves to accept it as a gift, and appreciate that which is before us – that’s when we get to experience life in a much larger, fuller definition.
A few months ago, I found myself in a conflicting mix of emotions – I wanted so desperately to relocate somewhere else; to get a new adventure; to feel excitement and adventure again. I’d thought that the feeling of restlessness that I had would be solved by moving anywhere else in the world, but I’d thought wrong.
In the process of being so overwhelmed by this desire to be elsewhere, I forgot how to enjoy the present and the here and now.
Sometime in the last few months though, I’ve felt an internal shift within me – I know and acknowledge that there are things beyond my control, and instead of worrying and trying to guess the future, I’m now content with relaxing in the moment.
Where will I be living five, ten years from now? Who knows. Life has taught me that there are paths yet to be unfolded, and stories yet to be told. What will I be doing a decade later? No idea. But I’ve learnt to let go, and let life take its course.
Today, my reality is this – I live a contented life in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I have a boyfriend who loves me, and whom I love, and with whom I want to explore the world and the rest of life’s journey with. I have groups of friends that make me laugh till my stomach hurts; friends with whom I’ve cried in front of and know they will still love me. I have a job that pays pretty decently, and allows me the flexibility to do what I really love. And I have a project – my cookbook project – that seems to be slowly but gently making its way to reality.
And there is wonder and goodness in the things and people I see. And I am happy.
It’s winter here, and we’re almost one month into the darkest season of nature. Grey tones mark this season’s character, and chilly winds make me just want to curl up under the covers forever.
But there is evidence of the spring that is to come; proof as obvious as the brilliant red of fresh strawberries in the fruit stores – while it’s still a tad early for strawberry season, their color still stuns me. And I can’t help but buy them, because of their beauty.
I make a galette at least once every winter – it gives you the sort of comfort that you can only get by rolling dough with floured hands and a happy heart.
The last time I made a galette, I’d used apples dusted with cinnamon. This time, I’m using heart-stoppingly red strawberries with a grain-free almond crust. The result was just breathtakingly beautiful – imagine strawberries baked till soft, their juices spilling over, wrapped in a golden-brown crust that snaps with each bite.
My dear friends, there are many good things in life, and this is just one of them.
Go, live life the way you should, and find beauty in things big and small.
GRAIN-FREE STRAWBERRY ALMOND GALETTE (Serves 2 -4)
Inspired by: Grok Grub
For the crust:
1) 1 cup of almond meal
2) 1/2 cup of tapioca flour/ arrowroot flour
3) 2 tablespoons of coconut flour
4) 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, liquified
5) 2 tablespoons of milk
6) 1 egg, whisked
7) 1 teaspoon of brown sugar + more for sprinkling over prepared dough
For the filling:
8) 1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced
9) 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1) In a medium-sized bowl, mix almond meal, tapioca flour and coconut flour together
2) Add coconut oil, milk, egg to the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined, then use your tapioca-floured hands to shape the dough into a ball
3) Pre-heat oven to 400 deg Fahrenheit (200 deg Cel)
4) Mix the fresh sliced strawberries with the sugar, and let them sit for 10 – 15 minutes
5) Place the ball of dough on a piece of tapioca-floured parchment paper, and flatten it into a circle by using a tapioca-floured rolling pin until dough is about 1/4 inch thick.
6) Mound the sugared strawberries in the middle of the rolled dough circle, leaving about 2 fingers’ worth of space from the edge
7) Fold the edges of the dough over the perimeter of the strawberries, using the parchment paper to assist. (If the dough breaks, don’t worry. Just use your fingers to press it gently together with the rest of the intact dough until it sticks together again.)
8) Sprinkle some brown sugar over the the folded part of the crust
9) Place the galette with the parchement paper on a baking tray or a cast iron skillet, and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.