“How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?” Leonard Cohen
Long deep breath! It’s been way too long since I have been at the studio! Since my last post of brioche before Thanksgiving my husband had been hospitalized that day for a large blood clot that damaged a kidney. He is still recovering from that injury. It is not certain what this means for him or for us. Needless to say, it has been and continues to be a very stressful time. Today, when I woke up I decided that this day was for me and no one else. As soon as I crossed the threshold into my own private space I could feel my spirit expand.
I am realizing, rather quickly, that if I don’t take care of myself regularly, there will be little to no self left. I shouldn’t feel guilty for having needs during a crisis. I shouldn’t feel selfish for acting on those needs. But for some unhealthy reason I do and those feelings are roadblocks to first recognize those needs and secondly to act upon them. Abby was the same way.
So here we now are in December. I have chosen a tiny cookbook by Nigel Slater, a rather famous British cook and writer whose very popular “Ripe” and “Tender” are just about some of my most beloved cookbooks. I highly recommend them to anyone who loves to cook and appreciates delicious photos of fruits and vegetables on thick matte paper. They literally are works of art. This book is called “eat” (the little book of fast food) and it is divided into interesting categories such as ” in the hand”, “in the frying pan” or “in the wok”. Today I have chosen from the category “on the stove” for a warming pasta dish on a cold winters day in the charming neighborhood in a northern city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario.
It’s good to be back.
Ingredients: Puy lentils, carrots, onion, olive oil, vegetable stock, creme fraiche, balsamic vinegar, pappardelle (or any ribbon pasta, I used tagliatelle)
Finely dice 2 carrots and 1 onion. Saute in 3 tablespoons olive oil for about 15 minutes until onions are golden and carrots lightly browned. Add 1 cup of lentils with 4 cups of vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 25-40 minutes until lentils are soft. Season to taste. Put a large pan of water to boil for the pasta and salt generously. Cook until al dente. While the pasta cooks, remove half the lentils and their liquid and process coarsely in a food processor or blender. Return to pan and stir. Mix in 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and check for seasoning. Bring almost to a boil. Drain the pasta, divide among warm bowls, then spoon over the lentil ragu. Serves 4. Earthy, frugal and filling.