We all have themes that shape our dreams, whether it be flying, falling, fighting, etc. I have often been surrounded by water, a tsunami that will inevitably crash down and sweep my dream companions and I out to sea. Yet life continues in its small and large cycles. Optimism and love continue between words despite the seemingly pessimistic outcome. We cook. We eat. We conduct our day to day lives.
Last night my dream began in Oliver's Market. A bit of history: I worked at Oliver's Cotati location at 3 different times for various intervals. The last stint was in the health and beauty section where I spent 6 years enamored with natural medicines and holistic nutrition. I did a lot of growing up there. So, it's not unusual for me to spend some twilight hours in that market. Strangely though, I was in line to buy Winston cigarettes (I don't smoke.) The cashier was giving me all kinds of trouble and couldn't see the display of tobacco products right along side of us. I became so frustrated I began to rant at her and stormed off - kind of like a jonesin' smoker. But, I didn't leave the store. Instead, I planted myself at a table near the exit and sat there feeling defeated.
Pause for a moment. In waking life, I do feel defeated.... often. Will I be able to handle being a single mother? Will the business ever profit consistently? Am I stuck in perpetual overwhelm? How do I continue to re-inspire myself? I play tug-of-war between gratitude and this defeat. I remind myself that I am compensated by numerous new friendships that have greatly enriched my life. I am able to enjoy restful time in my pregnancy and a home I love. I work with a crew of capable, fun people. My baby will have a rich community and his nursery is almost already filled with all he physically needs. Why does quiet rage and overwhelm creep in so often? Perhaps it's my Irish angst or my amplified hormonal state? I feel defeated by my defeated feelings. Argh!!
As I sat in dreamworld pondering my plight, the store manager joined me. By that time I had left my frustration with the cashier. Now I wanted to discuss business. 'How is everything going?', he asked. I explained my overwhelm in relation to the bakery. There was no answer. Instead we both looked up and noticed that beyond a glass ceiling, we were surrounded by water and a myriad of colorful fish, swimming elegantly in schools. I, at first, mistook it for the sky full of birds. But, it was my tsunami, breath taking, dangerous, and imminent. 'Perhaps it is dangerous to shop here?' The manager answered, 'It is strong glass and though the possibility of the sea coming down upon us is real, it is not likely to happen anytime soon. I think for now we are safe, but there is always a risk.' The water was beyond beautiful and I left the dream in an endless gaze toward possibility, risk, beauty, and life.
I woke this morning feeling clear and energetic. I've written this blog in between cooking brunch. I've spent the day thinking about water - it is sculpting, life giving, suffocating, erosive, refreshing, and dangerous. Water and life will leave one breathless at times, searching for meaning in defeat, to find gratitude in the folds of sleep, and to move poised into the next day.
What does this have to do with cooking, except for making tropical fish stew? I am not sure - you'll need to figure that out for yourself. Here, however, is a recipe. Enjoy!
3 Cheese Quiche w/ Quinoa & Root Vegetable Crust
3/4 c. flour or gluten-free flour (Jenn Maly's blend from Liberty 5 is great!)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 c. cubed cold butter
1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 c. shredded root veggies (parsnip, turnip, carrots, potato, etc.)
Combine and press into the bottom of a large pie dish.
Fill crust w/ 3 types of cheese. I often use chevre, white cheddar, & pepper jack, but experiment :)
In a cylinder, whisk together 6-8 eggs and add an equal part heavy cream. Add 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Blend together well and pour over the cheese. Bake for 40-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Should be like set jello when done. Eat up! It serves 6-8 people and pairs nicely w/ arugula & roasted red potatoes.