On my mind recently has been the role of time and desire in my life. This, I know, is for a number of very obvious reasons. For the first time since starting Kindergarten 20 years (!) ago, I'm not formally enrolled in study. For the first time in at least 3 years, I'm on an active break from employment (as long as we're not counting the tiniest bit of work to finish up a freelancing editing project). I've also let go of my cats, most of my possessions and moved to the other side of the world.
Right now, I'm fighting serious urges to run (sprint?) to my next project, the "next thing". Serious urges, people. (The same that drove me to submit my Honours thesis on a Friday, and my application for my Masters the next Monday.) Without a thesis, a course of study, or a job to define the shape of my days (or my identity, for that matter), suddenly I'm confronted with a whole lot of space.
This space is something I've needed for a long time, and it's a fantastic way to address that slightly pathological drive towards the next thing. My days have gone from being 14 hours long--with multiple yoga classes, meetings, and tasks--to the most difficult decision I'm faced with is whether I want to go to the 10.15am or 12.30pm yoga class (as a student!). Unsurprisingly, this has brought a whole bunch of things to the surface, and I've had one or two moments of anxiety-driven, panicky existential crisis. Usually something in the vein of: SERIOUSLY GUYS WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE. If you're anything like me, you'll know that these crises tend to get a little circular (and suddenly you don't know how you ended up on the floor, with no pants on, dipping pretzels into the jar of peanut butter).
My point, really, is that I needed this space to get some clarity. Perspective on myself. A little bit of time to figure out the answers to those BIG questions like what I want to do, where I want to do it, what I want the tempo and energy of my days to be like. This has been, so far, an immensely rewarding experience. It's required a TONNE of conscious communication with Adam (and myself), and while things definitely aren't crystal clear yet, they're beginning to get a little less blurry around the edges.
So here's to journeys into ourselves, across oceans, and to new places, both physical and psychological.
Oh, and pasta. With a list of ingredients that need no justification other than that they are delicious.
Hugs and love to you all x
SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO + ROMANESCO PASTA SALAD
serves 2 as a light supper or 4 as a side
Slow-roasted tomatoes are one of the best things on the planet: especially in terms of the payoff for so little effort. If you can't find romanesco, a head of broccoli or cauliflower is going to treat you just as good. This is the simplest version of this dish I would make, optional extras include: a drained tin of beans/chickpeas/lentils, crumbled goat's cheese, roasted tempeh or tofu.1 head of romanesco
1 large punnet of mixed tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
rice bran or sunflower oil
salt and pepper
2 handfuls of flaked almonds
1 mugful (about 1 cup) of dried short pasta (I used brown rice spirals, but you could also use penne, etc)
a handful of fresh basil leaves
good quality olive oil
Preheat oven to 140C. Line two baking trays with baking paper or foil and set aside. Slice cherry tomatoes into halves, and any larger tomatoes into quarters. Place on one of the baking trays. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then arrange in a single layer. Place tray into the oven and cook for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the romanesco into florets, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Then place on the second baking tray. Do not peel the garlic, just slice the cloves in half horizontally and disperse through the romanesco. Once the tomatoes have been in for 50 minutes, add the romanesco and garlic, and roast everything for a further 40 minutes. The tomatoes should look a little dehydrated, caramelised and sticky. The romanesco will be lightly coloured and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you finish off the other ingredients.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions, then drain. While the pasta is cooking, toast the flaked almonds in a dry pan until golden and fragrant.
In a large bowl, combine slow-roasted tomatoes, romanesco (with as much oil from the baking trays as possible), cooked pasta, toasted almonds, and whole basil leaves. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins into the bowl, and drizzle everything with the olive oil. Toss to combine. Best served warm or at room temperature. If you need to refrigerate, allow to return to room temperature before serving.