March 17, 2011 § 4 Comments
I don’t know about you, but I still feel rather pocket sized these days. Powerless. To be perfectly honest, it’s a feeling I often struggle with anyway. So, events, disasters, scares, all tend to bring it out full force. The voices on the news joining with the voices of fear and worry in my mind, amplifying into a din. A Greek chorus composed of squawking, insane parrots, on speed. Sometimes the mind is really not a good place to be. This is another reason why I cook. It is my meditation. I’m a horribly unreliable meditator. Just as bad about yoga and qi gong. But, cooking is the time when my mind quiets as I concentrate on the weight of the knife handle in my hand or the steam from a pot wafting up to my face as I stir.
It’s why I sometimes prefer to cook things that have a lot of different pieces. Chopping, rolling, shaping, shaking, layering. Dishes that are antithetical to the usual weeknight cooking demand to just get something good on the table quickly, and instead are a true-blue labor of love. I find tarts quite good for this. I love the feeling of rubbing together the flour and butter between my fingers and the thump of the floury rolling pin on the dough and the endless potential for fillings. Like this one, for example with its lightly crunchy, golden cornmeal crust and filling of tender caramelized leeks and sturdy greens all bound together with nutty, pungent Alpine cheese. « Read the rest of this entry »