Thursday, January 26, 2012

Off Grid Dining Hit My Little Town

Me in my bliss
The "dining room"
Roasted Beet Harissa Soup with Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Juniper, Fennel and Lemon Pickled Carrots
Local Honeycomb, Kale Pesto, Pickled Carrots and Local Bread Appetizer Plate

Butterscotch Pot De Cremes with Homemade Whipped Creme Fraiche



The "crew" xoxox
Hi you. I know, I know, nothing for months. I have been coming along though. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all under my belt. I was a mess for Halloween, pulled it together for Thanksgiving, and Christmas was calm and lovely. During milestones like holidays, I have reflected back on how I spent almost 10 years creating a nest, a false life with myself. Beautiful house, nuclear family, shiny cars, trips. Anyone who looked in through the window of my life would find a warm cozy picture of all of us. I would throw in some kick ass meals to seal the deal. Then the parts that I hid; the feeling that it was not really my life and my partner never really felt like my partner. The more I created an illusion that looked like a successful, happy life, the longer I could keep faking it, lying to myself.  I eventually had to face the fear that if I took a look at myself, I was unhappy and too scared to do anything about it. And then because I had not made the decision myself to leave when I knew it was not working, the decision was lovingly made for me. So fast forward to present; I am present with myself as a daily practice. I feel present for my life. I am feeling happy not because I am feeling joy all the time, but because I am still loving myself when I don't. Stumbling around as a human is not longer equaling failure, it is equaling a constant practice to love all the things in front of me. A new authentic kind of love for the world has emerged, and a new kind of love for all those in it. Time is transforming the waves of grief to come less and less. If I feel a wave coming, I notice that I am more apt to pull out a welcome mat and usher it in.  I sit with the sadness and everything tends to settle. Even yesterday when I felt a situation to be frustrating,  I stopped what I was doing and I just acknowledged it. I am finding that putting awareness toward not changing my feelings moves me quicker out of a feeling I find challenging. I guess that would be calling accepting all that is. Yes, that would be what it is called. A gift I am continually grateful for of the many I have been bestowed the last 15 months.

Above I posted pictures of a local off-grid dining event a friend organized. I was the first chef, and it was a soft opening. I love being the person to help get the kinks worked out. My organized mind works well in new situations like that, but also can trip me up by over thinking things on occasion! But that night, everything fell into place. Truly, it was a magical food night for me.  Local farmers were showcased; polenta, kale, beets, carrots, honey and bread all local! It felt sublime to provide guests with a change of food scenery in our little town.
Here is a rundown of the meal:
1. Kale pesto chevre with pickled carrots honeycomb and almonds with fresh bread
2. Roasted Harissa Beet Soup with Quick Pickled Cucumbers
3. Pork Ragu over White Polenta
4. Butterscotch Pot De Cremes with Homemade Whipped Creme Fraiche

I deeply appreciated the opportunity to cook, and since so many of my friends were there it was also like a fun night out. I know word is traveling fast about future events at this dinner club, so I am interested in seeing how it comes together and forms. My close friend Jilan took all the photos I posted. I love what catches her eye. She has an amazing sense of style that radiates from inside her. Her photography has become a wonderful extension of her many talents, and I gush about her on any occasion I can. Her photography blog: 11th and Lombard Photography Blogspot....
Well so long for now. I am creating a new blog as I type this and I can't wait to share it with all of you as soon as it is ready.
xo

9 comments:

Violet Folklore said...

Ummm... YUM.

Nice job girl!

nancy said...

good to see you back here! your words are inspiring, and that meal - wow! i want a butterscotch pot de creme right now. looking forward to checking out your new blog too :)

Jessica said...

Thanks you two...xoxo

Natasha said...

Hi Jessica ...

This is the first post of yours I have ever received, and wow - it was a lot to take in! I wish you continued comfort in your new skin.

There can be 3 reasons how I came to find your blog last fall:

1. I bookmarked your Lemon-Kale Pesto recipe after falling in love with kale last year;

2. Your Green Goddess Dressing recipe might have come up on a Google search - I always wonder why they don't sell it ready made in stores, but the recipe is easy enough to make;

3. You may be the lady who ran into Heidi Swanson in a store in SF some time, and she wrote about meeting you? I would have followed that link through then to find you - I know I've seen the pix of the little girl washing dishes at the kitchen sink before - adorable!

Anyways, I spent some time perusing your amazing collection of recipes, and they are all fantastic and delicious-sounding. I especially love what you do with beets. As you mention in today's post that you are starting another blog, I wanted to make sure to write to ask you to please please please not delete any of these amazing recipes, as I plan to try each and every one of them.

Thanks!

Jessica said...

Natasha what a great memory you have! Yes, I met Heidi in sf while shopping, and she found my blog after and wrote a very kind post about my kale pesto. She is just as nice in person as she is on her blog btw! Super cool lady. Yes, I have a green goddess recipe on my blog and reading your comment got me to thinking that I should update it and modernize the one I have..so maybe look for it. Also I won't delete anything off of seaweed snacks even though I am creating a new blog, so the recipes will be here for your enjoyment. I appreciate so much your enthusiasm for my love of cooking. If you have not tried the Roasted Beet Harissa soup, you will love it! A link below:
http://seaweedsnacks.blogspot.com/2011/09/harissa-beet-soup-with-quick-pickled.html
xoxoxxo
jessica

Becky said...

Love you, and your musings. The photographs are wonderful, but I'm sure don't even begin to describe how fantastic the day/night was. Your smile, however, does.

Jo in France said...

Hi there
Great to hear things are good in your life, and can't wait for the new blog!

Ashley said...

So happy to see you back. Oh what I would have done to be a guest at that meal. Looks incredible. M has one heck of a mom!

Jessica said...

Jo and Ashley! Hi you two!! xoxo

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