Sunday, January 20, 2013

Elemental Understanding of Our Winds

The perception of weakness is very much like being in windy conditions. How you perceive the strength of the wind depends on what side of the gale you are on. If you are in front of the wind, you might view it's onslaught as overwhelming in strength.  If you are moving with the wind, you might view it as an adequate and advantageous force. If you are behind the wind,  you might perceive it's will and force as weak. Full and elemental understanding of strengths and weaknesses comes with awareness of your own vantage point... Only then can you know and understand how the wind flows.... Understanding of ourselves and how we relate to conditions around us, allows us to harness the possibilities..................

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jane Dough's Focaccia Foray / With a Little Help From a Friend

This weekend I slow cooked Smoky Split Pea Soup.  A little Onion, a little Garlic, Bacon and  I puree it once it is cooked to perfection, for a lovely silky bowl of soup :)
I was looking for something to have on the side with it... Something substantive to go with a light soup  ... I thought about how I like to have trendy Focaccia when I go out to lunch for Soup and Salad. So, I thought it would be fun to make my first foray into making my own Focaccia. I tackled it head on with a little help from my 'Catchen' Superintendent! Here's what I ... ehhmm.. we did ...
1 Pkg. Dry Quick Rise Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
1 tsp. Honey
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour, plus approx. 1/4 cup Flour for kneading
1/4 Cup Olive Oil, plus enough Olive Oil for drizzling
1 small onion, finely sliced
1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, sliced
2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary ( I harvested right from my Garden)
1/3 cup Asiago Cheese, finely grated
Sprinkle sea salt to taste

 In a Medium Bowl stir together water, yeast and honey. Let rest until the yeast starts to bubble. Approx. 10 min.

Stir in Flour and 1/4 Cup Olive Oil.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, 5 to 10 minutes.

Keep your 'Catchen' Superintendent abreast of your progress...

as he/ she.... will be waiting for their cut, when the Focaccia is baked ...

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 10 by 15 inch baking sheet ( you can use a 9 by 13 inch sheet, I just like my Focaccia to be a little more slender when sliced) until it touches the edges of the sheet.

Using your finger, poke indentations all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the finely sliced onion and sauté until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let slightly cool.

Once your dough is puffy in the pan (slightly risen) , top it with the Carmelized Onions, Rosemary, Asiago Cheese, and sprinkle salt to taste. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons Olive oil.

 Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the Sun-dried Tomatoes.
Return to the oven and continue baking until the Focaccia is golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Cut into slices and serve.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Where Moments Lead Me

I take walks outdoors very frequently. And more often than not, I see butterflies on the flowers and shrubs. Recently, I was thinking about The Butterfly Effect and how that applies to the grand scheme of things, as well as how it relates to myself. In Chaos theory, The Butterfly Effect is the sensitive dependence on an initial condition, or event ; a small change at one place in time can result in large differences at a later state, or later time. I like to think that, for me, what will happen in time will be driven by my own desires, thoughts and insight. Being at the mercy of any single event is not an option I can accept. I cannot harness the passage of moments, but I can control what I do with those moments.

Where Moments Lead Me

My winged will, by gales of uncertainty, faltered.
The outstretched hand of time revealed what was to come.
Though timely Kronos could not upend what a moment altered,
Forthcoming winds were diverted and so ceased their chaotic hum.

The crown of a monarch's path had failed to lift me.
But at the summit of an eternal flame I healed my broken wings.
Heated desire became the pillar for being set free.
With the blush and flutter of an unfettered butterfly, my heart sings.

Onward past the remnants of time behind me.
Forward down the path carved, certain and still.
Hope is serenely alive, in what my outcomes can be.
Insightful moments lead me, where fleeting events never will.


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