I love recording the different seasons of life that I get to live and dance my way through. There are times when I write more than others, but really, that in itself is a reflection of the season. Sometimes I can't scribble my thoughts down fast enough and use enough parchment and quill to describe what is going on in my heart and mind; the need to process is incredibly prevalent. Sometimes, I forget, and I write just to write, create, or record my being.
I also thoroughly enjoy reading back through my journals, seeing where I was. Most of the time, it's utterly ridiculous the way I thought and the reasonings behind my doings. On occasion though, there is poetry that has been squeezed out of my soul, still raw on the page. It's real, bare, and needing to never be forgotten. If there was a fire in my house, one of the things I would grab would be my stack of written journals, because though I am no philosopher, theologian, or one the the great thinkers of our time, I think what I say has weight and can make a difference. Maybe.
As I started the last page of my journal, there were echos of a film score in my head. Ya know, at the end of "Lord of the Rings," "Harry Potter," or any other epic movie where things may be bittersweet, but you know that everything will be ok, and that you are ready to embrace the next step, whatever that may be. There is some sort of inspirational dialogue, and as the dialogue fades, the volume of the music is turned up, slowly climbing to take over the scene. That's what happened as I was writing. I'm not saying my life is as epic as the movies I mentioned earlier, and I'm certainly not comparing myself to John Williams or Howard Shore, but my life is a story, and to me, it's epic.
The bread above looks lovely, eh? It's stale. Not only is it stale, but it is absolutely hard as a rock. For reals.
Here is what happened . . . let me sum up:
I spent two wonderful weeks with the boy. We went out, had dinner with parents and friends, and actually only ate at the house a small handful of times.
I took him to the KC airport, then proceeded to stay a couple days with my sister.
I came home to a sparse fridge, a hungry tummy, and an empty wallet.
I gathered most of the contents of my fridge, garden, and pantry, and created.
Resourcefulness is something I value, and I am still learning. Student of life; that's me.
Arrange sliced/pieced stale bread, bacon pieces, fresh peppery lettuce, and onions in the bottom of a small casserole dish.
Pour a mixture of egg, heavy cream, spicy coarse mustard, garlic, & seasonings over the arrangement.
You want to make sure all the pieces of the stale bread have been touched by the cream/egg mixture, because that is what is going to provide the moisture for the dish and prevent you from biting into it and breaking a tooth.
I covered mine and set it in the fridge to soak & marry each other for an hour. This gives you time for: a run, a house cleaning, a quick errand jaunt, an couple/few episodes of "Up All Night," a chapter or two in the book you are currently reading, practice guitar, the possibilities are endless really . . .
After that hour-ish, take it out and let it sit about 20-ish minutes, or at least enough time to not be so cold for it's oven time (if you take it directly, your dish might explode, and that's not good for anyone).
Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and bake @ 350, covered, for about 20-25 minutes. Check it after this time and see how it's coming along, and check the softness of your bread. It should feel slightly crispy, more like oiled, toasted bread and less like rock-hard stale bread. Bake further for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then serve with a brief drizzle of olive oil.
This recipe is loose and easily adaptable to you, your cravings, and your fridge contents.
5 small onions, halved
a small handful peppery lettuce, roughly chopped
2 slices bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
2/3 stale baguette, pieced/sliced
1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream
3-4 Tbsp. spicy course mustard
sea salt & pepper, TT (to taste)
Saute onion halves, and set aside.
Whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, mustard, garlic powder, salt, & pepper.
* Remember, you can use whatever you want here! If you don't like mustard, don't use it. If you want it spicy still, use cumin with a pinch of cayenne. Or sage & paprika. Or throw a bite of white wine, lemon juice, & parmesan in. Whatevs, really.
Drizzle olive oil in the casserole dish & coat the bottom and sides. Arrange the bread, bacon, onions, and lettuce. Pour the cream/ egg mixture over the top, being sure to cover the bread! Repeat layers.
Refrigerate for an hour (ish). Let sit in room temp location for 20 (ish) minutes.
Drizzle top with olive oil. Bake @ 350 for 20-25 minutes, covered. Uncover, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Let cool. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.