Salt and the Sea

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” – JFK

It has been far too long since my last post. Embarrassingly long.

So much has happened in the past five months and so much is going to happen in the next five months.

My dearest Shane has applied and been accepted to several grad-schools for Applied Mathematics. Each program in a different part of the country and each requiring a significant life change for the two of us. Together. That’s about the only word that keeps me going right now. Change has never been easy for me, if I can imagine it, if I can picture myself there it’s just a bit easier to handle, but generally speaking it’s the hardest thing I ever ask myself to do or really sign myself up for. This kind of change is the kind I look at as the definition. Job – out the window, community – different, friends – so far away, family – more than a 15 minute drive, home – who knows, future – one big question mark… l don’t exactly cope well with all of this. I can tell you I’m excited and that I’ve never been more certain that despite the fact that I am putting my career and the next steps for me behind what’s next for Shane, I want to be with him.

At the end of the day, what I continue to fall back on is the comfort and safety I feel knowing that I’ll be by his side and by the sea. Close to the water. Near a place that calls me home, even when what I’m doing is making a new home.

By April 15th we’ll know. We’ll know where we’re going to spend the next handful of years, where we’ll be making so many changes to our lives as they exist today and I really don’t think that I can imagine doing it with anyone else.

If I could, the answer would be easy. I would be headed to the Pacific Northwest, at least for a few years. I’d make my mark and let it make its mark on me. I’m ready for a change, ready to feel the impact that something new can have on me. This stagnant, comfortable, stable life, while sure, is not me. I’m ready for this, as ready as I have ever been, to make my way to the salt and the sea.

Inspired by ingredients that are easy to keep around, this appetizer or light lunch can be made in a hurry or as a delightful weekend treat. I forget sometimes how much I feed my own soul when I remember how the Tang of the knife feels in my hand, and grains of salt feel between my fingers. This one is an original, one that, should I actually publish a cook book of my own, (something that Shane has not stopped suggesting) will end up in the book… it’s pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.

Simple Tomato, Prosciutto, and Ricotta Bruschetta:

  • 3 T. Chopped Parsley
  • 1 C. small, diced, fresh Tomato
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 T. Shredded Parmesan
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 t. White Truffle Oil
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 slices good, crusty bread
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • Good, creamy ricotta

Preheat oven to 350, oil each piece of bread and place on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes, or until crispy and slightly browned.

In the meantime, chop parsley, tomato, garlic, & shallot and place in a small bowl. Add salt, olive oil, truffle oil, parmesan and mix until well incorporated.

IMG_1943  IMG_1944

Once the bread is toasted, rub a clove of garlic on one side of each piece of bread.

Spread about 2 T. of ricotta on each piece of bread and place 2 pieces of prosciutto on top.

Put back in the oven for about 3-5 minutes, or until the prosciutto starts to look crispy and the ricotta starts to bubble.

Once the toasts are complete, spoon a generous amount of the tomato mixture on top of the toasts and serve immediately.

Maybe cut in half, or just enjoy.

IMG_1946

Until next time – which I’m sure will be soon. My ‘editor’ (Shane) has me scheduled for one recipe a week.

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