Do you ever get home from a grueling day at work -- after squinting at a screen all day, trudging up and down the stairs to the train, and poking at limp lettuce with a plastic fork for lunch -- and just know that you need something special that night? No, not that something special (get your mind out of the gutter)! I'm talking about something that makes you feel, even in the smallest moments, like you're living life to the fullest.
Something that makes you notice the quality of your food, not just the quantity; that reminds you of summer afternoons spent brewing pitchers of lemonade, or baking an apple crisp for the first time with your grandmother, or plating your first batch of chocolate chip cookies. Something that urges you to savor each bite and truly taste your food instead of gulping it down. Something that conjures visions of farmland, or maybe a cabin on a lake, making you smell the fresh air and breeze and earth, and inspires you to start planning your next adventure with a simple bite...
It may sound cliché, but our society has become too contradictory when it comes to the intersection of food and life. On the one hand, we're all moving too quickly - we no longer appreciate the little moments, searching frantically for the next adrenaline rush, the next metaphorical high. We barely have time to chew our food, much less savor it, knoshing on almonds and protein bars on our way to the next meeting or event.
But on the other hand (or maybe on the same hand?), those things that used to ground people -- the act of cooking a good meal, of setting the table, sitting around with family and friends for hours aimlessly chatting and philosophizing about life -- have become a multi-billion dollar industry that many cannot afford. So many people now either are too busy working harder and longer hours, or too busy worrying about paying the bills, to make a meal that feeds both their bellies and their souls, and our society encourages that behavior over and over again.
The food and experiences that could make people stand still and take stock of their blessings are too pricey (in time and money) for many to enjoy - it's a circular problem with no simple solution. This is a food culture we have curated over time and it is not one from which we can easily stray! (You can read more about these issues here, here, and here.)
But I'm going to try. From here on out, though I may indulge in Kraft Mac N Cheese on a rare(ish) occasion, I want to focus my meals on ingredients and combinations that will satisfy me, body & soul. I want to make recipes that are full of high quality ingredients, making even the simplest mixing of savory and sweet into an exciting dish. I may only be one person, and I may not be a millionaire (good food can be pricey!), but I'm going to try my hardest to focus on filling these philosophical needs along with my nutritional ones. And this dish is a start!
This is a recreation from the 18 Reasons event I mentioned a few weeks ago - it is perfect for an afternoon snack, an after dinner dessert, or even an extra-creative breakfast if the mood strikes! Just chop, and combine.
Ingredients Peaches Ricotta cheese Almonds, slivered Honey Hot chili flakes
PS - The almonds are better if they're toasted a bit!