I had a dream last night.
I was on a big boat with many other people. Strangers. The water was deep and so white from the strong current that the boat was rocking wildly from side to side and up and down, like in a storm. Like the big pirate ship ride in a theme park. Like a Six Flags Magic Mountain crazy crazy ride.
Then everyone was thrown into the water. And the boat was gone.
At eye level with the water I could see the strong currents swirling around me in all directions and I realized by the whiteness of the water how strong the flow is. (Sort of like what they say about the water around Alcatraz. I’ve never been there but I heard that they built the prison there so no one could escape alive.)
So all of us were in this water so deep in the middle of nowhere. Strangely, I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t think I am was going to drown or die. Somehow I was very calm about it.
Then, I found the now deflated boat and grabbed it with my hand as if I knew that it will be useful again someday. That it will be full of air again and everyone would get back in it. Then another guy swam towards me and joined me in holding onto the boat. I heard someone yell towards me: “swim with the current” (just like the turtles told Nemo’s dad in “Finding Nemo”). And so we did, me and that guy, holding onto the deflated boat, but not swimming really, just letting the water lead us, taking us wherever it wants to, not fighting against it, and knowing that we will make it and meanwhile, trying to relax in the wild ride.
It was a good dream.
What do I think about my dream?
My life had many ups and downs. Many years that I was sad and felt alone in the world. Plenty of times that I prayed that someone will save me.
But I learned that I had to save me. There were many good people along the way too. After that I met my wonderful husband. A new life began.
All the rough times I went through turned into a good thing because I learned how to make my life a good one. A happy one.
I realize that now I have the life that I always wanted. All the hard times of the past had to happen so I can have my current life that I love. And because of those tough times I now appreciate everything that I have – my little wonderful family, the things I’m passionate about – my work, food, writing, and a bunch of good friends. My dreams are coming true.
I appreciate all the good in my life and don’t take it for granted. That is the biggest gift of my past experiences.
And life… Life is only getting better and better each and every day.
And now, let’s have a little laugh. Here’s a video of my uncle, Jimmy. One of the funniest people I know, and the most entertaining. And then… a recipe.
And a recipe.
Basic, simple, humble ingredients are turned into a warm, satisfying, and comforting soup. So much like a good home.
I love that photo of the soup above. At first I tried to shoot the soup from that angle but without having the kids toys apearing in it. Then I stopped trying. I just love how they are part of my life and part of my work. My inspiration. And helping me become a better person.
Roasted potato leek soup
Slightly adapted from “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics,” by Ina Garten
Serves 6 to 8
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 to 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used fresh frozen store-bought)
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces crème fraiche
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine the potatoes and leeks on a baking sheet in a single layer. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40-45 minutes, until very tender.
Place roasted vegetables in a large pot. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Stir in the wine and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Using a hand blender, or a food processor fitted with the steel blade, purée the soup (do this in batches if using a food processor). Add the cream, cream fraiche, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and check the seasonings.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your day.