Sorry I skipped last week’s AGT! My sister was in town and I was getting all of my turkeys in a row for the upcoming holiday. And thinking a lot about routines and habits...
Did you play tetherball during recess as a grade school kid? I never really cared for it. It always seemed like a go-nowhere game to me. No ball to shoot into a basket or kick into a goal. No ball to strike with the result of running bases to an eventual home run. I don’t know about you, but I love a tangible reward for my efforts.
Baseballs, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, golf balls… they all experience a kind of freedom. I guess the freedom of those balls is the exact opposite of a tether ball, right? It’s TETHERED! An absolute go-nowhere situation.
I hadn’t remembered my disappointment in this game until my friend Jeffrey recently brought up the word. Jeffrey is a long time friend from performing arts conservatory. He’s one of my best friends and one of my greatest teachers. Jeffrey and I are part of a daily email gratitude group and recently many of us have been experiencing fits and starts with our contributions.
“I am just changing up my "things" lately! My little routines, my practices, my habits, my "work," ...Trying to listen to my heart and soul, while gently and lovingly questioning "why" I do the things I do. Why I stick to some patterns and habits. Why I say the things I always say, think the things I always think.
It's like I had to release the tether and float away a bit, to see how I fare in the wind.”
It’s no secret I surround myself with people that are constantly working on improving themselves to better the world we live in. They do that by asking the hard questions and digging deep for the answers. Maybe you don’t have a friend like Jeffrey that challenges you to be better. So I’ll share him with you this week.
And let’s break down those questions, and release our tethers, and see how we fare in the wind.
Why do I do the things I do?
Why do I stick to some patterns and habits?
Why do I say the things I always say?
Why do I always think the things I think?
Comfort. Fear. Conditioning. Ease. Safety. Mistrust. Faith. Protection. Structure. Laziness.
There are no wrong answers. I often make mindless choices without really thinking things through. I trust the universe has my back and that it’ll all work out. And yes, it always does. But could things be better? Most definitely.
Are my routines, habits, and patterns really working for me? Are your’s working for you? Are our actions lining up with our intentions?
This last month and a half of the year I’m going to take some time to really look at time management, sleep, procrastination, my spending, how I speak, and how I listen. Now is the time to get clear on how I want to show up in 2019 and release my own tethers. Jeffries untethering made him feel ‘grounded and connected in new and different ways.’
Getting out of our routines, even for a day, can help us look at problems and solutions in a whole new way. Let’s listen to our hearts and souls, while gently and lovingly questioning our intentions and actions. Happy Thanksgiving dear ones, I am grateful for all of you.
This week’s recipe is a perfect snack to put out before the big Thanksgiving feast. Or a good night before dinner or day after brunch item… sweet, savory, light, filling, fruity, cheesy, crusty - it ticks off all the boxes. Melissa Clark of the New York Times Cooking department sets me up for success almost every week with her recipes and contributions! This one is a winner.
Roasted Apple, Shallot and Blue Cheese Tart
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
5 grams sugar (1 teaspoon)
150 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups), more as needed
55 grams whole wheat flour (1/2 cup)
60 grams fine cornmeal (1/2 cup)
10 grams fine sea salt (2 1/4 teaspoons), more as needed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
2 ¼ pounds apples, cored, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick
¾ pound shallots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
5 thyme branches
¾ cup finely crumbled blue cheese
Flaky sea salt
Place 3/4 cup lukewarm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over water. Let stand until frothy, about 5 minutes.
In another large bowl, whisk together both flours, cornmeal and 8 grams (1 3/4 teaspoons) salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; stir in yeast mixture and 1/3 cup oil until mixture is combined. If the dough seems dry, add a little more water. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 to 10 minutes. Or, knead in a mixer or food processor fit with the dough blade for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rest at room temperature until dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
While dough rises, heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together apples, shallots, 1/4 cup oil, 2 grams ( 1/2 teaspoon) salt, the black pepper and thyme. Spread onto two large baking sheets. Roast, tossing occasionally, until mixture is tender and golden, about 30 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Punch down dough and transfer to baking sheet. Using a rolling pin or your fingers, roll or stretch dough to make an even layer about 3/16-inch thick. Scatter apple-shallot mixture over crust. Scatter cheese on top. Drizzle with oil and season with flaky sea salt and black pepper. Transfer pan to oven and bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is just melted, 17 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve.