“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people.“.
In the blink of an eye Spring has stepped into Summer. The crocuses and cherry blossoms have given way to lilacs, feverfew, blackberry blossoms and hyssop. I picked a bright bouquet in the forest to adorn a vase on the coffee table during my walk Sunday morning.
When time feels like it’s moving too quickly I find myself feeling melancholic for the freedom of childhood, when Summers felt they lasted forever. I stop and inhale each moment because I know I won’t see Spring for another year and I want to experience fully what each season has to offer; to create real memories that I can look back on at the end of the year.
Social Media is about sharing the best parts of our lives and even though I share a lot online, there are things I keep to myself. This year hasn’t been without struggles and if you know me (or have followed this blog for some time) you will know I’ve struggled with disordered anxiety most of my life. Like the ocean ebbs and flows, the beginning of the year I found myself in an ebb, profoundly deep.
At the recommendation of my therapist I began Neurofeedback and am on my 9th session.
What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback therapy is a noninvasive procedure that measures a patient’s brainwaves and provides the patient with real-time feedback about how the brain is functioning. To learn more (HERE)
Perhaps this “disordered anxiety” I live with is precisely why I appreciate the little things. I know what it feels like to be so afraid and so, when I catch the scent of rain in the air or see rays of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy, I can appreciate it that much more.
Neurofeedback Therapy has helped me get in touch with my emotions and understand the root of them. It’s easy to create stories in our minds when we feel too much and I’ve been learning to separate what my mind and body are feeling and focus on what is happening around me, in “reality”.
Summer is a busy time filled with activities, trips, friends and family. I need extended time to myself however, to be quiet and to disconnect from the commotion and to me the best place to go is to nature. Nature is the best medicine for my soul so when anxiety or busy-ness start to consume and deplete my energy I go to nature and am quickly motivated, inspired and happy once more.
We are all different. I love that my best friends are extroverts who love to talk (and talk). I however am a quiet person living in a noisy world and I used to feel shame for not being able to keep up or be “normal”. These days, I’m perfectly ok with being quiet and remembering that we cannot compare ourselves to others; we all have a unique gift and reason for being here.
In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.
I use cooking as a way to ground myself. I’m fully focused when I cook. This tart tastes like summer and I want to share it with you. It will go well with a green salad and my Strawberry Mint Lemonade.
Asparagus, Tomato and Ricotta Tart
- One sheet of puff pastry rolled to a 10- by 12-inch rectangle
- 300 g of ricotta cheese
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (and a little extra to sprinkle over top)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- Zest of 1/2 a small lemon (about 1 tablespoon) preferably organic
- Asparagus spears ends trimmed – as you assemble you’ll know how many you need
- Cherry or small vine tomatoes sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large egg beaten or melted butter to brush pastry
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- (Optional) crumbled bacon or prosciutto.
**thaw the puff pastry for about 15 minutes if using frozen.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unroll the puff pastry onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Using a knife, score a 3/4-inch (2 cm) border around the edge of the pastry, being careful to not cut all the way through. Prick the pastry inside the border all over with a fork. This will help to stop it from puffing up in the oven.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, garlic, Parmesan, chopped herbs, and lemon zest, then season liberally.
- Spread the ricotta mixture over the tart inside the border. Place the asparagus spears over the tart and dot around the tomatoes. Gently press down on the tomatoes so that they sink slightly into the ricotta mixture, brush lightly with olive oil. If you are adding bacon or prosciutto you can place it under or sprinkled over the vegetables.
- Brush the pastry border with the beaten egg (or melted butter) and bake until the pastry is golden and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy with a green salad or on it’s own.
I’m looking forward to Summer, to late afternoons floating on a lake, watching the forest transform from the colourful explosion of spring to every shade of green. I’ve yet to plan my birthday trip and I kind of like the thought of letting it happen organically this year. Where will Summer take you?
Thank you for joining me.
Until next time.