And they happen...to everyone! Kind people. Angry people. Hard-working people. Dishonest people. Compassionate people. Judgemental people.
Are you catching on? Do I sound like Dr. Seuss?
There's a lot of weight placed these days on the presence and necessity of happiness. How to be happy? How to have more happiness? How to stay happy, and immediately fix unhappiness?
We know about getting more sleep, spending less time with technology, exercising, eating for a healthy mind and body. These things are no-brainers. And while all of those things are important for a balanced life, sometimes sad things just...happen. Sometimes, we'll just be sad.
Isn't that ok?
I have a poem written by Jane Hirshfield tacked to my wall at work, and I'm drawn to a few lines today:
Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad,
You slept, you awakened.
Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.
It was like this:
You were happy, then you were sad,
Then happy again, then not.
I think it's ok to be sad...or angry, or scared, or frustrated, or bored. Why do we have to push these feelings away? Why do we have to fix them? They are part of life. Part of the every day.
As natural as eating chestnuts one day and persimmons the next.
And I think that if we don't notice when we're sad and feel it, really acknowlege and feel it, then we have a harder time noticing all the happiness we already possess.
Just my two cents on a Monday.
Cooking for others makes me happy. Mini puff pastry turnovers with a creamy artichoke filling make me very happy. Spending quality time this Easter weekend with my husband, with multiple sets of friends, with family and extended family makes me happier still.
I'll take the bad as long as I keep getting so much good.
"Step with care and great tact, and remember that life's a great balancing act." - Dr. Seuss
Mini Artichoke Turnovers
Adapted from Living Magazine
Yields about 40 turnovers
4 tbs butter
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 c dry white wine
1 c skim milk, warmed
3 c artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, chopped
1 c grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1-1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten (I used egg substitute)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the shallot and garlic. Cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about two minutes. Whisk while slowly pouring in the wine, and allow to cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil, and allow to thicken while stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat, and stir in the artichoke hearts, cheese, thyme, and lemon zest. Let cool completely, and refrigerate until ready to use.
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheets until they measure about 16x16 inches. Cut each sheet into 16 4-inch squares. Arrange 1 tbs of the artichoke mixture in the center of each square.
Brush two perpendicular edges with water, and fold over to form a triangle. Press tightly to seal.
Brush each corner of the triangle with water, and join it to the opposite point to form a little folded packet.
Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate or freeze until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the turnovers with the egg wash, and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.