I came across the following post today, written 12 years ago, on September 2, 2008. What surprises me is that very little, really, has changed. My fundamental characteristics, it seems, remain…well…fundamental:
N said something at dinner tonight that surprised me. He said that he didn’t know anything about my fundamental characteristics; my foundational principles. N and I have known each other for almost 15 years. Admittedly, we haven’t had a long growing season for our friendship – we’ve always been in and out of touch – mostly out. It’s been seven years since our last dinner together. Still, I thought that my life’s philosophy was evident to those around me. I’m discovering that I was wrong. So, here’s the five things my friends should know about me – in no particular order:
1. I am a sensualist. I delight in the sensations I experience in the world around me: super-saturated colors, the scent and patter of rain, the graininess of aged cheese, the creaminess of Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles, the smoky, crackling warmth of a fire, the sounds of the forest, the softness of cashmere, the simplicity and contrast of B&W photos, the tingle and bite of Fleur de Sel on my tongue, and the sweet scent of a narcissus blossoms, to name just a few. My pleasure is found through the senses.
2. I’m fiercely loyal to those close to me and I expect it in return. If you’ve betrayed me, it is difficult to regain my trust. Betrayal cuts me deeply. Trust, respect and loyalty are essential. [Editor’s note: Something I’ve been painfully reminded of recently.]
3. I strive for balance; I’m always looking for the Yin/Yang in my life, my work, my spirituality passions, my relationships. When I’m balanced, I feel the most in tune with life’s pulse. Yoga, meditation, cooking baking and playing in the dirt help me to balance.
4. I’m an introvert. I spend large chunks of my free time by myself and I like it – need it – that way. I enjoy my time with others, but need down time alone to “recharge”. I’m shy and usually uncomfortable around those I don’t know. [Editor’s note: This last year, I’ve been in a phase of more interpersonal connections, but I’m still an introvert at heart. This often surprises new friends.]
5. Contentment is not the same as complacency. I detest complacency and seek contentment.
My Favorite quote right now: “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground” – Rumi “You can’t change those around you, but you can change those around you.”
Only slightly updated, September 2020
Almond Orange Mini Gateaux Bretons
- Orange Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup almond flour, toasted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon orange flower water
- 1 teaspoon orange zest Almond Cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
- sliced almonds
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, toasted almond flour and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, combining between each addition. Mix in orange flower water and zest. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions mixing just until blended (don’t over-mix).
- Scrape dough into a piece of plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 325⁰ F. With floured hands, roll dough into 10 gram balls. Press dough into the bottom of mini muffin tins. Dollop with a rounded teaspoon of almond cream and sprinkle with 3 sliced almonds. Refrigerate again for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until tops are golden. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then release from pan using the tip of a very sharp knife.