"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It Comes Together

You know those days...weeks...months, even...where it feels as if, no matter how much you accomplish in a day's work, you never quite manage to get it all done?  Do you have those too?  About a year ago, I noticed myself saying things like:  "It'll all calm down after _______________(fill in the blank with any of the following:  the holidays, the end of school, summer break, birthday parties, the flu, renovating the house, selling the house, moving, and so forth)."  This naive, wistful thinking went on for some time until one fateful day awhile back, when I had a small sort of epiphany.  Not necessarily the leaves-you-enlightened-and-at-peace-with-the-world sort epiphany, alas.  More of your garden variety, "Ahhhh.  I see.  Well that sort of sucks," epiphany.  The realization being that, guess what?  This, my friends, is what it means to be a Grown-Up.  Capital G.  Life, in all its awesome variety, in its astounding array of choices on how to live our lives, in its long-sought-after independence...life. is. busy.  Freaking hugely busy.

And so it goes.  You all know, you're living it too.  So when I don't happen to pop on here for a wee bit, from time to time, I'm pretty sure you'll forgive me.  Without me even needing to go into the mundane details of why I can't get my shit together sometimes.  And I thank you for that.

So.  When, in the midst of the pandemonium that is Grown-Up Life, a teeny, tiny, wee thing comes together smoothly, I feel rather pleased.  Nay, I feel bloody stoked.  So stoked, in fact, that I must share it with you.  And fortunately, this coming-together moment happens to be concerning some food.  (Hurrah!)

Since we're on the verge of a move, I'm making an effort to deplete some of my lingering food stores, at least the refrigerated ones.  This weekend, I combed through the jars on the door of the fridge (aren't there always so many nearly-but-not-quite-empty jars in there?!), and through some pantry shelves, and came upon some serious goods.  Well, actually, some quite ordinary goods, but, as luck would have it, it all came together.  And how.

My stash?  Not even a handful of green olives, half a red pepper, and a paltry amount of sun-dried tomatoes.  Not so exciting, you think?  Oh, but just put on these rose-colored lenses of mine, and you'll see:  It Comes Together.

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade - makes a wee bit

1 large red bell pepper
1/3 cup pitted green olives (mine were the ordinary, pimento-stuffed sort)
1/4 (ish) cup sun-dried tomatoes**
1 small clove garlic, minced
dash red wine vinegar
small glug olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes

*I've doubled the ingredient amounts that I had in my house at the time, to give you a larger quantity of tapenade.  You really can't mess this recipe up, I dare say, so don't worry if you don't have everything exact.*

**My sun-dried tomatoes were the dry sort, but if you have the oil-soaked ones, that's fine too, just omit the olive oil in the recipe.**

Slice the red pepper in half, lengthwise, and remove the stem and seeds.  Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and put under the broiler until blackened.  This took about 10 minutes in my oven.  Just keep checking every few minutes.  Remove peppers, and place in a bowl, cover with plastic, and leave for about 20 minutes (or until you remember to come back to it).  Peel the skin from the peppers and discard.

Toss all the ingredients into the food processor, and pulse a few times, until of a uniform size, but still slightly chunky.  Let the tapenade rest for half an hour, if you can swing it, then serve, atop warm bread, like this one, or this one.  Preferably with a glass of wine.  Or two.

I love with it comes together.  Don't you?

Have a lovely evening.

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