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Berry Picking... Galettes... and 10 Years...

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Yes, while most people from my part of the world are gushing about apple and fall fruits, here I am coming to you with a flashback! :) Well, the truth is, I have been sitting on this post for an awful long time- ermm.. 3 months!

first thing to note is that milestone -
TEN YEARS!!!

It has been a life changing year! And, really looking back at the the last 10 years when I have been blogging, I am at a loss for words to describe the transformation I have been through. That tonguetied-ness has been a reason for my quiet here. But…. I’ll try…! :)

I started this blog after a life event - job loss during the financial crisis. Through the next few years, there were a few more life events - breakups, new relationships, a through in-out of self, shitty jobs, amazing friends, lots of introspection, shifts in perspective, baggage, negativity, so much love, heartache and growing pains, learning to embrace change and trying to find my positive, free spirit through what felt like years of slaps in the face, understanding the amazing positive forces that were still there in my life and nurturing me with love through all these transformations, finally being able to see the green amidst the white - and through it all, this blog has been my crutch, my safe space, my time-out space, my I-can’t-believe-my-world-sucks-atleast-I-have-my-pretty-pictures outlet!! :)

Basically, this blog has been a sort of anchor, the one unchanging thing in the last ten years, while pretty much everything else changed about me. I mean literally, everything, except my core values. I am happy and relieved that my core stood through it all, became stronger, shed the shadows and weighty baggage and stayed calm. Because, I am going to need that strength for the next few decades - there are many changes more underfoot now :)

So, as I was reflecting on 10 years of blogging and trying to figure what that milestone head would read, I realized that it was not about blogging but how one small step into this world, changed my entire life. Not entirely on its own, but like a stone gathering momentum, it set things in motion, it tweaked things in me, opened my eyes to certain qualities in myself and others, met so many interesting people, changed careers….. Starting this blog just created a little path in a new forest and that took to a place that I would never have imagined myself to be in 10 years ago - physically, metaphysically, emotionally, psychologically.

Then, I was a city dwelling, fairly entitled (academically), type A, anxious, self-centered, inexperienced (in general all spheres of life) yet entirely over-confident person who had somehow suppressed the mischievous, adventure loving, curious, open-minded me. Through the help of life’s lessons and setbacks, guided by the love of many (some whom I ended up hurting because read above, some I am so fortunate to have stay with me through it all, some I wish I could still keep in my life, some who blew in and blew out and taught me a lot in that instant), I have changed over these years.

I traveled a lot (still catching up on writing about them..), met incredible people doing things I could not even dream of, been inspired by stories of others’ lives, saw different cultures and learned new perspectives that made me less rigid and more openminded and accepting.

I moved away from the city to a suburb and loving life there in a house! Picked up gardening and learning patience through it. Understood that I really want to nurture life and giving life to another is one of the best things I can do with my own life.

And, so I did and embraced a completely different life.

In short, I am not the same person I was 10 years ago and I am so happy about it! I am better, stronger, softer, kinder, nicer… I think ;-)

I went from being largely disinterested and meh about life to wanting to live, love, laugh and give!

I cannot wait to see what the next ten years will bring!!! I am excited …!


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Below are some scenes from berry picking earlier this year at a nearby farm in Shelton, CT. It was one of those amazing Summer days with the sun on the face and plump, sweet berries for the picking close to the ground. I did not know strawberries were midgets of plants. Lol. The other berries grow like a normal bush, after all.

We came home with about 12 pounds of succulent berries! We shared some with friends, froze a bunch for Winter (yay!!!), ate a fair bit as snacks and managed to spare some for this frangipane buckwheat galette!

I was hoping to go back for more but what with everything in life, it quite never happened… So, a lesson learnt. Make the most of what time you have, when you are doing it and fully enjoy the moment. Also, if you plan for something and it doesn’t happen… roll with the punches and be happy for the experiences you have had…

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The last para just about distills the learnings of the last 10 years and to be honest is something I am still working on..

Being Present, Letting Go, Gratitude for What IS!

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strawberry & rhubarb frangipane galette

with buckwheat crust

Notes:

The pastry for the crust and the frangipane filling can be made up to a week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

The crust can stay in the freezer for up to a month.

The fully assembled galette can be made upto 48 hours ahead and baked before serving.

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For the crust:

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup AP flour or GF blend with binder

6 T cold butter, cut intp 1/2 inch cube

1/2 tsp baking soda

3-4 T ice cold water

For the filling:

1 egg yolk

4 T butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup ground almond meal

1 tsp corn starch

Fruits

handful of fresh strawberries sliced thin, as many as you like

1 stalk of rhubarb, peeled and sliced

To make the crust pastry, sift together the flours and baking soda in a bowl.

Crumble in the cold butter into the flour mixture and cut with pastry cutter or pinch with your hands until the texture looks more like granola.

Slowly stream in cold water until it all comes together in a rough ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight. Or make this ahead upto a week!

Meanwhile, blend all the frangipane ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Sprinkle a bit of flour on parchment paper and roll out the pastry to 1/4 inch thickness.

Transfer the paper with rolled out crust to a baking sheet.

Spread a thick layer of frangipane on the pastry leaving a 3/4 inch border. Arrange the fruits on top.

Fold the edges of the pastry over the almond cream and fruits. You can refrigerate this at this point upto 48 hours and bake before serving.

Bake in an oven preheated to 375F for 30-40 minutes, until crust is crumbly and the cream is set.

Serve warm with ice cream!


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Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK