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About Not settling in....

Umbrian Salad

It has been almost a week since I returned to New York...

Ostensibly, nothing had really changed around me. My neck of urban woods was barely touched by Sandy. As much as I missed the actual event, being thousands of miles away at the time, I had even little reminders of it in the UES life that is my everyday.

But... Something was different. I usually feel an overwhelming feeling of homecoming when I cross through customs and look at the familiar lines of yellow cabs ready to whisk me away back into the comforting folds of my home. This time, I felt none of that rush of relief or the happiness of being back. I was strangely empty....

British Afternoon Tea at Home

And, the feeling of the detachment continued as I tried to get back into the normalcy of my routine (or whatever little structure I can induce in my scattered and unscheduled day..). Running in central park was a non-event... Hosting friends didn't do it... Ok, going away on a trip again (I am in New Haven right now) does not help but that is just an excuse...

While i wallowed in this state of dis-belonging, i read some of my own previous posts that in some strange way journaled my metamorphosis of sorts. The reality, as it struck me in an epiphanic moment yesterday morning, is that I have changed..... I have grown.. Up!

Orange and Thyme Scones

In so far as I have tried to lead the last 20+ cognizant years of my life  with a rational and logical outlook, it has not really worked especially now... I have tried to tame, control and frame my life based on subconscious social norms, fear of failure and an yearning to break away without the courage to do so....

But, I am not that person.. I am quirky, crazy, emotional and quite irrational!! Yes, I am logical and rational too but I am more all of the former kept in balance by the latter. So, how can it possibly work if I try to make my life just the latter without much trace of the former... Repression... Bondage... That's how :) .. Yes, it's all clear now, isn't it?! I have to stop fighting myself!

Swiss Chard, green onion and Leek Tart

Fortunately, in a strange way, I am in the best city to do just that. New York is relentless in her pursuit to drive you into constant reinvention. So, guess what, my not feeling at home is good after all... I have to make a new home.. I don't what or how but I am going to find out by doing and NOT thinking... That is new for me and I am looking forward to it! :)

And, I know I can because of this. So wish me luck!! ;-)

Orange and Thyme Scones based on this recipe

Swiss Chard, Red Pepper and Spring Onion Tart based on these recipes

Blueberry Coffee Squares based on this Cranberry version

Buttermilk Strawberry Cake here - Always a perfect bake.

A Simple Salad in Umbria

Handful of fresh lettuce (I love Bibb lettuce for this), torn up
Handful of arugula or rocket
1 tart apple (like Granny Smith), diced
1 mostly ripe pear, diced
chunk of really good parmesan, crumbled
Handful of hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

For the vinaigrette
juice of half lemon
1/4 cup olive oil (fresher the better)
salt and fresh cracked pepper

Umbrian Salad

Toss together the leaves and fruits and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice while slowly pouring in the olive oil until it emulsifies. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss. Sprinkle the parmesan crumbles and nuts generously and serve.

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