I’m on a train tonight, speeding to Seattle through the blinding radiance of sun and sky and orange sleepy light. Sometimes we’re next to the ocean, where gold skitters across the surface of the water and sometimes we’re in the woods, where the gold is interrupted by the softest of pine shapes. I’m listening to Amen Dune and my heart is hurting, how do you even start to think of all the shattering of hearts and spirits in Orlando right now? It feels too abstract when it’s so far away, thinking about it is like laying in bed at night trying to get a sense of how large the universe is. I’m trying to concentrate on chasing the sun in this train, about seeing my family in Seattle, about how lucky I am in one million ways, and about this past year’s events – both good and bad. I love my family, I love my friends, I’m trying to think of you all right now and just send rays of kindness in your direction; I hope you can feel it. I have a private blog of my favourite poems and quotations and right now I keep falling back to this one from Marcel Proust’s The Remembrance of Things Past:
“When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered· the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls· bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory.”
Be with the people who you love as much as you can. Forgive petty indifferences as they come, and seek to connect hearts as much as possible. Make a nice meal for the people you love, or better yet, make it together. This meal was made for my friends with ingredients from Morocco brought to me by other dear friends. Lie under the dense canopy of gentle goodness whenever you can, be better through the gold light in your life.
1 roasting chicken
Ras El Hanout
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped into large pieces
Freshly cracked pepper
Fleur de sel (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Rub the chicken skin with the Ras El Hanout until covered. Place the chicken breast up in a small roasting pan on top of the chopped onion. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Roast the bird for 15 minutes at high heat. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and roast for about another 45 minutes (times will vary depending on the size of the chicken, but you’re aiming for an internal temperature of 165 degrees).
- Tent the chicken with aluminum foil once it’s out of the oven, give it about 15-20 minutes to rest if you’re eating it right away. Carve the meat and arrange on a big serving platter; add a small sprinkling of fleur de sel if you have it.
1 cup of quinoa
1 English cucumber, cut into thin quarter moons
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of scallions, green parts sliced thinly
1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
1 bunch of mint, roughly chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Ras El Hanout
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and move it to the fridge to cool.
- Add the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint to a large salad bowl. Add the quinoa and gently toss to combine.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Ras El Hanout, olive, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust if needed.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again to coat. Allow to sit for at least half an hour, giving it some extra freshly cracked pepper before serving for good measure. This salad keeps for about 3 days in the fridge and makes a perfect portable lunch.
Amen Dunes – Splits Are Parted