On trust, & a banana goat cheese cassolette

So I have been stuck. Pulled in too many directions. Vaguely
anxious about an uncertain future. Overworked and exhausted. And away from this
space these past 10 days. Partly because time is sadly a-lacking. We are moving
in the coming month, so I apologize in advance if things are a little slower than usual around here in the next few weeks, as I juggle through this big transition. 

While I hope this daunting task will be cleansing, a
new beginning, it’s gotten me feeling all over the place, inside and out. And when I feel too overwhelmed, deregulated, I get stuck.

I have much to learn from my 27 months old son in this area.

Pablo has been into Legos recently. With incredible patience
and focus, he piles the pieces as high as he can, experimenting with balance. The
tower falls apart, he starts over, unfazed.

But yesterday, he was grumpy. He didn’t nap long enough. And he
started playing with his Legos. Except every single time something would fall
apart (every few seconds), he would get so frustrated, cry and scream. So I sat
next to him, acknowledged his feelings and commented on his struggle, as I always try to do (much more on that here). He was so upset, I started to suggest he maybe change activity,
that perhaps he was too tired and cranky for it at the moment. But then, it hit
me: he keeps going. Yes, he feels frustrated and annoyed, he cries and screams.
And he picks up the pieces and starts over again, without a hint of hesitation. He
doesn’t show any inkling of wanting to stop. He can deal. He is able to feel
his feelings and keep going. He doesn’t get stuck.

I have been trying to follow his example. Feel what I feel. And
keep going. It’s hard.

I guess it’s also where trust comes in. To keep going,
one must trust. Oneself, and life itself. And the process too. I have learned
much about trust in raising Pablo. I have learned to trust him so he can trust
himself (more on that also here). I trust him to know what his body needs, what his brain needs. I trust his abilities, to learn, to struggle, to be. And the thing
about trust, is that it is so often self-fulfilling (as is fear).

So I’ve been trying to swivel my brain, from fear to trust, via acknowledging
the present moment.

The other morning, up at dawn to work out at the park, I felt exhausted
and feared I would not make it through this workout. I noticed how discouraged
I felt, that daunting feeling of what’s ahead. Then I made myself trust that
somehow I would get through it.

I thought of the blog, the photos and recipes I needed to
work on. I felt behind and feared not to be able to find the time. Then, I
looked at the incredible diffused light through the cloud cover over the park. I
noticed that perfect, enveloping veil of light and imagined photographing a beautiful plate of food, right there. Then
I made myself trust that I would find the time for a new recipe when I would be ready.

I saw two old ladies walking side by side and chatting, two
old friends. It reminded me of the friend who is no longer among us, the one I
used to walk with, the one I had imagined myself walking and chatting with at
80. I felt sadness and remembered. I knew she would have trusted me to pull
through these tumultuous times. I must do that for myself now.

The thing is… the things that have felt the best, the most
successful, the most right, in my
life, were the things I did with fundamental trust and yet no specific expectations.  Like giving birth. Like cooking for my son,
and raising him. Like writing this blog. Conversely, things I did
with high expectations and much hidden doubt, have often been epic failures. 

Live
and learn.

So speaking of having trust and no expectations, how about uniting banana
with goat cheese?

For this new installment of my Summer Goat Cheese Series in
collaboration with Vermont Creamery and the Kids & Kids Campaign, I decided
to give this unlikely combination a try, and I didn’t regret it. Vermont’s Cremont cheese, a mix of goat and cow’s milk, has the perfect texture for this. This dish could be an
appetizer, or a light lunch along with a salad, or served as a cheese/dessert
course. It’s sweet, and savory, and melts in your mouth, and makes you
want to lick the bowl 🙂 Pablo certainly did!

 If you’ve been following the Summer Goat Cheese Series, have you tried any of the goat cheese recipes with your children and family? How did they like it? Would love to hear your feedback!

And by the way, if you’re looking for more goat cheese inspiration, you should check out all the great blogger recipes here.

Wishing you a lovely, peaceful and flavorful weekend.

Banana Goat Cheese Cassolette

For 2 cassolettes

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

Age for babies: 8-10 months (this is very soft consistency, perfect for finger food)

2 bananas

2 thin slices of pancetta

1 shallot

2 sprigs of fresh tarragon (I think dill would work great too)

1-2 tbsp heavy cream

Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

Slice the goat cheese cross-wise to obtain 2 thick slices. Mince the shallot. Take the leaves of tarragon off the stems and cisel it. Cut the bananas lengthwise, then into bite size pieces.

Take two oven safe ramekins or cassolettes. In each, sprinkle half the shallot, add the banana pieces, then a slice pancetta, then the slice of goat cheese on top. Add the fresh tarragon, drizzle the heavy cream on top, and add a dash of salt and fresh ground pepper.

Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes. 

Serve while hot.  Enjoy! (So Pablo could have his own individual serving, I transferred from the hot cassolette to a cold ramekin for him.)

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