I take a rather utilitarian attitude towards many things in life – I don’t keep mementos and souvenirs, and generally (there are a few particular exceptions like a family heirloom quilt my great grandmother made for example) only keep something around if it serves a purpose or has a defined use. I really don’t like clutter, and it’s enough to constantly battle the inner pack rat tendencies of my husband, who until he met me kept with him even high school math exercise sheets from algebra class! Not sure if he was trying to preserve a memory or afraid being around all this science and math in our lives if he would end up forgetting algebra, but I did eventually convince him that we no longer needed to keep high school math exercises around
That being said, as much as I pride myself on my “zen” attitude & philosophy of being rather anti-stuff and clutter, I do preserve moments and memories, just in a different way. I take photos to remember those times where I saw in a magic instant how beautiful the world is. In fact, it’s one of my favorite activities, going out and trying to capture the world in the camera as I see it through my eyes.
It’s the main reason I love to go hiking – because I love walking around outside amidst nature and being reminded of this place we live in – that the world is not just about work and deadlines and finances and stress – puffy clouds and ancient mountains gazing at their reflections don’t care about those things – they just exist – nothing more, nothing less – and in certain moments of clarity, I can sometimes see and understand.
Those are the moments I like to create a photo – so I can remember why we all go nuts running around everywhere in the first place. Because we all live for those moments of joy and beauty – whether they be static scenes we come across, certain events and laughter from close family or friends, a sense of self accomplishment, or just admiring the way the dying sun glistens through the trees to shine its last rays on a lone flower.
Food captures memories too, in every way a photo does not. Food is ephemeral, it must be recreated again and again to be enjoyed, where a photo stays through time. Food is also shared – I think a large necessity of enjoying food and the emotions it creates is that who it is shared with is just as important as the flavors the tongue senses. Though, just like a photo, food is open to interpretation, and can bring others into a memory and to experience it too.
I often use food to recreate memories, and it’s probably my most nostalgic practice. Memories of family and friends I don’t have the luxury of seeing so much anymore, memories of magical moments when my husband and I first fell in love, memories of great times with 14 other food enthusiastic bloggers in Weimar. One of my favorite tastes from our weekend at Plate to Page a couple weeks ago was baked & caramelized goat cheese rounds – we had them on salads at lunch, we had them with salads at dinners, and they just melted in my mouth (literally), and the fun experiences that surrounded them now represents to me so much love and appreciation for food and flavor that filled every day of our all-too-short weekend.
So I made my own rounds, drizzled with honey, served in a salad with roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves, sitting atop some delightful gluten free savory tuiles my husband and I recently found at the market here en Suisse. How either my husband or I had gone through life without baked goat cheese before I do not know – for now we most certainly will not be able to live without it.
And each time we make these, I will remember all of my new friends, their bright energies, and charming warm spirits
Baked Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
- a head of garlic
- olive oil, salt, pepper
- a bunch of cherry tomatoes
- goat cheese (not a supersoft spreading one but one that has some shape) cut into rounds a couple cm thick (about 1″)
- herbs, chopped (thyme, rosemary, whatever you like)
- salad greens & dressing of choice
1. Preheat oven to 200º C (400º F). Peel all but the outer layer off of the head of garlic and chop off the top exposing the cloves. Set the head of garlic in a small ramekin and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Roast for an hour or until the garlic is very soft and tender.
2. Place cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 200º C (400º F) until they fall apart and start to caramelize in their own juices. I left them in for a good hour.
3. Lay out goat cheese rounds on parchment paper and drizzle a little honey over each one, then sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Bake in the oven at 200º C (400º F) for about 10 minutes, or until they melt and soften.
4. Serve garlic, cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese rounds with your favorite salad greens and dressing. Enjoy!