..have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
What are your bibles? By bibles I don’t necessarily mean The Bible, although for many people that’s exactly what I mean. By bible I mean the kinds of books/poems/songs/paintings that you personally come back to, time and time again. They’re the texts you return to because they give you comfort, provide direction, wisdom, grounded-ness. They may change throughout your life, but for the most part, they always have a special place in your heart. One of my many bibles is Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. Contained in this small volume are 10 letters that the poet Rilke wrote to a young poet, Franz Xaver Kappus, who sought advice about his poetry, and about his career path. This is a book which I have given to everyone I know who is undergoing what I call, “the in between,” those periods of your life which seem to turn up every few years, in which you find yourself uneasy, uncertain, and anxious. It is the period of not-knowing what is next. It is the period of asking questions and not knowing the answers. I find the quote above wonderfully encapsulates Rilke’s advice to those undergoing this transition – “live the questions” – in other words, sit with your uncertainty, really be ok with it, maybe even embrace it, and just trust that you will, in time, find your way.
Spring is truly the season of in-between. It is a time of great hope and great anticipation.We’ve gathered our tiny seedlings for our garden, but have no clue what will come of them, and if we’ll be able to grow a single thing in our tiny urban plot. We are living the questions. We are grounded in the uncertainty of what may be.
Spring vegetable frittata with goat cheese and smoked salmon
Adapted from Love & Lemons. Serves 4-6 people
Cooking soundtrack Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Note: we make this frittata in our 12″ cast iron skillet, and so it serves a lot of people. If your skillet is 10″ you can reduce the eggs to 8, milk to 1/2 cup, and then just cut down slightly on the quantity of veg. It’s not a science, it’ll turn out great.
- 1 cup of asparagus, chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup of peas – fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
- 4-5 spring (green) onions
- 10 eggs
- 2/3 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup of fresh goat cheese
- 6 slices of smoked salmon
- small handfu (about 1/8 cup) chopped fresh dill
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Prepare the vegetables: remove the woody ends of the asparagus and chop into 1.5 inch pieces. If using frozen peas (I did, no fresh ones yet!), boil them in salted water for ~3 minutes. Finely chop 2-3 of the spring onions (depending on the size) separating the whites/light greens and the dark greens. With the other 2 onions, remove the root and slice them horizontally in half and set aside.
- Prepare the eggs: crack 10 eggs into a blender, add milk and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Plug in blender and have it ready for step 4.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 12″ cast iron or non-stick oven proof pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan so the oil coats the bottom and the sides. When the pan is warm, add the asparagus and the finely chopped whites/light greens of the scallions. Add some salt and pepper. Sautee for about 4-5 minutes or until the asparagus is just starting to soften. Remove the asparagus/scallions from the pan and mix in a small bowl with the peas and the rest of the finely chopped scallions. Set aside. If the pan isn’t still nicely coated in oil, add a teaspoon or so of oil to the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Blend the eggs on high for 20-30 seconds until nice and frothy. Pour the egg mixture directly into the pan. Sprinkle half the vegetable mix (asparagus, scallions, peas) throughout the pan (they will sink) and gently move the pan directly into the oven. Bake for 8 minutes.
- Open the oven, and pull out the rack, and sprinkle the other half of the veggies, and the goat cheese. Place the horizontally sliced scallions on top (pretty!).
- Bake for another 10 minutes until it’s fully cooked through and puffy looking.
- Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before topping with the pieces of smoked salmon and chopped dill. Slice and serve straight from the pan.