We all need a little magic in our lives. Despite the noblest of intentions, and the staunchest assurances to traverse only on the sunny side of the street, even the best are sometimes felled by gloomy thoughts and crummy circumstance. And although I will very soon tell you, as I often tell myself when the proverbial poop hits the fan, to focus on all the wonderful things one must be grateful for, and the beauty to be found everywhere, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the truth…
Sh*t happens. (and with that, the first time I’ve cussed on this blog…my oh my)
Truth acknowledged...now, let’s go have some fun kicking the sh*t out of sh*t :) (second and third cuss, but who’s counting)
How? With magic. The magic of true friends. The magic of dancing as if no one were watching. The magic of butter on warm toast. The magic of a simple movie date with your best mate. The magic of giving yourself a break. The magic of a child’s laughter. Of hot showers. Of cool sheets. Of chocolate croissants. Of fantasy novels and reveling in the fact that you can still lose yourself in them even after 20-odd years. Of dreams...and the magic that makes you believe that they can indeed come true.
Yes, it’s everywhere. Some of it in plain sight. Some you’ve got to look a little harder for. And some very powerful types are hidden away in that secret cave from your childhood…you know, the same one where you left the strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff?
Oh, and there’s also this.
(adapted from Heidi’s recipe on 101 Cookbooks – I love her to bits)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons pimenton de la vera, dulce (Spanish smoked sweet paprika)
- 1 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste or pressed
- 1 bay leaf
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- Around 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- While the oil is heating pound the rosemary, thyme, and parsley with a mortar and pestle.
- Once the oil is off the heat for a minute or two, stir in the pimenton, garlic, bay leaf, pepper flakes, and salt.
- Add the bruised herbs and lemon to the oil and stir.
- Transfer everything to a clean jar and let cool. You can use this immediately or store in the fridge for about a week.
Heidi’s original recipe uses oregano but I didn’t have any so I substituted parsley. It also calls for a well-crumbled bay leaf but our bay leaves here are so dry that I feared even well-crumbled the bits would be too sharp and edgy, so I opted to keep it whole. This is an extremely flexible sauce and I see it working well with so many things. I have drizzled it over sautéed garlic mushrooms, sausage fried rice, mozzarellini…and even a solitary piece of bread. Next in line would be: to dress a just-off-the-fire steak, over roasted potatoes, and on a fried egg.
We all need magic…great magic and small, simple magic and complex, and yes, even the types you can whip up in five minutes and store in your fridge. Sometimes, especially those types. Don’t stop believing! :)