I think contrast is also where gratitude and acknowledgement come from. We can only be truly thankful for the good things in our lives, if we have also allowed ourselves to acknowledge our pains, needs, frustrations and resentments. Perhaps contrast is just a fancy word for life's ups and downs. It's life's duality. Yin and yang. Life and death. Past and present. Something and nothing. These things cannot exist without each other.
Encountering this idea so often, in parenting, in photography, in cooking, in learning, I'm beginning to realize understanding this is the necessary step to acceptance. And acceptance, the necessary step to serenity and inner balance and peace, things I have been longing for, for a long time. Wisdom would be to embrace all of life's contrasts, to learn from them, to savor them the way we would savor that bite of asparagus salmon rice, or a beautiful image.
It's the holidays, so I think of these things. Things I don't have, wish I had in my life. Things I do have and am thankful for. What this year has brought me, what it has taken away. But instead of thinking of it as have/have not, or win/lose, or success/failure, I'm trying to think of it as the dual flow of my life. And I'm going with the flow.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this, is this idea of contrast and duality in your mind's eye, or do you function differently in your life?
Tomorrow... posting recipe for our roasted capon with apple chestnut stuffing...
(And since this week is a mini-holiday recipe marathon, if you haven't already, go take a peek at some holiday appetizer ideas here, and check the recipe for my sunchoke chestnut vanilla soup here.)
Chaudfroid of seared scallops and avocadoRecipe by my mom
Prep time: 20 mn
Cook time: 5 mn
Age for babies: 12 months and up, since this is shellfish
12-16 scallops (depending on their size)
4 avocados (2 of which should be very very ripe)
1/4 cup chives
1/4 cup fresh tarragon and Italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil + 2 tbsp for searing the scallops
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Some mâche (or baby spinach or arugula)
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp butter
Mince the chives. Chop finely the tarragon and parsley.
In a food processor, mix the herbs, the 2 ripest avocados, oil and vinegar. Salt & pepper to taste.
Cover with a plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Shortly before serving, place the mâche on the serving platter. Slice the 2 remaining avocados and place over the mâche around the platter. Cover with plastic wrap to keep the avocado from browning.
Rinse the scallops and pat them dry.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan over high heat. Sear the scallops, about 3 mn on one side, and 1 mn on the other side, using tongs to turn them over.
Place the hot scallops on the bed of mâche and avocado, spoon the chilled avocado mixture over the scallops and serve immediately.