“Matt will tell you that he thinks everyone should take two trips in their life, one to get to know yourself and one to get to know your partner. And while he has now checked off both, I guess that means I have a free ticket to ride solo sometime in the future. But for now, the memories we made together on our little adventure in the north are enough to keep me dreaming for a while.”
I wrote that almost two years ago now, after our trip through Scandinavia, and this summer I have decided to cash in that solo ticket. Back then I thought for sure that when the time came I would be heading off to Italy or India on some culinary journey, but as life would have it I am packing up my backpack and setting off on the Appalachian Trail to hike 550 miles from Vermont to Maine. Just writing that terrifies me, and that’s exactly why I know I need to do it. Most of my adult years have been spent in transition mode and life has brought me to some incredible corners of this earth, but my early thirties have also brought up a lot of questions about myself, about who I am and what it is that I want out of this life. We only get one shot at this thing, and I’m refusing to move along any further until I get to know myself a little more and the things I am capable of (I think that’s what scares me the most!). So during the next few weeks (months?) I will be putting one foot in front of the other, cursing at the weight of my backpack and wishing I had brought some hummus. I will be reminding myself to choose curiosity over fear every step of the way. I’ve been on the road before so I know that I will miss certain comforts of home, this time I think I will miss Baltik the most. But my boys will be happy together at home and just thinking of that makes me smile.
There are no rules to this thing, and we can choose over and over again. There is freedom in choice. Choose to be you, choose to be free, choose to be wild. All my love + some local berries.
See you soon x
STRAWBERRY BUCKWHEAT TABBOULEH
This was one of those recipe ideas that turned out so much more delicious than I thought it would be. Don’t you love it when that happens? I wasn’t sure I was going to have time to test it before I go, as strawberry season arrives a little late up here. But the road side stands have all popped up in the last couple of days and the strawberries are just as delicious as I remember, maybe more so. That’s one of the things I love most about sticking with the seasons when it comes to buying produce, it always feels worth it to wait a whole year for certain fruits and vegetables. And now I’m getting my strawberries in at every meal.
This recipe would be a great place to test out a plant based feta recipe if you are looking to cut out the dairy. I would suggest Sophie’s or Laura’s recipe. That creamy almond flavour is the perfect pair for fresh, ruby strawberries.
May your summers be filled with new adventures, picnics among friends and juicy strawberry buckwheat tabbouleh. Big love x
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side. Gluten Free. Double or triple the quantities to feed a crowd.
1 cup buckwheat groats
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 english cucumber, thinly sliced
300g strawberries, sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/3 cup (75g) sheep milk’s feta, or plant based feta
5 sprigs fresh mint, leaves thinly sliced
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Fill a small pot with water and add salt. Rinse buckwheat under cold water for 30 seconds. Add buckwheat to boiling water and then reduce to a strong simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for another 5 – 7 minutes. Groats should be tender but not mushy. Strain off excess water and rinse the groats again. Set aside to cool.
While the buckwheat is cooking, make the dressing. Add the diced shallot to a small mason jar or bowl and cover with vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Taste and just as needed.
Reserve a little bit of feta, mint and almonds for garnishing and place the rest of the salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Add cooled buckwheat and half the dressing. Toss very gently to coat. Taste and add more dressing as needed.
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