I love rituals. When the week gets crazy, I can count on a few constants to keep my feet on the ground: exercise, packing a lunch, a phone call home, a big hug from Shaun when I walk in the door. Sunday rituals are the most important. For me, rituals are more than routine or repeated habits, they can be activities that help define our values and reestablish a connection to self, loved ones, and the planet at large.
When we started fostering rescue dogs back in June, we began dedicating Sunday mornings to a long walk from our house down to the harbor. It helped socialize the dogs, but looking back I think it helped us more than our animal friends. On the way I’d pick up a coffee, Shaun would get apple juice and a croissant (or two) at the local café near our house. By the time we reached the water, my coffee was the perfect temperature and the dogs were ready for a rest. We’d sit on the benches in the shade and watch the banana barges from Central America unload shipping crates onto naked big-rig trailers on the dock. Shaun let me express my abhorrence for the free-trade agreements and cheap labor that brought the bananas here in the first place, but we both knew I needed the barges to be faithful on Sundays. Walking to see them was an oddly cathartic process. There was no past, no future. Just the dogs, the coffee, and the bananas.
It’s been almost a month since we’ve had a quiet Sunday morning to walk to the harbor and I’ve found myself searching for something constant that can replace or substitute for those few certain, perfect, hours. Time slips like sand through my fingers, as of late. This weekend we traveled north to visit my parents where Shaun filmed a bit for my mom’s nonprofit, Wellness Within. Chilly walks, Jon Stewart re-runs, thoughtful conversation, and waking up in my old bedroom to the sound of rain falling on the skylight was ritual enough to keep me in step for a while.
After a day in transit, no one really wants to work that hard in the kitchen. These simple, luscious toasts are the “welcome back” we needed today. As much as I love kale, it really can’t say “I love you” like these can. (wink).
Leek, Pear, and Chanterelle Toasts
- 4-6 thick slices country levain bread
- 4-5 cups sliced leeks (whites + just a touch of green)
- 1 comice pear, diced with skins on
- 1 small cipollini onion, minced
- 4-5 tbsp (good) olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine
- salt + pepper to taste
- goat cheese to spread