How do you kill love? My psychologist friend asked me this tonight. As a social psychology major, I am required to be around professionals in some capacity and they ask interesting questions. Wait…did any of you who read this more than once guess that is my major? It’s probably obvious. I have looked a lot at other things, a program in Italy for world heritage sites management, a program in South Africa for sociology, but I settled on the one I’m in because I know myself. I am a teacher, a researcher, I love to learn about people and cultures and art. Science and brains and bodies fascinate me. I write. I cook. I sail. What else do you do with all that seemingly unconnected junk?

When I decided to change careers, I fought against the flow. I tried to look at what I thought were new and exciting things. But each time my heart brought me back to the same place over and over again, to the things that I love. So, I let go. This is who I am. Where I am going is to the Pacifica Graduate Institute in either California or Europe. Will I really end up at Pacifica? It sounds like a nice calm place, doesn’t it? Maybe it is a marker, a place I will pass through on a journey to somewhere else. I have already been headed there for a long time. I just didn’t know it. I’ve been headed there since the first day I came running home from school to watch Joseph Campbell’s lectures on PBS. I was headed there when I was learning the art of Ballet, when I was reading Steinbeck, Spengler, Kafka, and Joyce. Stephen J. Gould pushed me, Daniel Levitin prodded me, Darwin has drug me along. I am heading there now when I write or when I think about food and mythology. To deny that is to deny self.

How do you kill love? Why would you want to, you ask? Because love-amor-laska-prem also vexes me. It hurts. Pieces of people linger inside, still as much a part of me as anything else. I have asked myself why I cannot stop it and the answer is because I don’t want to. Siddhartha and Confucius have seen it in my heart, Freyja has cried red-gold tears with me, and they whisper into my ear that it just is. It has become entwined with the double helix of my DNA. It resides in that place of existence where I and the other are one. There are some things we know deep down to the level of our cells where the external seeps through that permeable membrane into our soul-nuclei. I have absorbed it. I eat history. I breath buddha. I sleep in the dark dream-time of Jung.

Risotto with Spiced Walnuts and Brie (VG, GF)

Spiced walnuts

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 cup maderia
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 3 oz brie cheese

Rinse rice a few times and drain well. Place rice in a heavy duty skillet over medium heat and allow it to sizzle and dry, then roast for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to color and a nutty aroma is released. Add water, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat cover tightly and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir frequently until onions begin to brown, then reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onions are quite soft. Add basil, remove from heat and stir in Maderia as set aside.

Preheat over to 325 degrees F. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in the carlic clove, cinnamon, and cayenne then add the walnuts. Reduce heat to low, then stir and saute until walnuts are nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside. While it is cold, cut brie into 1/2 inch cubes, discard the rind.

In an oiled, ovenproof dish combine rice, onions walnuts and brie. Cover and bake 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh rosemary and basil.


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