Souffle

Is what I made yesterday. A very dear friend came for lunch, who, being as how she moved to a far end of the earth from here, I hadn’t seen for a long, long time.

In spite of the Brain-Fry of late, it was wonderful to bask in the experience of friendship and shared history (no one EVER lets me forget how idiosyncratic my refrigerators always are) and compare notes on how the Expedition is Going in General. Which it seems is OK despite the challenges. One’s focus does expand as time goes by and that can be a wonderful thing. Counterbalanced as it is by gravity.

So, the souffle. A caramel chocolate souffle. What I learned from making it this go round was that while you don’t ALWAYS have to put the pastry cream through a sieve, for this recipe you really must. That meditative several minutes of scraping and scraping produces the necessary velvet-like texture of the caramel, in which melting chunks of chocolate almost shimmer. Plus of course the crisped sugar top of the egg whites….Follow the instructions, in other words. I realized that I often spend more time trying to figure out how NOT to follow instructions…than it is worth. As Plato (I think) pointed out, what we resist persists. I resist following instructions but they are still there. For a reason, as it turns out.

The instruction thing is kind of linked to the concept of having attitudes and judgments and opinions about everything. It is really more effective not to. To simply pay attention and respond to things as they are right now, instead of reacting from, often, another time frame altogether. But to do that, to not spring to judgment and opinion, as well as to follow instructions, you have to be actually present. In the moment. Paying attention. Then anything can happen, really. It is, in fact, easier to be in the moment when one is just IN that moment, rather than in a series of old moments with old fears and reactions.

This weekend we are going to a Summer Fair to sell our products and just to have fun. Outside, on a river. A short time to soak up nature’s power, talk to people and maybe be of some help to some. It will be good to be Outside. No souffles, but no instructions either.

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