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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Tummy

Tonight was the West Coast premiere of HAPPY, a documentary by Roko Belic.  Thanks to the efforts of our own Paul Turner and his lovechild Darkside Cinema, we got not only the movie, but a chat with the Academy-nominated director.  He's here tomorrow as well.  If you want a chance to see a man and his dream in motion, pop in for the 7 or 9 pm Saturday showing.  If you can't make it then, you'll have three more weeks to be among the first to see this inspiring film on the best part of the American Dream.

After the show, I went out for some slow food and good chat with friends.  We talked about times we felt in flow (more on this next post).  I remembered a great night in Summit where all the requisites for my personal happiness were present: community, celebration of life milestones, family, good food, music, nature, physical activity (in this case, dancing in the barn).  And recalled another beautiful evening with photographer friend Maria and her foodie musician friends, dining on four courses and telling tales of great food adventures throughout the world.

Food is as democratic a road to happiness as any.  In the documentary Happy, a seriously happy Cajun family chows down on a tabletop feast of fresh crab; a few scenes later a Bushman family in Namibia shares a fresh kill.  Cut to the Dali Lama, reminding us that love starts with that first suckle at mama's breast.

As screwed up as our relationship with food can become in a calorie-laden culture, food still brings us together, in celebration and grief.  We comfort the sick with soup, celebrate the milestone with sweets.  As lovers, we long to feed the other early on, cementing the bond with gifts of physical nourishment.

In honor of the primal need to sustain our partnerships through cuisine, I'll start this series of Happy Blogging with a recipe.  This was a gift from Dennison Farms with my leek purchase last week, writ by local earthmama Wendolyn Molk (who also bakes a darn good loaf of bread and makes a great peach pie).  Done by memory, so please forgive me, Wendolyn, if I have screwed it up.

So very yummy I have made it twice.

Leek Pie
3-5 leeks, cleaned and finely sliced
1-2 TB butter
4-8 oz  Roquefort or Gruyere  cheese (these are vastly different cheeses, and frankly I substituted with local "Oregonzola")
1 egg
1/4 cup cream or yogurt
pie crusts, top and bottom  (I cheated. First Alternative Co-op has organic vegetarian crusts in the fridge section)
Saute' the leeks on medium-low heat for 30, yes 30 minutes in the butter.  If they look like they'll get too dry, cover them.
Beat the egg with the cream, throw in the crumbled/grated cheese and add the leeks.  Put it in an unbaked crust and cover with the top crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Because I do not know how to leave well enough alone, I added the fresh morals I found in my backyard (sauteed til slightly brown) and a bit of nutmeg.

For additional happiness, serve with friends, conversation, reasonable social risk-taking and gratitude.

See you soon,

PS:  The pic at the top is of a beet and pumpkin seed tart from lunch at the Gathering Together Farm.  It was delicious.

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