You might have noticed, from my visible slowing down on the online side of life, that raising an 18 month old is keeping me quite busy. The thing is, though, it’s a different type of busy-ness than I knew before I was a mama. It’s more a presence, a being, and an aware responsiveness that, while it may seem overwhelming and demanding and edge-stretching at times, also roots me more firmly in the here and now… in all its fullness and beauty. The joyous, the outrageous, the beautiful, the challenging, the impossible, the tedious, the unthinkably slow and the undeniably mundane are all on offer within each new rising and setting of the sun. And there is a medicine in this such as I have not experienced before. My drifting mind and tired body are being overhauled by life itself and a new alignment is pulling the strings. It’s really a gift (as long as I can nap when he does).
What this dynamic way of engaging with my time as one half of a new and ever-shifting whole leaves out from most of my days, however, are things like putting away washing (not that that was ever a strong point), efficient food shops, smart work plans, and in fact any planning at all. It’s just the way it flows for me. Some mothers are super organised, thrive on structure and framework, and rise up to the domestic challenges like a phoenix from the laundry room. For me, there’s a chaos in the presence, a chaotic tendency which I have always fought against yet which it has its own beauty that simply says “f*ck it”. Again and again.
I’m throwing away the A-grade mindset, and Being Here, Now.
And so – cooking. The ebb and flow of this alchemic task we carry out each day can find me inspired and structured one moment, and totally at a loss for ideas the next. And so, as all parents know, simple saviours that are easy to throw together, have a decent shelf life and perk up any base nutritional ingredient become our most reliable allies. Examples in my own kitchen are any decent fresh pesto (red or green), dried seaweed sprinkles in any variety for instant minerals and greens, my tahini everyday sauce from my book and now, thanks to our new neighbour Axel who is also a whizz in the nutritional kitchen, a calcium-rich, immune-supportive tomato and feta sauce with raw garlic that makes anything (even cabbage, potatoes or pasta) taste delicious. It has just 5 main ingredients, takes 2 minutes to make, and in the time we prepped and photographed it for this blog the rice pasta was boiled to perfection. That’s how I like things.
You could use tofu to replace the feta for a vegan tomato sauce; you might then want to add some nutritional yeast and extra salt for flavour. A high speed blender is best as it will emulsify the oil and water, but if you don’t have one give it a go and let me know how you get on. We hope you enjoy it and I am excited to share more of Axel’s creations as they come to life 🙂
Makes a large jar
1/2 cup water
1/2 block organic goat or sheep feta cheese
3 tbsp tomato puree (or roast cherry tomatoes if you don’t have)
3 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 clove fresh garlic
a few sprigs of thyme and / or oregano
a pinch of salt and black pepper
Blend all the ingredients into a smooth sauce, seasoning to taste.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.