Sometimes I worry that I'm not doing enough. I feel like my perspectives are just too narrow, like my current job is too small, like we should leave Central Mass. for something bigger, newer, more different. Where did this inadequacy come from? Maybe it's that high-achieving monkey on my back that whispers things about changing the world and masters' degrees meaning success and financial comfort and look what so-and-so has already accomplished. Is leaving brave? And if so, what does that mean about staying still?
This afternoon, when browsing around an antique shop in Worcester, I came across a small card stamped with a quote: "Do small things with great love,"** it said. Oh, I thought. Oh, yeah. What is it that brings me the most happiness? It's waking up next to my best friend every morning; it's a fierce hug from a student; it's a trip to Maine full of home and salty air and the best coffee; it's Sunday breakfast at the Mietkiewicz house; it's a phone call from a close friend; it's a walk through chilly fields at golden hour. What does "enough" mean, anyway?
If it's what I really know in my heart, I have more than enough. I am overflowing with enough. I have enough enough to light up a city. I am so lucky to be where I am right now - and why do I wake up willing to try my hardest every day? It's because of the small things and great love that others have given me.
This is my perhaps over-emotional Thanksgiving/current-state-of-the-world realization about gratitude, about the importance of meeting everybody - even yourself - where they are at this very moment. In the midst of it all, don't forget: What is it that matters to you most?
**Credit for this lovely saying goes to Mother Theresa.
VANILLA APPLE GALETTE
1 recipe of your favorite pie crust, chilled*
1 lb apples, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbls. granulated sugar
3 Tbls. brown sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbls. all-purpose flour
Half-and-half or heavy cream, for brushing
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix together apples, lemon juice, granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour in a large bowl. Roll out pie crust into a large circle (roughly 12 inches in diameter) and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer the apple mixture to the middle of the crust, leaving about a two-inch border on the edges. Gently fold the crust border over the apples, being careful to seal the overlapped edges. Using a pastry brush (we just use an inch-wide paint brush in our house), coat the crust with half-and-half or heavy cream. Then sprinkle the crust with turbinado sugar and bake for roughly 35 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is a dark golden brown.
*I recommend one similar to this. Keep playing around until you find one/invent one that is perfect for you! Note that most recipes make two crusts - one top and one bottom. We only need a bottom here, so feel free to either halve the recipe you use, or freeze the second crust for a pie next week!