Cauliflower Gratin

 

It was my birthday on Thursday.  Impossibly I’m 28.  I’ll admit, I often have a hard time remembering how old I am.  It seems impossible that I’ve been here 28 years.  Surely that must be wrong.  Surely there’s some explanation.  An explanation as to why I was suddenly thrust head-first into my late-twenties when all this time I feel so young.

I know, so many of you must be thinking, “Oh, but you are young!”  But surely you remember the first time it hit you: I’m getting old, and there’s no way to stop it.

I know, I’m young, unencumbered with a husband, children, and other major responsibilities.  “Live your life,” you say.  “Go out and live!”

 

 

Which is why I propose this: 29 things before 29.

1. Run a 5k (no time limits.  The Color Run would be nice….)

2. Volunteer consistently

3. Read at least 30 books (I don’t read as much as I wish I did)

4. Write more poetry (at least 20 poems)

5. Apply to a graduate program

6. Hunt, or fish, something and cook it myself

7. Really learn to french braid my own hair

 

 

8. Give, and receive, more hugs (I don’t like to touch people)

9. Make new friends!

10. Travel and explore (Go somewhere that’s not here, even if that’s just and an hour away)

11. Have a picnic (or two)

12. Buy 3 strangers their coffee, lunch, dinner

13. Learn Zumba and go to 20 classes (because I can’t dance and I’m not at all coordinated – but it’ll get me out of my comfort zone!)

14. Pay a pet’s adoption fee for someone else

15. Cook for my roommates twice a month

16. Successfully grow tomatoes

 

 

17.  Paint, draw, sketch, craft something once a month – create!

18. Buy fun socks (I know – weird – but all my socks are white; I need fun socks!)

19. Take a class – learn something new

20. Wear more dresses!

21. Regularly contribute to my retirement account (I know, booooorrrring)

22. Learn to ski

 

 

23. Make a budget, and stick to it!

24. Get a passport

25.  Compliment 15 strangers

26. Go to three art openings

27.  Buy flowers for three friends

28.  Learn to make three types of candies

29. Drink a bottle of wine that cost more than $29 on my birthday. (well….maybe not drink the entire bottle that night….)

 

 

Cauliflower Gratin
Inspired by A Thought for Food
Serves 6

1 medium head cauliflower (I used 1/2 head each white and purple cauliflower)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried herbes de provence
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
Unsalted butter
8 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
3.5 ounces crumbled feta
Grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice your cauliflower into 1/4 inch thick segments, removing any excess core.  Set aside.  Butter the inside of a casserole dish and also set aside.

In a saucepan, heat up the cream with the herbes de provence, garlic, shallot, and ground nutmeg.  Heat thoroughly.

Meanwhile, arrange a single layer of cauliflower on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Season with salt and pepper and spoon over 1/3 of the hot cream.  Layer 1/3 each of the grated Gruyere and feta.  Repeat two more times with a layer of cauliflower, hot cream, and cheese, remembering to lightly salt and pepper each layer.   Finally, top with freshly grated parmesan.

Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes.  The top should be golden brown and the sauce bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes, to allow the sauce to thicken back up.

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