It’s morning. You are here. We are together in my bed. The light touches your feet which are way outstretched beyond my bed. You’ve been blessed with tall genes, but robbed of what we short people get to experience: the cocoon-like warmth of being burrito-smothered in blankets. Feeling generous, I kick the blanket over your exposed feet. You snort and kick the blanket away. I’m trying not to draw parallels here, but a few weeks ago I said the L word–you know, “I L-word You”)–which was followed by your meditative yet deafening silence, then followed by a generous “thank you.” You hugged me as a consolation. I hug you now.
It’s morning. I am examining my face in the bathroom mirror while you fix us espressos. I can hear you busying away, docile when you’re in the kitchen, care-giving and nurturing in ways I have longed for my entire life. I am distracted by lines I never noticed before. How did they get here, on my face? There’s a frown line that resides between my eyebrows, evidence of being disappointed by unreliable past lovers. From scrunching my face anxiously, angrily, melancholically. Frustrated with myself, mostly, which is why it's on my face. Right now you are giving me everything I want (including a much-needed espresso), yet this line is still visible. I smile. But it’s still there.
I'm learning that love's not that complicated. But yet.
Black Sesame Blood Orange Tart with a Raw Pistachio Date Crust (gluten-free, vegan)
Makes one 6.5-inch tart
Dessert (like love) doesn’t have to be too sweet, bad-for-you, or that complicated to create. This tart is absolutely easy to make and the perfect balance between sweet and savory.
1.5 cups pistachios
½ cup ground black sesame
1.5 cups dates
1 pinch sea salt
Zest of 1 blood orange
Juice of 1 blood orange
¾ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon agar-agar (or kanten)
3 tablespoons ground black sesame
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup filtered water
6 slices fresh blood orange.
Blend all crust ingredients in a food processor or blender until mixture forms a ball. Remove and press nut-crust into a tart pan (or pie pan). Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add all filling ingredients and whisk. Heat until agar-agar melts and filling thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and pour filling into prepared tart pan.
Refrigerate for an hour or until filling sets. Top with sliced blood orange.