On the weekends, my husband and I like to do activities with our pups. One of our pups loves swimming, so we drove out to the coast yesterday to a dog friendly beach. It was much busier than expected. Not only dogs galore, but hang gliders and people horse back riding. Though it was busy with a little nip to the air, it was quite pleasant, because there was a backdrop of the ocean and its beautiful rhythm making perfect balance. The yin and yang.
In art school, I learned that negative space was as important as the positive for our perception. Each balances out the other. Negative space in art is the space around and between the subject of an image. Negative space and not the subject itself may become the “real” subject of an image. Sculptors, more than any other artist, have to work with the concept of negative space, as they work in three dimisions, chipping material away to their final product. Keeping this idea in mind, everything around us can shape who we are. The forces of nature bear down upon us knocking the big chips away, while the good times smooth out the edges. This is why balance is so important. Just like a pendulum, every up has a down, and every effect has a cause, it is the balance of life. In our deepest hours, we need the memory of happier times to provide us with hope and in our happiest times, our experiences of melancholy ground us. From ALL of my life experiences, good and bad, I am provided with a foundation for strength and fervor, because without one, I couldn’t experience the other. It is the natural ebb and flow.
Part of trying to keep balance, I recognize my surroundings and the upcoming events. Pretty soon my cousin will be visiting and I am very excited. However, I know I will be cooking a lot of traditional southern foods that aren’t so healthy. That is my choice and I have accepted that I will have it no other way. Right now, however, I can work on a diet of moderation. Still needing big flavor, the following sandwich, is something that is a favorite because it tastes sinful without being too terribly bad for you. There is no mayonnaise or mustard to bridge the gap between bread and meat. Each flavor component holds its own and melds together. Sometimes when I am in a saucy mood, I will dip it into the Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette and when I feel like putting on heirs, I throw down for some nice prosciutto to sub out for the ham. This week, I was in a ham mood, so that’s what I had and it was every bit as delicious as ever.
Basil Ham and Cheese Sandwich
2 slices bread, toasted (This should be a nice crusty bread)
4 large basil leaves
ham, warmed slightly
fresh tomato, sliced
1-2 slices provolone cheese
On bottom toast, place the basil leaves. Layer warm ham on top. Layer provolone slices on top. layer slices of tomato. Top with toast. Eat as is or dip into a smidge of basil balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy!