It was Coco Chanel who said a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.
Well I’ve done it. I’ve cut my hair. Truthfully I have been working up to it for a few months now. Each time I have my hair cut it gets a little shorter, a few more inches gone. And perhaps each time I have been inching towards a change that I’m not so sure about.
But the time has come, it is time for change in my life.
I find myself staring over the edge of that metaphorical cliff, debating whether or not to jump. I’m not sure if this is the cliff or what’s lead me to the cliff, but for the past year I have been fighting a chronic illness that seems to have taken a toll on my spirit, as much as it has my muscles and joints. So while I’d love for the physical change to happen, and happen quick, it is my spirit that needs to change.
My entire life I have been terrible, non-compliant patient, who couldn’t help but fight against the prescribed treatment no matter what it was. Truthfully I shouldn’t limit that statement to my role as a patient, that’s how I have lived my life. That fight against the prescribed was what pushed me towards my life goals, my rebel without a cause streak that has taken me on so many adventures. It was that intrinsic fight that found me in Ireland when I was 17, while the rest of friends remained at home; the same fight that pushed me on while I changed majors and degrees in University to rechart my future and set new goals; that lead me to move away from the safety net of friends and family time and time again as I chased my dreams to the Prairies, to Scotland, and back again to the West. My inability to hear no, is really one of my better characteristics.
It was that fight that I have drawn on my entire life, that has given me strength and that has helped me manage my illness the past few years. Who could have foreseen a seemingly simple skiing accident would have impacted my life in such major ways. But it has, and this is my reality. Now I find myself in the uncomfortable position of admitting that rightly or wrongly, lately that fight isn’t there. Somewhere along the way, the status quo and the prescribed treatment, became enough, became okay.
So change is needed.
Old me would have (and has) just cut my hair; new me apparently tiptoes an inch or two at a time.
Old me would continue to misbehave and push myself through the pain; new me says yes a lot and waits to be told my limitations.
I don’t really like new me.
While I can’t help but think that the old me caused the predicament I currently find myself in, I do miss her. I miss her fiery, defiant spirit. The girl who lived by the old adage what they don’t know can’t hurt them.
Change. It’s coming.
Time will tell what it looks like, but I do feel ready to stop tiptoeing and jump off the metaphorical cliff. Am I jumping today? No maybe not, but it is coming. So for now, I will settle on changing up lasagna.
Lasagna is really about as traditional as it gets (and you may recall my love/hate relationship with lasagna). Lasagna is tomato sauce, it is fresh ricotta and mozzarella, ground beef, and pasta sheets. When you talk lasagna, when you crave lasagna, you want it to have those key components. And I am sure any good Italian grandmother will tell you that is what lasagna is, but most definitely you will hear that lasagna must have tomato sauce.
Even though I couldn’t manage to cut my hair off all at once, I have managed to change up this traditional dish and ditch the tomato sauce. A vegetable lasagna doesn’t always appeal to me, even though it was what I ordered for dinner on my first proper dinner date with the lovely husband. I thought it seemed a healthy choice, and somehow ladylike, basically it was as close as this girl gets to ordering a salad as my dinner. Next dinner date we went to a steakhouse it was much better! Thankfully this mushroom lasagna has a rich, satisfying flavor so good you will forget all about the tomato sauce and meat that are missing. The woodiness of the mushrooms, is balanced with the sharpness of the fontina and parmesan cheeses and brightened with fresh basil. It really is a delicious change on a classic dish. So next date night, instead of dining out why not stay home and try my mushroom lasagna for two.
I hope you enjoy this change as much as we do!
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ pound mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
- No cook lasagna pasta sheets
- 160 grams fontina cheese, grated
- 50 grams parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup vermouth
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 1 bayleaf
- Olive oil
- 5 basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Slice mushrooms, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
- In a pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallots and garlic. Cook until fragrant.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in vermouth. Then slowly whisk in milk. Once all liquid is added, add bay leaf and allow to simmer until reduced to 2 cups (approximately 10 mins).
- Remove sauce from heat, remove bay leaf and stir in basil.
- Heat oven to 400F.
- To assembly the lasagna, begin with white sauce covering the bottom on your rectangle baking dish. Add a layer of pasta sheets, top pasta with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Add a layer of mushrooms, before repeating the layers. To the top layer spread white sauce over the pasta sheets, and top with grated cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then place under broiler for a final 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.