Kindness and Roasted Peppers With Goat’s Cheese on Herby Couscous
One of the reasons to why I like living where I live, i.e. in the Pistoia part of Tuscany, is that people are kind there. We started out in Florence and although the people I met were nice, I cannot say that they were kind like they are in and outside Pistoia. I suppose it has to do with it being a small town but I suspect it also has to do with being rather undisturbed by the rest of the world, very few tourists tramp the streets of Pistoia although that number has increased since I moved there twenty years ago. I like kindness, I appreciate kindness and I think it is a very undervalued aspect of/quality in life. When I look it up it says: “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate” and don’t you agree with me that those three traits that fuses into one in kindness make life so much more easy to live? Not only on the receiving end but also as the one practicing it? The days I manage to be kind to my fellow human beings, be it people I know or strangers, I feel so much better and I don’t mean in the goody-goody sense of the word but just being kind to someone puts me in harmony with what I personally want life to be like. Sure, there are so many other things I’m aim and look for but they don’t enter in conflict with me being kind, I rather think they help me to get where I want to end up. But beware, being kind doesn’t mean that you have to say yes to everything and everyone, it doesn’t mean you have to go on in relationships of friendships where you feel used or unappreciated or whatever you feel that doesn’t help you to live at least relatively serenely, that wouldn’t be kind to you and, in my opinion, to the other person. Kindness feeds kindness, so many people have been kind to me over the years and I feel a need to give back what I have received. I can be very grumpy and I know I’m not of the gushing kind but I try to practice kindness within my own limits and if it is a very good day, I even try to say kind things to strangers even though I know they probably think I am strange and possibly crazy (but that depends also where I am, in Sweden they lend towards the crazy whereas in Italy most probably strange but then there I’m a bit strange by default). But now as I’m getting older, I really don’t care that much about it any longer, time is running out and there are so many more important things to think about than worry too much about what people might think about me because Aesop (c. 620–564 BCE) was so right: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
I made this before I left for Sweden and I obviously forgot to write down any exact measures if I even had any (I can’t remember…) but as I can’t stand writing down exact recipes here anymore because I don’t cook that way and I believe in free style cooking unless there is a reason for it, I will give you a sketch of how I did it and then you can twist and turn that into what you want it to be.
Roasted Peppers With Goat’s Cheese on Herby Couscous: Take one small red or yellow pepper (bell peppers or that nice long variety) per person, divide them length wise and take out seeds and white parts. Put them on in an oven-proof form, drizzle a little olive oil over and bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) until they have softened (well rather sunk down with a look similar to grilled peppers). Take them out and now you spoon the goat’s cheese mix you have made while the peppers baked (put the soft goat’s cheese in a bowl, add some chopped sundried tomatoes, chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme) and maybe some black pepper and then stir until thoroughly mixed). Back in the oven again, this time in 175°C/350°F and only until the cheese has got a little colour. Meanwhile you make the couscous, chop more fresh herbs and cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and mix it. Make a pile of couscous on a big plate and place the peppers on top before serving.