So many big, happy changes. Everywhere.
A best friend about to move across the country to save lives. A friend who said yes – two actually! Friends became lawyers, doctors, published authors and journalists. Some sang on Broadway and had starring roles in films, others gave up high paying jobs to travel for months, became professional athletes, moved across the country, had a baby, changed careers.
I know a lot of people who followed their dreams.
When I was an adolescent, my friends and I always talked about the big milestones — finding our first love, marriage, when we’d have kids, what we’d be doing at 25 years old, what we wanted to accomplish in life. Why was it always 25? 25 is so young! By now, I thought I’d be a journalist, traveling to war-torn countries, writing, photographing, reporting for Vanity Fair, somehow I’d also be married with a family and maybe also a politician. What?! Am I where I thought I would be when I was a teenager? Partly yes, mostly no. Mostly happy about that.
The things I want out of my life have changed since I was a teenager imagining my future life. And the way I want to exist in the world and impact it has also scaled down to something more local. When I was young, I don’t know, I felt an obligation to think I my life had to “matter” and I had to change the world, and the only way I would matter is if I did. It’s a lot of pressure to change the world! Instead, my hopes for myself or more local — make someone laugh, inspire someone, help a family make better lifestyle choices — but it took some time to let go of the expectations I had for myself and make the space for where I actually am and what I actually want out of my life.
Still, I have these little dreams that I keep in my pocket that have nothing to do with who I am from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’re the things I want to do on the side of my job that are unrelated to the realities of life, like paying off debt or paying a mortgage. One of those little pocket dreams is happening in a couple of weeks. Adam and I are hosting “Jerusalem West,” the first in a series of Middle Eastern pop-up lunches. If you live in San Francisco, here is the Eventbrite link. I’d love to see you there.
I’m not where I thought I would be at this age, and I have a lot of friends who aren’t either. Many of them have packed their bags and changed the course of their lives completely, and it’s incredible to be so brave. I’m pretty happy where I am right now, but their bravery has inspired me to think about my dreams and find the courage to make one of them happen.
As promised, like, one hundred years ago when I last posted, this recipe is a great make-ahead dish to have ready for the week or to feed some hungry friends for brunch. You honestly can’t mess up this recipe either. If you do, let’s talk. Experiment with the toppings — try different herbs and lots of them, pine nuts, maybe ditch the yogurt and top with feta and chickpeas? The options are endless. Just have some fun!
What You Need
Serves at least 4
4 sweet potatoes
2 tblsp butter
1/4 c pistachios (I prefer salted, but if you can always salt them yourself)
smoked paprika, cinnamon, cumin; a few good shakes of each one
1 cup of yogurt
juice from one lemon
2 tblsp honey
scant handful of parsley; chopped
(*optional herbs: tarragon, mint or dill would be yummy. Make it a full meal with some chickpeas or beans for added protein)
How To Do It
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Scrub and wash the sweet potatoes. Poke some holes into each one with a fork. Rub a little bit of oil on each potato and wrap each one in aluminum foil. Cook the sweet potatoes for 50-60 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and slice down the middle.
Over medium heat, melt the butter with the pistachios and some salt (unless you’re using salted pistachios). Let the butter foam until it turns brown (a few minutes). Pour the butter and nuts over the sweet potatoes evenly. Sprinkle some salt, and a few light shakes of cinnamon, cumin, and smoked paprika. When in doubt, do a little more sprinkling.
Mix the lemon and honey with the yogurt. Let the potatoes cool slightly and then top with yogurt, sprinkle a little more cinnamon and smoked paprika, and top with chopped parsley. Enjoy!