In the last weekend of 2018, I saw friends, watched my favorite baby eat a waffle, played a game that involved “bunnies in high heels” (???), cleaned up Christmas, watched four movies (Love, Simon, First Reformed, Inside Llewyn Davis, Vice), made gingerbread waffles, grocery shopped, ate Matzo Ball soup, went to yoga, puzzled, read, slept, laughed. We ate one last 2018 meal at Cart-Driver and declared it our favorite place, then rang in the new year by popping confetti in movie theater parking lot with my sister and Wayne and it felt small and low-key and perfect.
On the first day of 2019, we slept in, then settled onto the couch with coffee and West Side Story (and maybe a small headache from movie theater Prosecco the night before). I’m less into WSS than say The King and I, but how amazing is Rita Moreno in BOTH? Stopped halfway through to order lunch burritos from Illegal Pete’s, which we decided is the best New Year’s Day tradition. We had my family over for dinner and even though our pork loin took WAY longer than it was supposed to and the juice from the resting meat made a waterfall down our dishwasher (and onto our dog’s head…) it all turned out fine in the end.
I really love having my family over on January 1st, filling up on homemade foods, eating a really good dessert (or two :P) and getting into bed feeling full both literally and figuratively. It always feels like the best way to start a new year ♥
So here’s to 2019!
Let me tell you a story about a soup that was a disaster but then wasn’t.
I dutifully soaked the beans overnight, thawed buttermilk from the freezer, got onions in the pot as soon as we got home. An hour later and those beans were still hard, the crispy onions were maybe just a tad bit past crispy, the thyme we subbed for mint was making our entire kitchen smell like dirt. This dinner had all the makings of an episode of deep disappointment for me.
I read these recipes beforehand, I spend money on the ingredients, I envision myself cooking them, eating them, loving them. When reality doesn’t live up to my expectations, it can throw me for a real loop and my reactions are not healthy or helpful. Like eating one bad meal or worse, throwing away one bad meal and having to resort to a Plan B that I never even considered existing, could ruin my life?
So imagine my shock when I was so chill about that soup. The beans were NOT “creamy,” the onions maybe tasted a little bit charred, that thyme oil was gross and went down the drain. And guess what? The soup was still really good!!! How?! Maybe my lax attitude willed it into deliciousness? Let’s not question these things.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this was a Lesson Learned Moment and I’m now imperceptible to cooking failure disappointment? I’d like to pretend it is, but I know it isn’t. I’ll still watch 50 videos on how to make pasta then feel like a failure if I don’t do it to perfection. I’ll still be upset if I buy an expensive cut of meat and overcook it. I’ll still be sad if my pancakes stick to the pan and I have to eat toast instead. But maybe just one less instance here and there is progress.
Recipe: Beans and Green Soup with Salted Yogurt and Sizzled Mint