I've instituted a Monday night ritual around here. I make dinner for my parents, and it's a highlight of my week. They are an appreciative audience--tired from work, happy to not be cooking and cleaning, and complimentary. This week, we had sausages, these delectable potatoes, and an arugula and ricotta salata salad. I couldn't believe how fast we polished off that mountain of potatoes.
I've had some moments of uncertainty lately. We are so happy to be in Bellingham and feel to the core that this is where we are supposed to be. But it's still transition. I always say that I'd rather help others go through transition than go through my own! In the middle of it, here are a few things (in addition to Monday night dinners) that have given me pluck:
- Seeing Jason Quick perform at Wyatt's daycamp. He's a one-armed juggler, therapist, and circus arts instructor who lost his arm in an electrical accident when he was six. He learned to play games by himself, and he learned to never give up. I was so inspired watching him and so sheepish about how easily I give up on things just because the red carpet might not be laid out. I'll give you a silly example. We just joined the YMCA, and am notoriously clumsy and bad at sports. But they have a rock climbing wall, and I want to learn. And they have a racquetball court that looks fun. Don't let me get away with not trying those things just because I might not be excellent at them.
- The new grocery store in town, The Market on Lakeway. When I walked in and saw their bulk spices, deli, and walk-in beer cooler, I almost cried. Everyone I know is getting little bags of Cyprus flaked sea salt for hostess gifts in the next year. (Or a link of chorizo. The real kind.)
- Taking an early-morning spin class at the Y, sweating it out with strangers and feeling exhausted afterward.
- Some coaching sessions with clients when I can almost see them growing right in front of me. There is nothing better than that.
- Meeting my childhood friend Sam's little girl, who stole my heart immediately.
- Late nights with Yancey, eating our way through a bag of potato chips and talking about spray foam insulation, window packages, and flooring options. Our house closed yesterday, and the sledgehammers are poised.
- A visit from Emily and Ricky yesterday and some time with Emily to talk about our friendship and how we'll navigate this new terrain.
And I haven't forgotten. Here's those potatoes.
Chorizo Roasted Potatoes
Heat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash 2 pounds small yellow potatoes. If they're on the small side, halve them. If they're bigger, quarter them. Put them in a large bowl with a couple big glugs olive oil, a generous pinch of kosher salt, a teaspoon of cumin seeds, and a big handful of chorizo sausage coins. (Spanish chorizo--the cured, ready-to-eat, usually bright red sausage, available at good delis.) Dump the mixture onto your baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and chorizo is crisped up. Mound on a platter, and garnish with a handful of chopped parsley and a handful of sheep's milk feta. And a little more salt.