It’s official: I lied. Or at least, I omitted. And don’t they say omission is just a lie in disguise?
Don’t worry though. It wasn’t a big lie. I don’t know who killed Kennedy, or whether the USA were actually the first people on the moon or even if Elvis is really dead.
Here’s my lie: I didn’t tell you it was my birthday on the 6th. I also didn’t tell you that it was She Eats birthday last month too. Which means that for the past month, I’ve aged quietly and unassumingly. Kind of like a good bottle of wine. Only to be discovered one day as something beautiful, graceful and oh so sin worthy.
Truth: Calories don’t count on your birthday. Which means for the past month – between She Eat’s anniversary and my real birthday – none of the calories I’ve eaten have gone to my waistline or my hips or my boobs.
Man, this “lying”… it’s pathological. Or at least habitual. The scale tells a different story. But I think she’s got her own problems. I mean come on! Who consecrates their entire being to telling people they’re too fat?
Okay, okay. It may not be the scale’s fault. The more likely culprit is our number-obsessed-skinny-youth-centric-girl culture. And then we internalize it and police both ourselves and each other. Ageism is alive and well my friends. So let’s take a moment to be gentle with ourselves, and give our pant-size, laugh lines and love handles a little wiggle room. It’s like dancing. And let’s face it, life is so much more fun when you’re dancing. Let it shake, rattle and roll I always say.
So it’s true. She Eats turned 4 last month. 4. If she were a human she’d like be waffling between feelings of security insecurity, testing out her environment and independence, eager to show off her accomplishments, showing interest and curiosity in her sexuality and would be flowing over with tall tales. She’d almost be a real person. And yet she’s still so new! I feel like it was only this past year that I actually got serious about her. Sure, I’ve published 600 posts (601 as of today) but did I ever really focus on where I wanted this relationship to go? Not really. Not until last Fall. And even then, it’s a work in progress.
Whoa. If I ever heard an argument for A.I….. This could be it. My blog may be ground zero.
So why didn’t I tell you about the birthdays when they happened? Unlike other years, I was fully conscious of when they arrived. I could have written posts then and there and celebrated with kazoos and glitter and tutus. Maybe I should have. Maybe I should have shouted it from the roof tops and led a band down the street. 4 years of (mostly) consistent writing and photography and post-processing and editing and relationship building and friendship nurturing and being generally awesome is kind of a big deal. I don’t know. I guess I felt a little self conscious.
I mean I may have 30 years on this blog, but I still waffle between feelings of security and insecurity. I’m still testing out my environment and independence. I’m still eager to show off my accomplishments. I definitely have an interest and curiosity about my sexuality. And as evidenced above, tall tales seem to be something of an art for me. I’m so proud of the things I’ve done and excited about where my life will take me. I don’t have a lot of plans but I do have a general direction with the goals to leave the world a better place than whence I entered it, to laugh, and to love my friends and family fully and completely and compassionately.
But those goals don’t always fit with our culture’s values. Not really. Sure, thou shalt not kill and all that. (I don’t believe in God btw.) But the consumerism, the Monday to Friday lifestyle that facilitates material accumulation and the need to party-hardy on Saturday nights and work my 6-pack at the corporate gym just doesn’t work for me. And as I get older, it makes me a little self conscious – of not defensive – in the Winter of my darkest moments. It just doesn’t fit for me or my little blog. I’m not sure it ever will.
…I’m blaming the scale. And now for Roasted Stuffed Potatoes with Bacon & Sage.
Roasted Stuffed Potatoes with Bacon and Sage
Yield 4 potatoes
- 4 Medium-sized waxy potatoes, skin left on
- 4 Slices good quality, pastured bacon
- Handful of fresh sage leaves
- 4 Good-quality anchovy fillets in oil, drained
- 1 Clove of garlic, peeled & sliced lengthwise 2X to make 4 little pieces
- 1 Lemon for zest
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. As it heats, stick one end of a pineapple or apple corer, or a conventional peeler, into a potato and twist it round and round as you cut through, as if you were coring an apple - essentially you're trying to carve out a tubular hole inside the potato. Keep the cores as you will use them as plugs to hold everything in later. Prick each potato a few times with a fork so they don't explode in the oven (it allows the heat to dissipate) and rub them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Lay out the stuffing for each potato: 1 slice of bacon topped with a couple of sage leaves, an anchovy fillet and a sliver of garlic. Grate over some lemon zest. Fold and twist the stuffing together and stuff into each potato. Don't worry if you have bits sticking out at either end.
- Cut the potato "plugs" in half and stuff them back in either end of each potato to keep the stuffing in place during cooking. They'll stick out a bit, but that's fine.
- Put the potatoes in a baking tray and bake about an hour, turning them every so often to ensure even cooking, until crisp, golden and cooked through. When you can stick a fork in 'em, they're done.
- Remove from the oven, serve.
When used in cooking, anchovies dissolve and do NOT taste fishy. They add a brilliant briny, salty, "umami" flavor to the finished dish and are pretty much my favorite secret ingredient.
How do you age gracefully? Ungracefully? What have you done for 4 years? Do you like potatoes? How do you prepare them? Spill it!