“What about the skis?” Christina said, looking at me. “You have not used them since you moved to Minnesota, in 2003. Can we please move them out of the storage area?” My gut reaction to this, was to look wounded. My skis? Not my skis!!! I NEED them. Then I realized that I had promised her that this would be the last year I would keep them if I found no occasion to use them during the winter. It has, after all, been seven years.
“What is that look about? Your skis will be outdated by the time you go to use them again, and you never go! If you do decide to go, you can rent for the day. Why are you wanting to hold onto them?” When I was little, my family and I used to drive from Connecticut to Vermont on the weekends during the winter to go skiing. My friends and I would ski all day, chasing each other down the mountain, flirting with strange boys on the chairlift, coming home for hot chocolate. I remember how a blissful state of exhaustion would always hit the moment I peeled my tight ski socks off, as though the socks were the sole bit of non-jellied structure left to my legs. Sometimes my brothers and I would build forts in the snow at night, sometimes we would go back to the ski mountain for some sledding.
Why can’t I let go of the skis? I think I imagine those times to still be out there somewhere, happening without me. It is as though I believe that at any minute, I might be called in to that scene, but only provided I still have my skis. I have to wonder if what I am experiencing is similar to the psychosis of a hoarder.
“What is it? Tell me what is happening with you right now? This doesn’t have to be so hard.” Christina said.
“I think I just don’t want to have to feel sad about the fact that skiing is no longer a part of my life now that I live in Minnesota.” There, I said it. It seemed to fit. In one conversation the skis had transformed from a childhood security blanket to an inanimate piece of cloth, ragged and old and ready to be given to Goodwill.
All throughout the day, furniture was moving in and out of the house. The cats rushed to claim every shelf or table that was set down for a moment to rest; then they would dive off of the structure when it would begin moving again. By the end of the day, we had a living room in our office, a large dining room table, and a library in the bedroom. At long last, we sat leisurely around the dining room table, which was a beautiful gift from Catherine and Everett, enjoying the last of the 28 dinners.
Yellow split pea soup with edamame and zucchini
In a large saucepan, heat
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 diced yellow onion
1 tsp salt
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup diced celery
2 tsp muchi curry powder
add 1 cup dried rinsed yellow split peas and
4 cups water
bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 min. Adjust seasonings, adding black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth. Add 2 cups frozen shelled edamame. Saute 1 zucchini, diced, it a little olive oil, salt, and garlic and add to the soup.
1 cup water (lukewarm)
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
mix together and allow to sit for 10 min.
Mix 2 cups bread flour and 2 tsp salt together.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour, and knead for 10 min (the dough should be a little sticky, but not too sticky). Toss the dough in a little olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to sit for 2 hours. Punch dough down and kneed for a few min again. Then cover and allow it to sit another 2 hours. Roll the dough out into a flat sheet and then roll into a long thin baguette. Place on a cookie sheet with cornmeal on top, to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 for about 30 min, spraying occasionally with water to crisp up the crust.
Root vegetable puffs
In a large pot, heat
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large diced yellow onion
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
add 2 large diced russet potatoes, peeled
1 large rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
Add about 1 cup water and cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 min. Add 4 Tbsp unsalted butter and return the lid. Cook another 15 min or until tender. Mash the vegetables together, add 1 Tbsp tarragon and a pinch of sage. season with salt and pepper as needed.
In a separate bowl, mix together 1 large egg, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup half and half. Grease the cups of a muffin tin with olive oil, and heat in a 400 degree oven. Take the tin out and spoon a dollop of the egg/flour dough into each cup. Top with a dollop of the root vegetable mixture. Bake at 400 for 15 min.
Watercress salad with mango honey mustard dressing
Chop 1 bunch of watercress. Add some diced sweet peppers and shaved fennel. Dress with mango dressing:
1 ripe mango, blended in a mini food processor with 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil, 1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp white rice vinegar, 2 tsp Grey Poupon Dijon, 1 tsp dark honey, 1 Tbsp water, 1/4 tsp salt.
Christina’s vote: “A perfect grand finale”