Thursday, January 1, 2015

In the Stillness of Remembering What You Had and What You Lost

Mona my cat knows what's up and how to act on New Year's.  I don't think she reflects much on the past. She tends to live in the moment. At the last minute I got the holiday off of work and I had to wing it for snacks, no time to buy groceries.  There wasn't a need for extra fanfare but you need a little some kind of celebratory snackage, after all you are ringing in a brand new year and it can mean something... if you want it to.  I'm saying after years of denying the changeover of numbers had any power whatsoever and it was just another night, now I think if you want to use the day as a marker for change in your own life or just a celebration that we all made it out the other side of a full calendar year, then its a better day than most.  Why not make it special really?  I'm all for another reason to make snacks.  It's easy to track, progress can be monitored quite easily being as we have clear dates and it's the one holiday that is impossible to forget.
Olive Tapenade is such a delicacy.  I am crazy for anchovies and wish I understood how to add them to more and more dishes. And olives rival snacky meats like pepperoni or salami for me. On warm crusty bread or some light cracker, this dip is worth the few minutes it takes to blend it up.
Another reason I love the snack food is the fun factor.  Dipped shrimp in cajun cornmeal and then baked on high heat mocked the high crunch of a a fried batter and just as good.  You must serve super hot and right away.  I dipped these in a spiced yogurt sauce with lime.

Just like what it takes to make these delicious little shrimp snacks, that's what it took to get through this year. Tons of little 'now' moments where you do this and that, some right some wrong.  There is effort put in and some of it's fun, some is calculated like the measurements, some is skill like the monitoring of that crisp on the crust.  Leave it too long and it burns, leave it too little and they're not quite crunchy enough or browned.  Some of the shrimp are perfectly coated where others I see where I could have been more careful.  The seasoning is the fine tuning, similar to the list of behaviors I wanted to improve last year.  Each attempt you try to get better,  The term 'season to taste' translates to basically 'do the best you can'.
Everytime you put out a spread of food, whatever the size, it's like a mini New Year's Eve.  Countdown....Did I do okay?  Could that have been better?  Does it tastes like it should?  Do others seemed pleased?  Ball drops, you clean up and cook again.  And sometimes in between lay around like Mona.  

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