I'm sure it's shocking to hear that a New Yorker has trust issues. Especially a New Yorker with a rocky childhood straight from the Oprah show and bladee bladee blue.
Anyhow, yes, I find it hard to trust others. To trust them to do what they say they're going to do. To trust that they really feel the way they say they feel. To trust that they're not trying to get something from me and really just want to be around me for my company.
I'm a fun one to be married to, I tell you.
Most of all, I find it hard to trust myself. As my mother will confirm, I've always been incredibly self-critical and ready to jump down my own throat. I'm constantly worried that I will screw everything up, which, of course, only causes me to make more mistakes.
Now that I'm getting up there in the age department, I'm forcing myself to trust more, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. To trust that Dave really doesn't mind giving me a back rub after he's offered it to me. To trust that my friend will meet me at 16 Handles at 7pm and won't flake out on me. To trust that, after cooking almost every night for the past five years, I know what I'm doing and won't ruin dinner.
It's funny that the people who are helping me most in overcoming my trust issues are women, because women were the epicenter of my trust issues for most of my life. Starting around 4th grade when a girl would tell me she wanted to be my BFF on Monday and then declare by Friday that I was a fat, farting retard, I found it hard to know what other females' true intentions were.
So, whether warranted or not, I found myself deeply suspicious and often envious of other girls/women throughout my life. I projected all of my insecurities and unhappiness on them, moaning about how unfair life was that other girls were naturally skinny, naturally beautiful, naturally outgoing, naturally magnetic to the opposite gender.
But now, thankfully, I'm finding that my female friends are increasingly trustworthy and generous, interesting and motivational.
I've spoken about my high school friend Tiffanie on this blog before. Well, recently, she very sweetly posted a blog addressed to me on her food-a-file blog in an attempt to help me overcome my phobia of "throwing things together" for dinner and not using a recipe.
You can read her wonderful entry here. I had planned to write up her directions in a more strict recipe format, to create a shopping list, and then add the recipe to next week's menu. (Yes, we plan a menu for each week and create a shopping list for it. This is a great way to budget, folks, and not just a nerdy move.)
But then I realized that's not the spirit of what Tiffanie's trying to teach me. So I looked in my pantry and LOW AND BEHOLD, we had almost all the same stuff she had, with just a few differences. We had no ground lamb, but we're a bit meated out lately anyway, so we decided to go vegetarian. I don't carry fennel seeds, but I love cardamom and used it as a substitution. We had no white potatoes, but three lovely sweet potatoes. We had some leftover fresh ginger that I thought might be brighter than the powder. And finally, we had some green beans that were about to go south, and I had a hypothesis that this recipe could benefit from something crunchy anyhow.
I "threw it together" tonight, and the whole Brooklyn Baby Clan went wild! And I can't seem to stop patting myself on the back.
So, I'll post my adapted recipe below, or you can use Tiffanie's on her blog, or you can use this as a jumping off point to create something of your own.
And, as I've said before, check out the other food blogs I link to for inspiration and camaraderie. In particular, the Seriously Soupy blog on my list to the right hopes to be a community of soup-loving folks sharing their secrets, so please check it out and submit your soupy treasures.
So now, without further ado, my recipe for:
Camaraderie Curry (Not Really Curry but I Needed the Alliteration)
1 lb green beans, trimmed
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 large onion
1 jar of coconut milk
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Coriander
1 - 2 T. fresh ginger
1 tsp. Turmeric
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Cardamom
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (we like it spicy)
Cook brown rice to package directions. I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water for more flavor.
Chop onion and sweet potatoes in to small pieces. Put a couple tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or large pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Once the butter has melted, add the potatoes and onions. Cover and cook until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are starting to soften.
In the meanwhile, bring a small pot of water up to a rolling boil, salt liberally, and add green beans. Blanch them until they are just tender, then drain and submerge in ice water.
Turn up the heat to medium on the potato/onion mixture, stir and add all the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in the can of coconut milk, bring up to a simmer and cover. Stirring occasionally, let this cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the green beans and stir, cooking an additional minute.