Two days ago, I took a moment to consider whether I had time to pencil in a small nervous breakdown for the day. Nothing major, just a rant and perhaps some petulant remarks and if I was feeling up to the effort, some half-hearted sobs.
I say half-hearted because I am keenly aware of how great my life is relative to 99% of the world population, and that getting all wound up because I have too much good stuff going on too fast is not really proper usage of a nervous breakdown.
As, I took my steps back from that mental cliff with a few deep breaths and a smile of gratitude, I realized that if I am freaking out at this time of year, you likely are, too. And, this is no time for 3 hour recipes. So, I am going to endeavor for the next few posts to do things that take no more than 20 minutes or so. I discovered, not surprisingly, that many of the simplest things are also the most delicious, not being muddied up by effort and struggle and desperate over-seasoning.
Several nights ago I had the distinct honor of celebrating the birthday of a spectacular woman, Ashley Hiles Beck, with a group of the most hilarious and vibrant women the world ever put into one room. I’m sure the kind proprietors of Rise No. 1 had no idea what they were seating right by the front door. The topics causing huge outbursts of guffaws ranged from squirrel eradication to why women of a certain age never-ever-ever do jumping jacks. I laughed so hard that I woke the next morning worried I was coming down with a chest infection. As it turns out, there is no exercise at the YMCA that works out your lungs like an evening with wine and too oft cooped up females.
In this restaurant that specializes in decadent soufflés, I ordered a ham sandwich, albeit one with a pretty French name. It was simple and then beyond simple. It was excellent ham, fresh bread, pickles and a little Dijon, just to make me happy.
I returned home wondering why I don’t more often take the time to assemble perfect pairings of this simple style. And so I did.