Glad to see you’re learning internet lingo (ps. LLOL is not a thing).
Sweating the small stuff surely is a luxury. What’s more luxurious is the ability to recognize the small stuff as small, which can be hard until after the fact. Or until I’m outside of it. Puma sneakers were no small thing in that factory store in Manhattan – you can attest to that.
Obsessing over the small things… is it called tunnel vision?
Since my sneaker meltdown in 6th grade, I’ve had so many opportunities to step outside the tunnel that my ability to shift perspectives has grown markedly nimble. This skill is one of the many gifts I’ve gotten from moving so far so much so fast. It is the most luxurious of all luxuries.
I’ve implemented it in the way I see big things (we don’t have to talk about Israel/Palestine again), and I can zoom-in:
Let’s talk about coming home for Thanksgiving.
In grad school, my assignments can create a strong vacuum at the bottom of the tunnel. Reporting is time and emotion consuming; deadlines = anxiety dreams. Should I cut graf one? Which quote is more quotey? I agonize.
I have to physically switch it up to remind myself of the bigger world and make these things small again. I usually go to the kitchen. Once I’m behind a chopping board, my attachment to my homework loosens (still can’t figure out if this is a good or bad thing). I chop veggies into a salad and munch away for too much time than I should spare. Big salads are (more) important.
Physically removing myself from the North Side of campus for a solid 5 days last week sharpened this notion. Being home made me realize how silly it is to make anything more important than health, family and old friends. I didn’t do a lick of schoolwork when I was home and I was not worried.
Instead, I chatted with my cousins over popcorn and M&Ms til 2AM, went to the farm with the boys, picked radishes, ran my favorite nature trails, lost at mah jong, massaged a shit ton of kale, sat in the kitchen, dined and snacked and gorged with fam, and took long sits in your steam shower.
I still get sucked into the tunnel – I worry about the insignificant and obsess over the small. Making a salad can pull me out. Physical movement – a change of scenery – melts the petty-worry-grip.
When I went to the farm, I snuck away from the boys and their antics to pick radishes (pronounced raydish in the country). I came home with two full grocery bags of spicy, dirty raydish. The Berkeley grocery store radishes weren’t nearly as spicy as the homegrown, so I compensated by garnishing the dish below with spicy arugula.
Spicy Radish Egg Salad with Almonds
This is a classic Bubbe recipe (she used big black radishes and skipped the almonds). Her house consistently smelled of fried onions (pronounced hun-ions in Bubbe land). She used the same hunions in her knishes, brown potatoes, kreplach, chicken burgers and more.
- 3 eggs, hardboiled
- 1 tsp olive oil OR 1 tsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- salt and black pepper to taste
- One bunch radishes (5-7 medium radishes)
- toasted almonds, chopped or slivered
- arugula for serving
Dice onion. Coat the bottom of a deep skillet with olive oil, butter or a mix of both. Turn heat to medium, and add onions once oil is hot. Stir to coat onions in oil and spread them evenly over the pan. Turn heat to low, cover pan and let cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about ten minutes, add salt and fresh black pepper. Continue to cook until onions are deeply browned.
*Side note: I learned from you who learned from Bubbe to go big or go home when it comes to fried onions. It’s just as easy to fry three as it is one, so just do em all! Put what you don’t use into a jar and store in the fridge – they will stay good for over a week and are a luxurious addition to omelets, veggies, sandwiches, salads, yogurt, etc.
In the meantime, use a large hole grater to grater radishes into wide shreds.
Toast crushed or slivered almonds in a toaster or over a skillet until brown and fragrant. Peel the hardboiled eggs and mash them with the back of a fork. Combine radishes, almonds and eggs.
When onions have cooled to room tempurature, stir them into the egg mixture. Add plenty of salt and fresh black pepper. Serve over spicy arugula with a slice of good bread.