Saturday, January 2, 2010
Looking back over 2009, I am amazed at how much I got done, and how much more I feel like I have to do. I’ve been telling friends and acquaintances that 2009 was one of the most amazing years of my life…in the same way that in 1939, Hitler was Time’s man-of-the-year.
2009 was both incredibly challenging, and rewarding. I traveled more than I ever have, to places I am intimately familiar with, as well as the brand new. I discovered a love of, and affinity for, the open road. Though I liked driving for hours alone in the Texas Panhandle, and even more through Northeastern New Mexico…I also discovered that I am the kind of traveler badly in need of a control room: on the way out to Santa Fe, I managed to lose my glasses (still had my prescription sunglasses), and on the way back (in Amarillo), I managed to leave my purse—full of everything I needed to live--on a hotel counter top because I left in a panic to outrun a snowstorm. By the time I outran the storm, 100 miles later, I realized I’d left my purse behind...a calling card of absent-mindedness. Luckily, the motel where I stopped trusted me to get the cash and pay them the next day, and my (now) husband wired $$$ to the local Wal-Mart.
Since the snowstorm was so bad, all the roads heading back to Amarillo were closed, but the people at the La Quinta were kind enough to mail my purse back to me. Everything intact.
2009 also brought with it several devastating events that I’ve mentioned here and it took me until October to realize that I am still kind of processing them. Not just the events, but the change they wrought.
Perhaps most auspiciously, I got married to Nick Wagner this May, and that feels like the right thing to have done, though now when he’s being absurd and I am haughtily looking down my nose at his antics, he just reminds me that I married him…and therefore am partially culpable. Nice.
I also finally made it to Miami during Art Basel, and though it’s an overwhelming event, I was pleased that I left it feeling more energized about the future than weighted down with that insidious thought, “everyone is an artist.” It was also at Art Basel that I hit my first-ever Bullseye playing darts. Perhaps that contributed to my buoyancy…
More recently, I tried my first recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And though I can honestly say I did not see Julie and Julia until after I’d read Julia Child’s My Life in France, the pervasiveness of the movie did excite my curiosity, and therefore inspire the gift (Mastering was a part of Christmas). Thus I am a part of the cadre of home-cooks inspired by the movie and rushing out to by their own Le Creuset pots and attempt French cooking…we’ll see how it goes.
But back to the recipe: Quiche aux Oignons (onion quiche). Made with 2 pounds of sweet Vidalia onions, cream, and eggs, the result was more like a desert tart than a main course. So rich, we could only eat a tiny slice at a time, it exemplified the notion of technique vs. ingredients. How such simple--humble really--ingredients can transform into something so incredibly decadent was an object lesson in patience (the 2 lbs took an hour to cook down) and simplicity. Hopefully one I can bring into the New Year.
Plus it’s nice that 2010 (the numeric arrangement) has such an appealing, visually balanced quality…it can’t help but be a good year right?