I’m going to be totally upfront with you: I don’t have a baby (surprise!). But a few of my friends have started having babies and, boy, is life different when you start to realize that people your age are having babies. I remember the first time I drove a car (my mom’s awesome hand-me-down Nissan Altima), I sat in the driver’s seat and craned my head out the window to look in the side mirror. I almost said out loud, “I’m. Driving. I’m driving a car! It’s me! In the driver’s seat! I can totally drive away from my parents’ house right now.” It was this completely surreal sensation of feeling really young but knowing I was doing something that older people do. I felt like I had snuck it past someone. Like someone was about to say, “Excuse me young lady, what do you think you’re doing?”
When I got engaged, I remember getting distracted in work meetings and just staring at my hand thinking, “I have a fiance. We are getting married. My last name will no longer be Fleisher.” Again, feeling super young, knowing I was doing something only older people do. I hope that I’m not the only one that feels this way (cause we’re being honest here and all) but man, having a baby changes everything. I see fellow bloggers drop off the face of the Earth. I see people move to the suburbs after spending years living in the city. I see people wear clothes because they have an elastic waistband, and not because they are stylish. And I see people ‘call it a night’ at 8 pm.
Sometimes I wonder if having a baby feels a lot like I felt when I was 16 and in the driver’s seat of my first car: if you look in the mirror to see if you’ll recognize yourself and where you’re sitting. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for life with more and more babies and reading blogs like A Cup of Jo to remind myself that you can have a baby and still be totally cool. And you can have a baby and have friends without babies. And you can not have a baby and be friends with people with babies. But I totally have this fear that babies are going to make us all take sides: the baby people on one side and the non-baby people on the other side.
The other week, I decided to try a new recipe that scared me a little: marinated sardines. To be honest, 1 tablespoon of vinegar didn’t sound like enough to actually marinate these sardines, so I added a little extra, but when we sat down to eat them, we were both perplexed. For some reason expecting the sardines to taste cooked, Matt and I both looked at each other, confused when we took our first bites: the marinated sardines were tender, almost sushi-like, with a light mint flavor and none of the saltiness that you taste when you eat them grilled. We were both slightly hesitant about eating them: are they ‘cooked’? Will we get sick? Thing is, we ate every last one of them, plain, on bread and crackers and they were absolutely delicious. Light, yet filling.
Guess all I’m saying is: baby or no baby, sardines or no sardines: it’ll be ok.
adapted from My Nepenthe
4 fresh sardines (have the fishmonger clean and fillet them for you)
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
4 thin slices of lemon
leaves from 1 sprig of thyme
2 tablespoons of roughly chopped mint
1/4 cup of olive oil
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper
1. Place the sardines in a shallow glass dish. Sprinkle them with thyme leaves, mint, and garlic. Top with lemon slices. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with pepper.
2. Cover the dish with a piece plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, turning the sardines occasionally to make sure they marinate evenly. The sardines will keep for up to one day, covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator.
3. Serve them alongside bread and/or crackers. They’re completely edible (including the skin).
Musical Pairings: Mikal Cronin – Mikal Cronin + Marinated Sardines
More on the Turntable.