Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid all conversations related to snowmaggedons, polar vortexes, and solar vortexes. And yet, I could feel it coming. The itch to to flee. I get that way a lot. In a funk. When nothing feels like it’s quite in its right place. I immediately start throwing things away, including things that don’t belong to me; I would like to publicly apologize for tossing out your beloved stapler, Matt.
There’s too much paperwork piling up on my desk. Too little space in my pantry. Too many boxes stashed underneath a desk that surely doesn’t belong in my bedroom. On and on. Most of all, I know when I’ve got it because I can feel a sense of creative void. This is my polar vortex. When I cannot bear the site of another beet at the farmer’s market. When my usually comfortable, worn-in, dimpled spot on the couch feels the way that it did when I was bearing down labor contractions. I want to crawl into a small space and tuck my knees under my chin.
I wrote about March being devoid of happiness…sort of. Yet, the truth is, March has been a pretty great month. I’ve been in a bit of a funk all winter and it hasn’t been entirely about the weather which, let’s be real, has been pretty great here in the Bay Area.
But I’ve come out on the other side in a very significant way, I hope.
I always thought that 30 was going to be the age when I’d really know myself. I’d have a yoga routine and maybe a therapist. I’d own a very expensive eye cream and establish a beauty routine. I would own the home that I live in, or at least have a washer and dryer.
The truth is, 30 has been awkward and weird. I feel at the top of my game professionally. And despite slacking on a workout routine, I actually think I’m in pretty good shape. I have never seen a therapist, even when I was pretty sure I really, really needed to. And I just can’t commit to yoga. Can’t do it. With San Francisco being pretty much the most expensive place in America to buy a home, owning is sort of a pipe dream. I still haven’t figured out what balance means. I always overreact. And I think I actually cry more now than I did when I was fifteen and going through a different kind of awkward phase.
No one tells you this stuff! All everyone ever says these days is how 30 is the new 20 and you really find yourself and you finally feel comfortable in your own skin. But I actually think I lost myself a little there and I’m slowly getting me back.
I want to say all this in the context of shortbread because lately, my favorite thing to do is sit around with a good girlfriend, drink tea, and eat cookies. And because we’re all profesh and all now, it feels more appropriate to enjoy said cookies in a more ‘adult’ way — a savory/sweet kind of way.
So here we are. I am 30 going on 31. I still prefer to start my sentences with ‘so’ and although, for a while there, I gave up the Oxford Comma, I am 100%, fully, reclaiming it now. That, and other things, too.
Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread
adapted from Bon Appetit
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
2 sticks (1 cup) of cold, unsalted butter, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus leaves, for topping
1 large egg, beaten
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Add the caraway seeds to a small skillet and heat over medium-high. Cook until fragrant (about two minutes). Transfer seeds to a cutting board and chop.
2. Add the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment and beat until light and fluffy (7–10 minutes). Reduce to low speed and add the flour, chopped caraway seeds, and 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary. Beat briefly to combine.
3. Next, press the dough into either two 8″ cake pans or square brownie tins (I used the latter). Brush with egg wash and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar and rosemary leaves.
4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and edges begin to pull away from the pan. Transfer shortbread to a wire rack to cool, then cut into squares, rectangles, or wedges.
Musical Pairings: The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream + Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread
More on the Turntable.