I turn 25 in a month and 2.2 days. I feel sort of like Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites when she laments how she was really going to be somebody by twenty-three, and bad boy Troy comforts her by insisting all she has to be by twenty-three is herself (and proceeds to confess his undying love for her, which is neither here nor there.) I have to admit that I feel that same sort of pressure more days than not, this notion of having to be something by X age. But what are you going to do? Blog about it, of course.
As of right now my priorities involve not screwing up the yellow split pea mixture I currently have simmering in a Dutch oven on my stove, not killing my basil plant, keeping my apartment clean, landing a job, and maintaining my friendships. Oh, and reading all of my library books before I have to re-new them yet again because I've spent too much time on here and here and not enough time on my Barney-coloured sofa, my legs perched on the back. Oh July -- you have made me embarassingly lazy.
On an even more positive note, I received a (very timely!) response from a very important HR person at one very important publisher regarding one very fancy-schmansy sounding contract position. Let's not get too excited, as it was a simple request to complete a PI survey -- no invite (yet) to come into the office and woo her with my undelible charm and precocious wit (lay off the snickering.) She did thank me for my interest in the company, though, and I have to say, it's always nice to hear that. Especially if you have, like me, been applying for various jobs at said publisher for months and months without hearing anything. Three cheers for small victories! (Or should it have read !!! ? Punctuation has got me confused today, readers.)
Other reasons to be silly happy this week include, but are not limited to, the following: my sister's weekend visit; the return of a good friend to the Greater Toronto Area, at long last; what will be a marvelously silky and garlicky fava spread and soup (recipe to come); talk of podcasts; the possibility of employment (and therefore the possibility of (!) wine (!) in this apartment again -- not to mention Burrata, locally made chorizo, more fennel and carrot salads, good chocolate, Ed's ice cream, etc.), planned walks down Queen West, browsing through contemporary art galleries for free, huevos rancheros, and, speaking of breakfast foods, more of this.
The lighting is particularly awful here -- 8:30am and a crappy camera, I apologize!
It's a simple breakfast. I'll give you that. It takes a while for quinoa to cook, but not overly long, and unlike a lot of things, this breakfast comes together relatively well BC (before coffee.) The sprig of thyme is optional, but I rather like the earthy and unexpected quality it lends this bowl of seeds.
Quinoa seems all the rage this year. The new superfood and all of that. I don't really care much for trends, but quinoa? She's the ugly duckling of the pack (no offense, q.) It's easy to be won over by something so unpretentious. It's good in salads. Some like to use it as a base for pilafs (meh) or as a vehicle for tomato sauce (more meh). I think it's really fabulous in its sweeter incarnations, particularly if you wake up wanting something hearty for breakfast.
Quinoa with Red Grapes and Thyme
1 cup water
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red grapes
1 sprig of thyme or lemon thyme (optional)
1 tsp liquid honey, or to taste
Handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
Cinnamon, to taste
1/4 cup (approximately) vanilla soy milk or milk of choice, or a dollop of plain or vanilla-flavoured Greek-style yogurt
On a baking sheet, deposit the grapes and cover with the sprig of thyme, if using. Pop into a 350F oven (or convection oven, as I do) and let the fruit cook until it sizzles slightly, about 18-20 minutes.
Add water and quinoa to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a strong simmer and cook until quinoa is done, about 10 - 12 minutes (you'll know it's finished when the curly tails, or the germ, appear.) Drain excess water if there is any.
When the grapes are done, discard the thyme. Combine the grapes and quinoa in a bowl, toss with walnuts, sprinkle with as much cinnamon as desired, and drizzle with honey. Pour in the milk or stir in a dollop of yogurt. Devour immediately. Serves 1.