I’m 27 years old. I’ve lost a lot of friends and I’ve always felt guilty about it. My ability to keep in touch with people is severely lacking. On days off like today, I feel like floor-sweeping is more important. If you asked me to pick up a phone and call someone right now, I would probably go out and dig up some weeds for five minutes. Then I would come inside and forget all about who I thought was the most important person five (now 10) minutes ago. But everybody is important to me and that’s what the Gemini in my soul wants you to know.
We climbed a very tall mountain last Saturday. Three strong ladies and I scrambled on rocks to get to Gothic Basin in the North Cascades. Me, I’m hardly a rock climber. I can pretend I know what it is but don’t believe me. My co-workers are seasoned outdoorsy folks. One can name wild plants like she grew up in them, the other feels no cold and the third can mountain goat her way up rocks like it would make your toes curl. I was happy to be outside. Nine miles, straight up and straight down. Worth every single heave. I’ve been longing all summer to climb up a mountain – preferably a difficult one – and eat lunch on the top. Preferably noodles. The second part didn’t happen but the first, oh the first. We all agreed how much nicer it is to hike with fellow women, minus the competitiveness that men feel compelled to surround themselves with. There was no pressure. We stopped when we wanted and we walked as fast as we needed to. Sweat covered the inside of my flannel which made me realise it was time to shed a layer. I didn’t know how to take steps a few times and my friends were right there, showing me the best way. When you work with people like that, work doesn’t really seem like work. I might not see two of them as often as I’d like to in the near future.
Don’t worry I didn’t push them off the mountain. They just felt it was time for them to seek other adventures. There is nothing anticlimactic about following your heart.
I know I will struggle to, as they say, “keep in touch”. I’ve been a fond writer of letters, but that would be a strange thing to do when you live 30 minutes away. In all my self-loathing for my lack of correspondence, I forget how important it is to make an impact. I’m not sure how many lives I’ve touched because honestly, I don’t try that much. It feels most natural to foster great relationships and to strike out the ones that create that constant need to impress. That’s a full-time job for people. That’s why we have weekends. I feel I’ve done a good job picking some good people to hang around with. People that come naturally and speak from deep within the depths of their souls like they’ve known you for years. They are mostly creative, yes and they always use their fingers to count 7+2.
What happens next can be pegged down to the ebb and flow of life. As much as I don’t like losing that thrill I get from interacting with kindred spirits, it’s okay to let things be. You probably already know that everything happens for a reason and all good things come to an end. Why yes, it’s true! This is okay. I’ve ended (and begun) many eras of people in my life lately – too many to count. They seem to come at you more as you grow. I won’t get used to it but I will be at peace with it.
I’ll never have the hours in the day I need to make them all feel like the way they made me. They made me. The nostalgia I feel when I think of the past is all them. I’d like to crawl back to that should a time portal ever open. I’d like to make them all bookmarks with glitter (minus one guy because all he’s read is The Catcher in the Rye). You, who circled the football ground with me trying to play with the boys and they never let us. You, who shared kebab plates and beer at (the wonderfully misspelled) bar in Lower Parel before it became the “hip” joint and got a hideous makeover (it will NEVER be the same). You, who walked on footpaths and didn’t touch the lines because it made you feel weird. I still do that and you don’t even remember it anymore. You, who brought me a lemon tart because you wanted me to go early to work and be at that boring meeting that seemed to get scheduled for much earlier than we cared for. You, who wrote me many, many, many letters and I stopped writing back at one point. I’m sorry I did that… You, who dragged me to eat bun-tikki near the mosque. We all now know why you did that. You, who stole tea with me. You, who agreed with me when I said that we needed to be on the radio talking exactly the way we always do. We can still do it. Meet me there. And you, who climbed mountains with me. I always carry you with me. This is me forever keeping in touch.
Dill oil baked baby potato chips
Potato chips are my #1 most favourite snack food in the whole world. I feel so great that I finally made my own in a controlled way. They actually turned out so well and had the most fun eating them. Especially the purple ones because I get a kick out of eating purple foods. I hope you try and make your own, if you haven’t already. I suggest using the baby potatoes for this recipe because I wanted a slightly shorter cooking time and a cute food rolled into one. If you are using bigger potatoes, you might need to modify things, which I’m sure you can. You’re an ace at this. I can already tell.
- 574 gms mix of new, purple and fingerling baby potatoes
- 18 gms fresh dill
- 10 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the dill and olive oil in a food processor and pulse 8-9 times until the dill is chopped fine and blended into the oil. Pour into a small glass jar and to it add the grated garlic and salt. Stir well with a small spoon. There will be some leftover dill oil which you can seal and use over a salad. The dill oil can be made ahead.
Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the potatoes* into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dill oil over the potatoes in the bowl and mix using your hands. The oil needs to be spread evenly over all the potatoes.
Place the potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and pop it in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 15 minutes first and then test a chip from the middle of the baking sheet for readiness i.e. it should be crunchy. If it doesn’t seems ready, add 5 more minutes to the timer. The process should take 25 minutes in all. If you feel they aren’t ready in that much time, keep adding 5 more minutes until you are confident enough of their taste. I made mine in 3 batches and it took me 25 minutes each time.
Serve as is and eat in one go because who lets potato chips sit around, doing nothing like that.
*I don’t recommend slicing the potatoes ahead because they tend to oxidise if not kept under cold water. If you do keep them under cold water (for no more than a couple of hours, please), you will need to pat them dry so they hold on to the dill oil. So it’s better to do it just before you decide you want to cook them.