Tuesday, November 24

Homemade Prozac

Blame it on the rain (for the record, Milli Vanilli lyrics do not come up often enough in conversation), this time of year, the association of fall with going to school and all the new beginnings that went along with it. I'm blaming my antsy feeling to start something new on all of these things. Or maybe it's just that I'm on my third cup of coffee and have eight more hours to sit at my desk before I can go home. Should probably blame it on that.

Wherever the blame lies, I've been playing the whatdoiwanttodowithmylife game also known as the existentialcareerlifemindmeld. I've played a lot of games, got really pissed playing (read: sucking at) a lot of games, but this wins the prize for the least fun game I've ever played. Despite my aversion, I keep coming back to it. Even though I much prefer the whatamigoingtoeatforlunch game or the whatcrazymixeddrinkcanimakewiththecontentsofmyfridgeandliquorcabinet game.

Amidst loathing and continuing to play this game,I contemplated graduate school, but the GREs, lengthy applications, economy, and not having 60 grand stuffed under my mattress scared me off. I also browsed employment search engines, but you'd be surprised how few things show up when I entered "lover of Mexico" and "eat" as keywords. I guess I'll have to wait until Rick Bayless retires to get my dream job as Rick Bayless.

I don't mean to sound down and out about my current sitch, because I'm not. I just have what a Peruvian friend calls patas de perro (dog feet), a sort of restless, wandering nature/mind--which isn't limited to just the geographic, either. But even with this disorder, I know Oaxaca is so great, I love being here, and I love my job. My students are lovely and impressionable enough that I'm creating a cache of students who speak my personal brand of English, I just met my friends new baby (ok, that was well over a month ago now, but my internal arguments are longwinded and pair as well with a long stare out my office window as a cold saison with pommes frites), I'm heading to the mountains this weekend, and I'm in the midst of planning my second annual Oaxacan Thanksgiving. Not too shabby.

I've also remembered that nothing soothes my restless, overthinking mind like the beautiful melding of salt, sweet, and an unhealthy dose of butter. A gem of a holiday treat from Food and Wine that my sister made last Christmas fills this criteria perfectly--Chocolate-Almond Saltine Toffee. I definitely raised my skeptical eyebrow at the idea of saltines in a candy context, but lowered it in a euphoric stupor.

This sweetly rich and salty memory gave me the motivation to finally write a damned blog entry, stop trying to plan something that doesn't need planned, and attempt my hand at this toffee without the use of a candy thermometer and a high propensity for disfiguring myself with moltent sugar. Which I believe at least as daring as flinging myself around on a trapeze without a net. If I can start growing a beard, I'm selling tickets.