Lists & The Perfect Peanut Sauce

I have always made lists.

When I was younger I tried to play it off like I wasn’t an anxious, type A individual who has to be in control.

Now I know that my spirit word is stubborn, and my bull headedness is known to get me into trouble. My stoicism has caused many a silent heartbreak, believing that showing emotion (even a little) will cause me to lose control.

Hand in hand with all its downfalls, my personality lends itself to an absurd amount of ambition. I am willing to push myself into any and all things with confidence that I will make it work, no matter what the situation.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have learned to love my less-than-carefree personality.

I have learned to love my crazy.

And while I haven’t seen The Bucket List (mainly because Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows scare me) I have started a “bucket list” of sorts. It’s what I go back to, again and again, when I feel I’m losing inspiration. It’s always necessary to keep these reminders in this silly, haphazard world of ours.

Things I Must Do.

1)   Hike the PCT. I need to get lost in the woods with my sister. Get close to trees and mountains and silence. Forget about showers for 5 months, and remember what it feels like to fall asleep from sheer exhaustion.

2)   Bike across the country. I will one day find the courage to bike from west to east, capturing farmer’s stories. Get dirt under my fingernails and trade eggs for stories. Take pictures and learn what it means to live off the land.

3)  Help my grandma write her memoir. Her life is technicolor perfection. She has lived more than most people dream. No guilt, no jealousy—a life full of adventure and sex and love. My kind of life. I want to help her capture it, hold it close and share it with anyone that will listen.

4)   Learn to play the banjo. It’s hanging on the wall, silently mocking me. I know, I know. Patience isn’t my thing. Being new at things is the worst. Failing is hard. I’ll get over it and learn the damn thing… One of these days.

5)   Fall in love again. I suppose this isn’t something I can control (no matter how hard I try.) I have loved with all my heart two times in my life, and everything else has been white noise. I hope there’s a few more out there for me, because god damn… how big that kind of love can be.

6)   Relearn yoga. I am such a fool. Yoga has healed me in every way, and I always let it fall by the wayside. Here’s to making it a priority again—just like brushing my teeth. Yoga needs to become my habit.

7)   Let go. I have a deep desire to go to Burning Man. Which I never thought I’d say. A friend of mine said it’s a place where you leave everything behind. All those things you carry, you just let it go. Sounds like some sort of bliss.

We all know that list goes on and on, but seven seems like a good place to stop. It’s one of those things that won’t ever be finished—just another ellipsis in my life.

How grand.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

The Perfect Peanut Sauce (with Summer Spring Rolls)

You know the sauce. The one you find yourself licking out of the bowl at the Thai restaurant. I never thought I would be able to recreate it, and then I stumbled on a recipe that just about nails it. And yes, I have no shame—I licked every last bit out of the bowl… Like you do.

  • ½ can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup Thai red chili paste
  • ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

All you have to do is put everything into a pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Let the mixture simmer, and make sure it doesn’t get burnt, as that’ll do some weird things to the coconut milk. No one wants curdled coconut milk. Let it cool and then eat to your hearts desire. I mixed in some red pepper flakes, because I love some extra spice.

I ate it with some tofu fresh rolls, which is another go-to recipe. This version included green onion, avocado, tofu, red bell pepper, cucumber, grated carrots and thai basil. Yep, it was delicious.

Fun fact about fresh rolls; when you are preparing your rice paper, dip the paper in nearly boiling water. There’s no need to let it soak, just a dip in hot water will get them to the perfect texture. Learned that trick in Texas, of all places.

This really is the perfect summer meal. Add it to your list. (hehe)

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