I have described this year as a shrug. Not great, not terrible… just there. Will I remember 2018 when I’m old? Probably not. It’s one of those years that passed me by. It’s not to say that I expect every year to be monumental, but I usually have something that sticks out, making it memorable. 2018 was pleasant. Like day old pizza.
I take full responsibility for my beige colored year. I didn’t do much to push myself outside of any comfort zone. I channeled by inner dog and stuck to my routines. Long walks, long commutes, lots of time in the kitchen with a handful of trips thrown in the mix. I started off the year celebrating the love of a dear friend on a tiny island off the coast of Mexico. I spent my mornings watching whales from my balcony as I made a mental note to always be present and mindful. That lasted approximately 40 days before life got the better of me. But isn’t that always how it goes with new year’s resolutions? That’s not to say that 2018 was a waste. Years are never a waste.
I made lovely friends at my new job. I fell for unavailable men (shocking, I know). I splurged on plane tickets to see people I adore. I continued to question whether or not to move back to Texas. I watched my grandma finally get old and it broke my heart. I listened to my nephew string together sentences that made zero sense and it filled me with so much joy. I witnessed by littlest nephew develop a coy smile that will break hearts one day. I got two new tattoos (just recounted and realized I got three… whoops), I found out that my person is pregnant and I get to be an aunt 3x over. I celebrated babies, birthdays, anniversaries and new careers.
I went to see art and music and theater and reminded myself to always make time for those things. I learned the entire Hamilton soundtrack by heart. I subscribed to the newspaper and The New Yorker and bought too many books that are waiting to be read. I listened to more podcasts than I can count and forced my dogs to go on 4 hour walks so I could finish another true crime audiobook. I was complimented on my curiosity and I realized that all I want to do is learn as much as I can about everything. Someone told me I was a wonderful writer and I told him it was the nicest thing I had heard in a long time. A friend asked me what brought me real joy and my only answer was a tearful reply of, “I don’t know.”
I still have some work to do. And that’s ok. Because that’s life. And while I didn’t fully embody my 2018 intention of mindfulness and grace, I made progress, and that’s all you can hope for. As for 2019? My word is vulnerability. I still haven’t cracked that code. I know that once I do it’ll break open a lot of very big and important things for me. My other goal? Write more. I kept up a handful of penpals this year and there’s nothing quite like getting a letter in the mail.
And if I fall back into routine and find myself swimming along like I did in 2018, I will remind myself that life isn’t always going to be exciting. I need to remember that I’m god damn lucky to have my health, my family, my friends, my dogs and my insatiable curiosity. And that should always be enough.
Oh, and here’s my top nine photos of the year. Tattoos and good people and weekend adventures. Okay, okay… I did have some fun this year.
Potato, pear and goat cheese pizza
I haven’t updated this blog in a long time and I’m realizing that the last recipe I posted was a pizza… It’s a food I like, okay? Tacos and pizza are just great ways to combine a bunch of tasty food onto a flat, round thing and shove it into your face. The weather is super gross up in the PNW, so a warm pizza was all that I craved this evening. I had pears and potatoes from my CSA so I figured I would just slap it on some dough and call it a day. And it’s fucking delicious.
- Pizza dough — I used a pre-made dough from the grocery store because I didn’t want to make my own. But if dough is your thing, have fun!
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (2 for dough, 1 for onions)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 onions, cut into thin strips
- 4-5 red potatoes, sliced into rounds
- 2 pears, thin slices
- 2 handfuls of shredded mozzarella (definitely didn’t measure)
- Chunk of goat cheese, crumbled (I NEVER MEASURE CHEESE, LEAVE ME ALONE)
- Spinach salad on the side so you can justify eating all the carbs and cheese
Start by roasting the potatoes. I set the oven at 400 and roasted those bad boys for 30 minutes. While they were cooking I started the onions. Add 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter to a pan (cast iron forever) and let it warm. Add in your onions and then let them cook. After about 10 minutes I added in the salt and continued to stir. After 20 more minutes of them browning and turning into deliciousness, I added a dash of balsamic vinaigrette and then let them cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Keep your eye on the onions (obviously) and prep your pears and cheeses. Also figure out your dough. I got the dough from Essential Bakery and it was a good choice. That stuff is delicious AND it was easy to roll out. This is more just a kudos to Essential pizza dough than a helpful tip… Sorry.
Turn your oven up to 450 or whatever your dough requires.
I’m not a huge red sauce girl, so I just used 2 Tbsp olive oil mixed with the minced garlic and some pepper as the base for this pizza.
After the onions and potatoes are done, start layering shit on your dough. I started with the potatoes and then the onions, followed by mozzarella. Then I made a pretty pattern with the pears before topping it all off with the crumbled goat cheese.
Pop that into the oven for 10-12 minutes and then enjoy. My dogs clearly wanted a piece or two.