I finally did the thing that’s been weighing on my mind for the last year. I turned 40 years old on Tuesday. My apprehension wasn’t about the number itself, or the accumulation of tiny wrinkles gathering under my eyes– it was heavier than that. Those are superficial things that I can live with. Instead, my dread has been a bit more existential. Knowing that other inevitable changes are coming, like my children growing up, my parents aging, and that my limited time here is diminished with each passing year. Those are the things that are harder to accept.
But now that 40 has arrived, I’ve decided to do my best and be optimistic. I’ll focus on the positives instead of dwelling on future loss. I’m surrounded by wonderful friends, and have been lucky enough to be born and married into two incredible families. I get to spend every day with my best friend and love of 23 years, and we have two sweet children. I’ve been fortunate with my health. Right now, things are good by pretty much any standard. I’m a lucky, lucky gal and I know it (and don’t think for one second that I didn’t knock on my wooden desk as I wrote that sentence).
I’ve also decided to tackle new challenges. My kids are at an age that I now have more time to pursue my own interests. I’m ready to learn new things. I want to take up pottery, learn to play the guitar and violin, to knit, and to read more. I want to become more patient. Mostly, I want to consciously be in the present, rather than always waiting for some vague future to just “happen”. I also want to continue to learn new and exciting things about food and photography– this is the stuff that thrills me. Preparing the food, taking photos, and writing this blog make me very happy. I love connecting with all of you.
With that little essay out of the way, there’s really no subtle segue into a recipe post, so I’ll just throw it out there– today I made simple, roasted smashed potatoes. They’re kind of a hard one to name, but hopefully the photos help you out a bit. These little gems are all about texture, texture, texture! Soft and pillowy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. I love to pick them up and snack on them, but they also pair well with a burger or steak. Throw any herbs you fancy on them, but I particularly love the rosemary/preserved lemon combination. So, so good! Enjoy these potatoes over the weekend and thanks for listening to me ramble.
The Recipe: Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Preserved Lemon
about 2 pounds of small yukon gold potatoes (halve or quarter larger ones)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus fresh sprigs for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
good sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Begin by steaming the potatoes until they feel done when a knife is inserted into them– about 15-20 minutes (depending upon how big your potatoes are). Remove from heat and continue to let sit in covered pan just to be certain they are fully cooked.
Dry the potatoes off if any water remains on them. Then place them on the prepared baking sheet and gently smash them down with a fork. You don’t want the potato to completely fall apart, but you do want some of the inside to be exposed– that way more crevices can become crisped. Drizzle a few glugs of olive oil over the potatoes, then the chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until they have become a beautiful golden brown (check the bottoms, too). Remove from oven and top with more olive oil, more rosemary, preserved lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!