This is what happens when I’m alone in the house with no other obligations: I make stuff. It doesn’t matter that nobody wants it (though that doesn’t stop them from eating it once it’s made). Nor does it matter that there is no other purpose for the making of the sweet stuff than to assuage my boredom. But, then again, does there need to be a reason?
I say no. This whole idea about “needing a reason to do something” is ridiculous. If you want to do something on a whim-so long as it’s, you know, lawful-do it. I may be alone in the battle I often times have with myself over whether or not something is absolutely necessary. Like that new pink and white-striped Victoria’s Secret bra. Sure, my other bras are laughable (Target bras made for tweens)…but is a $25 bra really necessary? OF COURSE IT’S NOT. But it’s pretty and I want it. Now, obviously the extreme of this situation is actually a listed disorder, but like everything in life, one must balance. And today, a pair of 10k garnet earrings, two cannolis and a pound of locally-roasted coffee were on the scale too.
I’ve learned that you can’t go through life denying yourself things you like and love for no better reason than they aren’t necessary. It bothers me whenever someone tries to justify a purchase (like the newest tech toy, jewelry or a pair of shoes).
“Oh, I…need it for work”—No you don’t your 2-year-old laptop does the same thing
“I needed a pair that went with a dress I have for this important function”—No. I’ve seen you wear a cute pair with that dress and they look fine.
“Oh…I…uh…” –Okay, there’s no justification for jewelry. BUT THAT’S OKAY!
If we were to live life owning only what was necessary to survive, we’d be missing out on a whole lot. Now, let me back-peddle for a moment. I’m well aware of those awesome monk-type=people who champion minimalism. That one can be happy without stuff. That all one needs is nature to satisfy their want of beauty.
That is absolutely true, and I’d be stupid to say that materialism brings you happiness. But. Without materialism, what incentive would there be to create? To paint, to write music, to design beautiful clothing and buildings? Isn’t creating beautiful things part of what makes us human?
That’s why you balance. You allow yourself to enjoy the beauty that others create AND the beauty of simplicity-of nature. Or of a slice of cake. Or a pair of lacy underwear. What I’m advocating is that you shouldn’t deprive yourself of beauty and enjoyment of beauty because you think it’s unnecessary. And there is other beauty/joy than nature. We humans can suck a lot of the time, but we can also makes some pretty amazing stuff. And it’s okay to allow yourself the pleasure of experiencing it.
Like these Mojito parfaits.
1 cup Heavy cream
1 ¼ teaspoons Gelatin
2 tablespoons Cold water
1/3 cup Light brown sugar
1 8 oz. package Cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Rum
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract…cheapskate.)
1 pinch Sea salt
1. Pour the rum into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and reduce by half (that would be ½ cup when you’re done)
3. When the rum has reduced, transfer to an apparatus that can be placed in an ice water bath to cool it quickly
4. Once the rum has cooled, gradually combine it with the cream cheese with a beater until smooth
5. Combine the bean husk and its caviar with the heavy cream, salt and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Or light-bottomed. The heavy bottom more evenly distributes the heat…and it looks better in yoga pants.
Key Lime Curd
Adapted from here
½ cup Light brown sugar
¼ cup Key lime juice
¼ cup Butter, at room temperature
Pinch of Sea salt
- Set up a bain-marie. Ha. A pot with some water and a bowl that’s big enough to sit on top of the pot
- Bring the water (enough to come up 1/3 of the way up the sides) to a boil, then turn down to a…vigorous…simmer
- Combine the juice, sugar, salt and eggs, and whisk to incorporate
- Set the bowl over the simmering water and stir
- Stir some more
- Stir a little more (about 1 minute so far), then add the butter
- Continue stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is the consistency of pudding-this will take about 10 minutes. If you’re keeping track on a thermometer, it’ll be about 160 degrees.
- Once done, transfer the bowl to an ice water bath while you remove the panna cottas from the chill chest
- Evenly distribute the curd
- Eat up with a real mojito and some Dominos.