When I was 18 I pierced my nose. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 19, I told my mother I didn’t want to pursue the honors track in college because, “Who cares?” My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 20 I lost 135 lbs. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 21, I told my mother I was deeply sad and didn’t know how to go on. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. When I was 22 I told my mother I’d just spent the night chatting with Leonardo DiCaprio and laughing with Mark Ruffalo on the set of Shutter Island. My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 23 I told my mother I was moving to Philadelphia to work on another film, but this time with Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd (unfortunately not with Paul Rudd). My mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 24, I told my mother I was going to stop working in film and start writing. A cooking blog. Not knowing what a blog was, my mother lay in her bed and cried for two hours. At 25, I told my mother I was packing my belongings and moving to Seattle. Just because. My mother turned and said, “Follow your heart.”
And I did.
Here I am, twenty five, having lost a lot in life. My front teeth on the see-saw, my first spelling bee (who the hell knew the correct placement of the ‘L’ in purple?), my dad, a job or two, 135 lbs, multiple pairs of sunglasses, and most often- my way.
I’ve never known what to do with myself. And I’m not even referring to the big dreamy picture of “what shall I do with my life?” Even in the mornings, the days, the 4:39′s of my life, I’ve felt at a loss. An anxiety of the here and now. What am I doing now? Where do I go from here? Always slightly an unease of being.
And despite this ever-present discomfort, I’ve made a life. Just driven to the end of each street, weighed the options of each turn, and hung a right or a left. Down avenues leading to the sets of major motion pictures, to nights waiting tables, to days and weeks on end laughing to the point of tears with friends, to sitting at home all day in my pajamas, to modeling, to business suits, to watching Days of Our Lives with Nana. And being completely aware of the entire plot history. Unfortunately.
What I’ve come to realize is that the gentle sensation of ants in my pants at all times is just letting me know I’m alive. That I’m on the verge. Of doing stuff. Or not. But just that there’s something ahead, the very bad and the very good.
I’m reminded to take chances, to make illegal turns a time or ten, to crash, fail, and seriously consider that fall-back plan at Starbucks. I hear they have a great benefits package.
I’d rather not tell you I’ve always known the right choice. I never did. I never do. I’ve made my mother cry a zillion and one times. Salty joy and pain. But she and I know that it just means we’re living, we’re feeling, and if nothing else, that my mother’s tear ducts still work.
Teriyaki Glazed Sea Scallops (serves 2)
This scallop dish is one of my favorites, one that I’ve shown you before but is worth repeating. It incorporates my trusted teriyaki sauce recipe, which glazes the long strips of tender-crisp vegetables and succulent scallops in the most luscious of ways. Salty from soy sauce, zesty from freshly grated ginger, and sweet from a spoonful of brown sugar. It’s bright and boisterous, dare I say rowdy with flavor- a recipe you’ll make again and again.
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 TBSP chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cups sliced red bell pepper
- 2 cups sliced yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- ½ lb sea scallops
- 2 tsp cornstarch (optional, but it does help to make the sauce nice and thick)
1. Whisk teriyaki sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes, until beginning to soften.
3. Stir in teriyaki sauce and allow mixture to come to a simmer.
4. Add scallops. Stir and cook mixture for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until scallops have turned an opaque white.
5. In a small cup, mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water until disolved. Stir into the pan and let mixture come to a simmer for one minute to thicken fully and coat the scallops and vegetables.