It’s around this time of year that I start to feel nostalgic. The seniors are counting down the weeks, soon days, until they exit the college life and move on to different things. I ask them what their plans are and while a handful can tell me with certainty, most have no idea. They seem so mixed with excitement and nervousness. It’s been five years since I’ve been there and I can’t help but think what a five years it’s been.
I try and tell the seniors to soak it all up- it’s a wild ride once you leave.
A few months back, the local paper did an “interesting person” story on me because at random, I was sitting having lunch with my family when the restaurant owner mentioned to the reporter that the photographs on the wall happen to my my father’s and mine. From there the conversation spiraled from my photography to my being a music professor, to my cooking, to this blog, to the fact that I played ice hockey (and rugby), and finally to the question: “What’s next?”
That’s a tough question for me. My father calls me a “fart in a whirlwind” (and yes, the local paper did print that phrase). No one, including myself, really knows what’s next. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Many of the best things since college have come because I didn’t know and kept trying new things. Not everything has worked out (like that one time I tried to buy a coffee shop), but everything has been a learning and growing experience.
Even now when people ask me what my plans are in California, I half shrug and simply say, ‘I’ll figure it out eventually.”
What I really should say is, “I’m going after my happiness and following my heart. I’ve got big ideas.”
Avocado, Mozzarella, and Jalapeño Chimichurri Grilled Cheese
- Chimichurri Sauce
- 2 jalapeños*
- 4 green onions
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4" slices
- 2-4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- Place all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until broken down and well combined, adding more olive oil or lime juice as needed.
- Preheat grill pan or regular pan over medium-low heat. Brush outsides of bread with olive oil. Place on piece of bread, olive oil side down, in the grill pan and smear on 1 tablespoon of chimichurri. Layer with slices of avocado and cheese. Smear 1 more tablespoon of chimichurri on remaining piece of bread and place olive oil side up.
- Cook on each side until crisp and cheese has melted.
by Erin Alderson