As a twenty-something young professional, it should come as no surprise that approximately 50% of my internet time is spent on Buzzfeed. Lately it’s a result of inane personality quizzes, which Roods and I have co-opted into this odd ritual of soul-searching every few nights when it’s past dinnertime but minds are still too restless for bed. Take a quiz, evaluate the response, decide to what extent our entire existence can be penned down to words and sentences.
(Frighteningly often, apparently.)
I Buzzfeed for the articles, too. Most recently a story about a young man from Notre Dame who tore through the walls of a spa in order to eat every hot-pocket in their kitchen. Which he also heated up using the kitchen oven, if I’m not mistaken. (Truly, I admired his dedication.)
But Buzzfeed is nice in that totally-stupid-waste-of-life sort of way. Like, I’m pretty disturbed that I could be spending my excessive internet time taking a walk or writing a novel or something. But I also work with current event analysis on a daily basis, and it’s a nice escape from wars and climate change and human rights abuses.
Anyway, I’ve noticed that Emma Watson has been appearing all over Buzzfeed in recent weeks. Not that I mind in the least. I do have a full-fledged girl-crush on her, which I’m pretty sure is the only rational, human reaction would could have toward Em Watson. But she recently had some interview or photoshoot for such-and-such magazine during which she revealed that she’s a certified yoga instructor.
I mean, of course she is.
(And as a person whose secret dream is to buy a one way ticket to New Zealand, start a farm, and spend the rest of my days practicing yoga on the southern alps, I was intrigued.)
So I skimmed this little tidbit of information, and read that she enjoyed how yoga allowed her to find a home within herself, because she didn’t have somewhere physical to fall back on. And then I realized, I’m kind of the same. Not that I spend my days traveling from city to city to film movies and attend premiers and be fabulous. Nor do I practice yoga in order to find the sort of inner stability that my life is otherwise lacking.
(I practice yoga because it requires me having to interact with absolutely no one and is also a great outlet for my neuroticism.)
But I don’t really get attached to physical places. I love some, of course. Favorite lunch spots, favorite paths through the city to walk home, favorite skylines, etc. But I feel like I’m always on the move. When I leave some place – an apartment, a city, a state – it’s not the apartment, or city, or state that I’m sad about leaving. I’ve realized over the years that you can make a home for yourself wherever you go.
Maybe that’s why I’m always so antsy, or ready to pack up and leave town on free weekends. Escape a little. From real life, it’s Buzzfeed. From my life, it’s traveling.
DC has been a fun city. I don’t love it; the high-stress professionals and the noise and the constant traffic make sure of it. But there are things about it that I’m attached to. Capital Hill Books, local bakeries, our English basement. I always knew I’d be leaving it, though, and for that reason never let myself get too attached.
I didn’t know where I’d be going, but I knew I wouldn’t be staying.
(Such is life, I suppose.)
But nicer weather has made for less exhausting weeks, and more opportunities for exploring. For example, this weekend Z, M and I met up for a bohemian, Kill Your Darlings inspired day of art galleries, coffee, and photography. Photographing the cherry blossoms, specifically. Unfortunately, our stupidly extended winter meant that none of the trees actually managed to blossom, save for two or three around the Monument, so we instead took a few hours walking from one end of DC to the other before collapsing on benches outside of one of the city’s thousand Starbucks where I proceeded to spend 30 minutes taking photos of birds. It was not an unsuccessful day, overall. The company was fantastic and the birds were adorable.
Ironically though, I’m off for my mum and dad’s in a few days, to spend a bit of time there. A short stop in Cville first to update some professors about my fall plans (still solidifying), but a nice escape (that word again) from the city for a while.
I’m not leaving DC altogether for some time, of course. I’ve got a few more months here that will be spent having Buzzfeed-induced existential crises with Roods and buying too many used books from my favorite haunts. But it’s nice knowing I won’t be on the move quite so soon, won’t have to worry about finding myself somewhere else just yet. And I’d forgotten just how much I like quiet Sundays morning with something wonderful baking in the oven and a few hours to write. I think those are the times I feel most at home.
Cardamom White Chocolate Biscotti
Yields approximately 12 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 6 tbsp butter, softened
- scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- handful white chocolate chips
- handful chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F and line and a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, 1/2 cup of the rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom until blended. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips and pecans with 1 tbsp of rice flour. Stir into the biscotti dough.
Dump the dough onto the parchment paper and shape it into a log. Flatten the dough until it is about 1/2″ thick. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then use a serrated knife to slice into cookies. Gently turn the cookies onto the cut side (so they’ll be standing up), return to the oven, and bake an additional 10-12 minutes. Store biscotti in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Recipe is 100% gluten free, but ensure that your baking powder and vanilla extract are GF-friendly (some are not).
- Play around with the ingredients as desired. I think substituting pistachios for the pecans and tossing in a few rehydrated raisins would make for a tremendous biscotto. Similarly, omitting the chocolate chips from the batter and instead dipping the cookies into melted white or semisweet chocolate would be lovely. It depends entirely on your taste.