I think they call it the Peter Pan Syndrome. Generally ascribed to men, it’s an unwillingness to act your age, wake up, smell the coffee and join the real world. I confess; I may have a touch, just a touch, of PPS. It’s not that I’m unwilling to grow up; I just prefer to do it at my own pace. I am forever thinking, except for the most obvious, that anyone I meet is a whole lot older than me. Then he makes a reference to his favorite band in high school or she mentions some cultural icon I’ve barely heard of and I realize that, eeee-gads, I’m at least ten, make that fifteen, years the senior.
Maybe I should give this affliction a name, call it Young at Heart or, even better, Young in my Head Syndrome. The acronym, YHS, is the same either way. Anyway, my condition makes itself known in many different ways. For instance, it’s been years since I graduated from anywhere but as soon as I see those back-to-school ads, I feel like a schoolgirl again. With that feeling comes an overwhelming need to shop for a new notebook or sweater. September means it’s a new year and everyone knows you can’t start it without something (anything really) new.
In spite of my YHS, I am frequently faced with proof that I am indeed getting older. For instance:
Let’s start with the most obvious. My eyes start to close at nine and are down for the count by ten. Of course, they pop wide open again in three maybe four hours for some obligatory tossing and turning.
Next is a bit of role reversal. While it’s been years since my parents had to worry about my health or safety, I frequently worry about theirs. Same goes for doling out advice. My dad tends to come to me more often than the other way around. Since most of his questions are at least vaguely related to his computer or the internet, they pop up quite frequently, even daily.
Moving on to the kitchen, I admit my coffee mugs are a hodgepodge of souvenirs, stocking stuffers and freebies. However, I can and do set a proper table. I’m on my second set of dinnerware and have twelve matching place settings. Can’t stay for dinner? You can join me for a toast; there are a couple dozen wine glasses in my cupboard. Yes, they match and no, they don’t have colorful caped crusaders on them.
Speaking of wine, I haven’t been carded in more than a decade. Make that two or three decades. In addition, it’s been a really, really long time, like forever, since I sipped a fruity drink with a silly name. Instead, I have a closet full of decent wine to go with those wine glasses.
And finally, while I didn’t buy my wine glasses at IKEA, I still and will always love this Swedish purveyor of everything ever needed or wanted for a first (and second) apartment. A trip to IKEA is more than a semiannual spending spree. It is shopping as entertainment at its finest. Alas, I am well past my first and second apartments and rarely shop for entertainment. My collection of cheap but stylish stuff with funny names and umlauts has all been relocated. The storage unit I bought for the kitchen with zero cupboard space is now in the garage, filled with tools and half-empty paint cans. Most everything else went to the Salvation Army or the dump a long time ago.
Here’s to staying young in your head and bon appétit!
Warm Gorgonzola with Caramelized Onions & Walnuts
The evenings turn cool in September. This warm and pungent cheese spread will go perfectly with a glass of wine. Enjoy!
1 large Vidalia or red onion, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
8 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium low. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and, stirring frequently, cook for about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and butter, toss to combine and continue cooking and stirring until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, toss to combine and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with half of the rosemary and thyme, toss to combine and set aside to cool.
Put the cream cheese in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cream, Worcester sauce, hot sauce and remaining herbs and continue beating until smooth.
Use a rubber or silicon spatula to fold the gorgonzola into the cream cheese mixture. Transfer the cheese to a shallow baking dish.
The cheeses and onions can be covered separately and stored in the refrigerator at this point. Bring to room temperature before baking.
When ready to bake, top with the cheese with the onions.
Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and bubbling on the edges, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with walnuts and serve with crackers, warm or toasted sliced baguette, and/or vegetables.
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One Year Ago – Baked Haddock with Fresh Tomatoes & Herbs
Two Years Ago – Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins
Three Years Ago – Roast Pork with Apples & Onions
Four Years Ago – Lemon Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc
Five Years Ago – Wild Mushroom Soup
Six Years Ago – Rustic Apple Tart
Seven Years Ago – Oktoberfest Sausages & Sauerkraut
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Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015