I ran into a friend here in Minneapolis recently whose story, intertwined with my own, is really just a reflection of universe puppetry. See, we ended up in the same place at the same time on a random Tuesday that I kind of almost sort of had fully off, in which I was buying twenty dollars’ worth of almonds and probably accidentally singing Morning Song aloud. She and I met nearly a decade ago in southern Florida, a state in which I once regularly ate barbecue chicken and edamame succotash on giant silver trays. We used to crowd into our apartment complex’s gym to watch The Walking Dead. A group of us moved up to Minnesota together four years ago, and she was a part of it. I still have her artwork. I often think of her goofy laugh, and how I always knew something was truly funny if that’s what I was hearing.
It had been about two years since we had spoken, and I don’t even know how that happened! The best part of all of it was seeing, after all this time, that she is genuinely happy. And while I would never wish to be an outsider in a dear friend’s life, getting to externally peer into her goings-on after all this time-to objectively see how the dominoes had fallen and pieced together a world of good things for someone who very much deserved them-was actually quite inspiring. It got me to thinking about little things and big things, and how sometimes we fixate on one or the other, and how sometimes whichever one we’ve chosen to fixate upon is the reason we are maybe stuck on whatever we’ve gotten stuck on.
Sometimes, the things that momentarily unstick us can be surprisingly simple. A good conversation about spirit animals and spirit entrees; a not-so-good conversation that makes you realize how awkwardly you’ve been holding yourself; a group of new humans you’ve just met who respond to your Yukon Cornelius joke by singing back Silver and Gold; a return to your yoga mat after a brief interlude of time spent accomplishing things, in which it is clear that, at some point in the last four months of change, you started breathing again. And maybe, just maybe, you might be back to a new version of what you once knew as Normal for the first time in a reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally long time…KAY, where was this going? Things just got real.
And it’s kinda like this recipe, inspired by that succotash I mentioned I used to eat years and years ago with this friend I recently ran into, except here and now it has a new side of itself to show. This time around, it’s packed with traditional ingredients-like onion, bell pepper, and corn-and not-so-traditional ingredients-ahem, edamame-and dressed with the bright, acidic flavors of cilantro and lime. And even though it’s different-in appearance, in taste, in the way it presents itself to the world-it is still, at its core, the same group of ingredients at play. They’re just trying on this fancy, new dress(ing), or whatever.
One Year: Lemon-Ricotta Spaghetti with Smashed Peas
Two Years: Cocoa Brownies, Revisited
Three Years: The Best Marshmallow Crispy Treats You Will Ever Encounter
Cilantro Lime Edamame Succotash
1 tbsp extra virgin olive or coconut oil
1/4 cup red onion
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup (packed) cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp honey
pinch of chili flakes
1 tsp sour cream (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add red onion and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until slightly tender (about four minutes), then add frozen edamame and corn, stirring to combine. Once the edamame and corn are heated through, add red bell pepper and sauté until slightly tender (another 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool completely. Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, honey, chili flakes, and sour cream (if using–this is just if you want a creamier dressing for the vegetables). When ready to serve, drizzle the vegetables with the cilantro lime dressing, tossing to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as desired. Succotash should be served chilled and will keep refrigerated for two days.