Spicy Egg Easter Salad, Cee Lo References, & Things to Do Before I turn 30

I know that Julia Child said to never apologize for the food you serve, but how can I not when I'm trying to sneak by Easter without offering up my annual failed batch of Martha-Stewart-inspired dyed Easter eggs? And instead, I give you egg salad—as if it's an equivalent substitute? As if instead of spending Saturday morning dyeing eggs with your kids/friends/craft gang you might rather peel hard-boiled eggs, mash them up with some mayo and call it Easter?
Even my photos feel guilty. I tried to make this egg salad glamorous, to make it something more than it was. But alas, I must conclude: egg salad is not glamorous. It's delicious and nostalgic, but it's not going to win “the most photogenic salad” superlative in the food yearbook, even with the arguably glamorous additions of crisp smoky bacon and spicy horseradish, and even if it was tastier than your average egg salad and turned my workday lunch into a midday triumph. In fact, I would go as far to say that egg salad is to Cee Lo (good but not exactly sexy) as Martha Stewart's Easter eggs are to Gwyneth Paltrow (gorgeous, Waspy, and gluten-free).
Speaking of Cee Lo, he’s doing pretty well for himself these days—wouldn't you say? He's collaborating with the aforementioned Gwyneth, co-hosting a television show, wearing some pretty cool outfits, and well, that girl that broke up with him for financial reasons is probably feeling pretty stupid right about now. Though, to be fair, Matt believes there may have been non-monetary issues plaguing that relationship.
But let's get back to Easter. Easter is all about new beginnings, right? And there are a few things that have been hanging over my head that I have wanted to share, been meaning to share, and after reading this Mary Oliver poem, I feel like I cannot put them off another day. (I can however, tuck these disclosures way down here in the post below the Cee Lo jokes.)

OK, here goes: In exactly five months from today, I’m turning 30, and while they say that age is just a number, 30 feels like more than that. It feels very adult, very weighty. And that’s probably because I’ve put so much weight on it. I’ve heard myself answer questions as to when Matt and I might start having kids by saying: “I’m not really going to think about it until I’m 30.” Because my past self rationalized that by the time I turned 30, I would be more settled. By 30, I would be putting money into my savings account without taking it right back out months later. Once I was as old as 30, I wouldn’t have such a panicky feeling when I thought about the future. Of course, now that it’s five months away, I’m a little annoyed with my past self’s great expectations.

However, I also realize that I have five months, five precious months to get some things in order. So, I would like to set about a few attainable goals here, in public, where it’s scary, where it’s in plain view and thus, where I cannot turn my back on them and try to forget that I made them in the first place. But with this, comes another reveal—something that feels so silly to talk about sometimes and I wish I knew why exactly except that it’s probably because I’ve poured my whole life/heart/self into it. Can I run away now before saying anything else? OK, great. Enjoy the recipe! Bye!!

Spicy Egg Salad
via Buttermilk Press

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise, plus a little extra for spreading
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In medium bowl, combine eggs, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, horseradish, and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lightly spread mayonnaise on bread slices, then spread the egg salad, and build your sandwich!


Just kidding. I’ll finish. Maybe you know what I’m talking about already because I mention it in the about me section of this blog, but I have been steadily revising a novel—my thesis from graduate school—since November of 2009.

I love what one of my writing professors said about her now published novel, which was something to the effect of, “I can keep working on it after it's published....They can't stop me!" Every time I open that Word document, there is something to change. It’s this enormous, living document that simply won’t sit still. At first, the revisions were large and swooping—rearranging chapters, changing characters entirely, cutting large blocks of text. Now the revisions are getting smaller and smaller but they’re still there. And I suspect they always will be. Of course, the main difference between me and my writing professor being that she had a publisher. We'll see how I feel if I ever get to that point, which brings us to goal number one.

1. Firmly begin the process of trying to publish the book.

Number two:

2. Book a trip outside of the United States. Four years ago, without an international trip on the horizon, I optimistically renewed my passport. I thought it might be one of those power-of-positive-thinking acts. But I haven’t used it since, and I really really want to get out of this country, if only for a few days. I think I can make this happen (just booking it mind you) by the time I’m 30.

I could add more to this list—there’s a Kitchen Visit video I’m dying to make and the beginnings of a nonfiction book proposal on my computer’s desktop—but I really want to stay firm on these first two. They are both doable and within my control. So, dear readers, I hope this helps to keep me accountable! After all, in the words of Mary Oliver, “Be ignited, or be gone.”

p.s. All apologies to my Passover-celebrating friends! This bacon-laden sandwich will hardly work. How about this leek and ginger matzo ball soup instead?
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Matthew said...

Can't wait to help cross those things off your list! Here's to the 30's!

Jodi said...

xoxo! i think thirty is going to suit you quite well.

Beth said...

I have about a year and a half before 30, but I understand the pressure and it's comforting to hear someone talk about it. Stumbled across your blog today, just when I needed it.

Good luck with everything!

Kara said...

Amelia! Have been thinking about you and your book lately. Yes! Amen to moving forward.

Also, the 30s are the best: the flexibility of your 20s without the crushing crises. Enter the focus, enter the confidence...It's gonna be glorious! xo

jeana sohn said...

yum yum!!! should we do palm springs for your 30's b day?!!!!

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

I'm kind of wanting that egg salad, and the soup too. What can I say, we celebrate both in this home. Your goals sound great. 30 is just a number, but that said, timelines for goals help...so if that helps, then great. As far as the feeling grown up, kids, 30....you'll feel those things when the time is right, be it 30, 32 or 40!

Rachel said...

Go to Iceland! It's a great place for a short visit and really insanely beautiful in a very weird way. It's also super cheap to fly there (at least if you fly Iceland Air). Rent a car so you can explore or there's also some pretty good tours. And for sure go to the Blue Lagoon. I was just there for a day and already I want to go back!

Meister @ The Nervous Cook said...

Your list of things to accomplish is great, commendable, and -- maybe best of all -- totally doable! You can do all of this. It's going to be great.

(I'm only 4 months shy of Dirty 30 myself, so I'm feeling you on all counts. Totally. Doable.)

And for the record, I think you're too hard on yourself with those Martha Stewart eggs. They look pretty swank to me!

Gaby said...

I love you, Amelia.

sara said...

i love this post. somehow i don't fear 30 the way many people do, despite being in a very very different place than i thought i would be on the cusp of it. however, i'm totally inspired to make a list now too!

amelia said...

thanks for the ideas and support, people!
@jeana: sounds perfect.

@rachel: I would LOVE to go to Iceland! will look into it for suuure.

@meister: gracias!!

@gaby: right back at you!

@sara: send me your list.

gbf said...

your egg salad is reminding me of pesach...i indulged in a bit of this of late!? + 30 is definitely more grown up than any number starting with 2...you might find you don't care about things as much?...i seem to say "don't care" a lot more!!! hope you had a good easter. dayle

Heather Taylor said...

this is very coz. love!

Luisa said...

Don't worry about turning 30, if you can. There's a lot of good stuff on this side of it, I promise. And I swear you get braver as you age, which is nice in terms of a being a writer. ;)

Mary Anne said...

Maybe turning 30 means never having to say you're sorry for not doing another Martha Stewart egg fail?

I just wish we were rich and could take an international trip together. You know, to make up for that South American trip we never had...

I like your list and you can tooooootally achieve both!

keepfeeling said...

you are FUNNY.

30's rule.


r.f. said...

When I turn 30 I plan to buy a stock! Maybe even a couple of stocks. This seems like something grown-ups do.

seesaw designs said...

this sounds pretty yummy.

hope your 30s are fantastic!

Carmen said...

just looked up your blog after matt sent the news about your nomination. congrats! this blog looks awesome. makes me want to cook...and take beautiful pictures of what i make

i agree about iceland. and if you fly anywhere in europe with iceland air you get a free layover for up to 3 days in iceland (not that the airline puts you up, but that there is no fee). if you go in the summer it will be daylight almost all the time, and if you go in the winter it will be nighttime all the time. but you get to see the northern lights - which is pretty awesome (i've heard)

Matthew said...

Carmen, thanks for the Iceland info! Will DEFINITELY look into that. Hope you are well!