Thursday, June 07, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potato Spears with Bacon Vinaigrette (Page 635)


  • Date: Monday, May 28, 2012 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

This recipe came off the list generated by the random number generator. I started by frying some bacon. Meanwhile, I peeled sweet potatoes and cut them into spears. Once the bacon was fried I set it aside and tossed the sweet potatoes in the bacon fat. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and then roasted the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Once they were done I prepared the bacon vinaigrette. I combined the cooked bacon with olive oil and heated it, then added scallions, sherry vinegar, water, salt, and pepper. I poured the vinaigrette over the potatoes and sprinkled them with scallion greens. These sweet potatoes were good but not great. It's hard to go too wrong with the theme potatoes + bacon, and indeed the sweetness of the potatoes and the saltiness of the bacon complemented each other nicely. There was also good textural contrast in the dish. I wasn't wowed by the flavor of the vinaigrette, but it pretty good. Overall, this wasn't my favorite sweet potato preparation, but we certainly ate and enjoyed it. Here's my special gentleman with a plate of sweet potatoes:

3 recipes down, 1103 to go!

The recipe is here

I have been thinking a lot lately about friendships and relationships. I certainly feel like I won the jackpot in the husband category. My special gentleman is awesome and we have a wonderful life together. He has many, many fine qualities, which I would be more than happy to elaborate on at length. Simply put though: he's fantastic. One of the things that I love most about our marriage is the way that I am when I am with him. Our marriage is happy and easy and I think it is largely because we bring out the best in one another. We have very similar values, but very different personalities and it works in a rare and fantastic way. We are relaxed, gracious, and happy when we are together, which makes for a lovely relationship. I love him and I love who I am when I am with him.  

I have other friends like that as well -- where I feel proud of the person that I am when I am with them. But there are also people in my life who bring out the worst in me. If they were only people I didn't care about, or didn't like, this wouldn't particularly matter. Avoidance would certainly solve the problem. But it's not so simple. There are people that I am close to, that I care about very much, that bring out things in me that I just don't like. The easy thing would be to pin it on them -- to identify things they do that cause me to be a certain way. But when I take a step back it is clear to me that it isn't on them, it's on me. 

It's not about how much I care about the person. For instance, I fell in love with a guy in college. Our relationship was tumultuous and difficult, but I did love him very much. However, he brought out the absolute worst in me: an insecure, scared side of me that just isn't who I am. As hard as I tried, and I did try, I just didn't know how to be myself with him. And despite all the time that we spent together, I still don't feel like he ever really knew me. I hated who I was when I was with him, but I cared for him tremendously. 

I was talking to a friend a couple years ago who was saying that he is the worst version of himself when he is with his own family. He loves them so much, but he hates who he is when he is around them. I think about that conversation often. He was so deeply saddened by the situation, and at the same time he felt completely powerless to change it. I feel like that with some of the people in my life. What do you do when you care about someone but you don't like yourself when you are with them? 

Some number of months ago I was traveling and I got really upset about something. I was extremely angry, and I am not a particularly angry person. I was frustrated to the point of tears and I called my special gentleman for support. I was furious (not at him) and crying and frustrated. But five minutes into the conversation I was just laughing and laughing. In that moment I realized how tremendously lucky I am to have a partner who brings out that side of me: the side that has perspective, and can let things go and just laugh about them. Sometimes I wish I knew how to find that side of me in some of my other friendships. 


Chris said...

Thought you might be interested in the hubbub surrounding this blog:
It's a 9-year-old Scottish girl who has been blogging reviews and commentary on her school lunches, with pictures. She's just been shut down by the local city council, and the internets is duly raising a ruckus on her behalf.

Karen Shaffer said...

From reading your blog of several years now, it seems like you both won the jackpot in the spouse category! But I do know what you mean about the other, more difficult relationships - I think we all have those.

I'm going to try this recipe soon - we love sweet potatoes...and bacon!

Teena said...

Chris: Thanks for the link! That blog is pretty awesome.

Karen: Thanks! Yes, it is hard to go too wrong with sweet potatoes and bacon.