I'm not sure I can properly articulate how proud I am when I look like a real adult.
I can't imagine I will ever be able to call myself fashionable. I'll keep at it, but the idea of washing whites and colors separately, never mind my sheer avoidance of the phrase "Dry Clean Only", doesn't provide much hope. I generally just heave myself at the closet and hope for the best every day.
Still, once or twice I have been mistaken for a homeless person. The first time, shamefully, by my mother.
One of my favorite coats is a drab khaki tarp with a million pockets and a million more snaps that was my dad's old hunting coat. It has enough mark and wear to make anyone look like a bedraggled frump, but nothing keeps the rain and wind out better. One day I was wearing it at the airport having just gotten off the plane to a very miserable and wet JFK airport. Waving at my mom to pick me up I ran for her car and she quickly swerved lanes and drove right by. The second pass she didn't even make eye contact before she peeled off.
Her third way around the pickup zone I waved the coat like a colorguard flag. She slowed down and let me in and as I gave her a look while I threw in my now sopping luggage, "Oh! That coat is awful! I thought you were some crazy homeless person trying to get insurance money."
Love you too, mom.
One time, fine, sure. I can blame the coat on that one.
The other day I stepped outside of work to make a private phone call in the park nearby, a park which happens to be a major homeless rest stop. I was wearing earlier said bruise-colored jeans, a Gap undershirt, and brand new Banana Republic sweater. I was chatting on my iPhone simply pacing up and down some of the lawn. Nothing that screams, "Times are tough."
When some lady pulls up in a minivan and calls out, "You hungry?"
Me: *blank stare*
Minivan Lady: "You look like you could use a hot meal!" *waves me over*
Me: "Uh, no. Thank you? No, thank you. I'm on a conference call." *point to the phone* "But... thanks…?"
She drove off and I spent the rest of the day sulking and asking my coworkers if I looked homeless.
I went home early and made my own hot meal. A basic butternut curry soup (roast butternut and onion for an hour at 450F; heat oil in a pan and sauté curry powder, ginger, and turmeric; add veggies, kaffir lime leaves and some chicken stock; simmer for 20 minutes; fish out leaves; puree and add some coconut milk; serve with hot sauce and lime) and some sweet potato biscuits.
The biscuits were something I literally made up as I went along much in the way the soup was. To be honest, I'm pretty darn happy with how they turned out and the only think I would change would be to brush them with a bit of beaten egg and sprinkle them with some salt or sesame seeds to add some texture and one more pop of flavor.
Either way, they're crazy simple and worth making tonight. Get on it.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
1 cup sweet potato puree
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 450F. In a bowl whisk together the sweet potato and the coconut milk. In another whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, cayenne, and salt. Use a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers and combine the butter with the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the coconut-sweet potato mixture until well-combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead once or twice into a shaggy dough. Spread it out until it's about 1-inch thick and start cutting out biscuits. Bring scraps of dough together and reform as needed. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned on top. Eat. Preferably with soup.