roasted yams with walnuts

The other day, I had the good fortune of running across a blog post titled, “Approximately 3 Minutes Inside the Head of My 2 Year Old.” It’s pretty self-explanatory: the post features sixty consecutive thoughts, often contradictory, involving the donning and removal of clothing, the disappearance and reappearance of mommy, the obsessive pushing of buttons on electronic devices, etc.

Now, I don’t have a 2-year-old, but I have spent more than 3 minutes with one, and that’s really all you need to get the joke. However, on the third or fourth read I realized that a fairly similar series of thoughts are passing through my own brain at any given time, with the key difference being that I have been sufficiently socialized to keep them to myself. Until now, anyway. As an experiment, I thought I’d see if I could review the actual thought process involved in making tonight’s dinner, instead of just giving a recipe. Because, I mean, recipes are so organized. They make it seem like I set out all my ingredients and combined them in an orderly fashion, which is hardly ever the case. In fact, the real reason I think I started this blog is that I was amazed that my off-the-cuff chopping and heating could actually amount to more than a visit to the emergency room. My knife skills are pretty much nil, I get distracted easily, and I regularly don’t realize that I lack around half of the ingredients I need for something until it’s almost done cooking. That’s not improvisation, that’s just goofy. Still, I somehow manage to pull off breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a regular basis, and they are usually passable, and that’s pretty amazing — almost as amazing as a 2-year-old making it to grade school age without inadvertently falling off a cliff. Seriously, how does our species even exist?

Roasted Yams with Walnuts

1. I’m hungry.
2. I want pie.
3. I can’t eat pie for dinner!
4. I really, really, want pie.
5. What’s in the fruit basket?
6. WHY DID I BUY SO MANY YAMS?
7. I need to use that arugula in the crisper.
8. The arugula is ugly.
9. Should I peel the yams?
10. I ALMOST SLICED OFF MY PINKIE!!
11. I forgot to turn on the oven.
12. Purple yams are pretty. Pretty, pretty, pretty…
13. Wait, is this too many yams for two people?
14. Too late. All chopped.
15. Fresh rosemary!
16. I don’t feel like chopping the rosemary, I’m just going to throw it in the pan.
17. I wonder if I got any email in the last 15 minutes.
18. I should really turn on the oven.
19. Should I set it to 350 or 375?
20. I don’t care.
21. Garlic makes everything taste good.
22. What the hell — how is my nail polish already chipping?
23. I need a kiss.
24. I’M BROKE.
25. Should I go to yoga later?
26. PIE.
27. Garlic makes my hands smell like bad breath.
28. Salt. Oil. All over my hands. This is fun!
29. Yams in the oven.
30. We should probably eat something besides yams.
31. What’s in the cupboard?
32. I feel like opening bags.
33. Everything’s open except the walnuts.
34. I want to open a bag of walnuts and start eating them.
35. Maybe I can put toasted walnuts on the yams.
36. Where’s JM?
37. Did my phone just ring?
38. Can you fry a walnut in olive oil?
39. I guess so. I want to add agave and salt.
40. I should really use that arugula.
41. Can you burn a walnut?
42. I should sauté the arugula to make it less ugly.
43. I want to watch a movie I’ve already seen.
44. I want to go out drinking. RIGHT NOW.
45. I forgot to check what time it was when I put in the yams.
46. Are you done, yams?
47. The oven is really hot.
48. Where’s JM?
49. I want to put the walnuts under the yams so I can go hunting for them while I eat.
50. Walnut hide-and-seek!
51. I didn’t get enough done today.
52. Where’s my mom?
53. I wonder if my mom is asleep yet.
54. Did I forget to do something really important today?
55. I think I forgot to do something really important, but I can’t remember what.
56. The yams need to be done now. I’m bored.
57. I’m not hungry anymore because I ate a bunch of walnuts.
58. Should I put cheese on this?
59. The kitchen is a mess. I want JM to clean it up.
60. I’m not hungry but I still want pie.

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