Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An email I just sent

Hello All!

Before I get to the reason I am sending this (long) email, let me start with a wonderful 'quote' that if you haven't already heard, will probably brighten this rainy day:

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

That was written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune. It was also made into a spoken word piece by Baz Luhrman which is awesome and I highly recommend listening to. The reason I quoted it was because I am about to 'dispense advice' of my own (well, really I just think it's super cool) ANYWAY...

Here's my two 'tips':

I've found this and it is SO good I wanted to share.

Basic Herb Pan Sauce
Yield: Makes 1/2 cup

1/3 cup chicken stock, apple cider or wine
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, wine or cognac (or to taste)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme and or rosemary) (optional)
1 tablespoon butter, preferably unsalted

After cooking lamb chops, pork chops or chicken breast, remove them to a platter and keep warm. Pour off the fat and heat the skillet to medium-high. Add the chicken broth or wine.
Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen and dissolve any brown bits. Bring to a boil and add the shallots, bay leaf, Dijon mustard, if using, lemon juice, wine or cognac, and salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Cook, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add heavy cream, if using, and cook until it is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, strain the sauce through a sieve, if you want, and, if desired, stir in 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs. Discard bay leaf. Swirl in butter and spoon over the meat.

I do it slightly different because I am lazy:

After cooking lamb chops, pork chops or chicken breast, remove them to a platter and keep warm. Add the chicken broth.
Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen and dissolve any brown bits. Bring to a boil and add the shallots, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, parsley and salt and black pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add heavy cream and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Til thick.
Spoon over the meat.

If I didn't list an ingredient it is because I was too lazy to purchase/ measure / chop it. Amen.

My other tip of the day:

American Eagle! Dear Lord. I ordered online some delightful tshirts ($100+ means free shipping and you can return anything you don't like to a store) and I loved ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ARRIVED. How often does that happen?? All super soft and none too $$$. So thrilled that I needed to let everyone know IMMEDIATELY.

Have awesome days everyone :)


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