Every so often, I feel like a college student. When I wear a backpack. On nights when I procrastinate by staring into space instead of doing the work I’ve planned to finish. At midtown lunches when I walk in with messy hair, wearing flat sandals and chipped nail polish and everyone else sports cute wedge espadrilles and structured skirts. Events where there’s free food and I feel the urge not only to stuff myself silly but to wrap fresh rolls in paper napkins and scoop good guacamole into a plastic cup and stow the booty in my pockets and my purse and my backpack for some unidentified later.
I’m not doing work for teachers anymore, so procrastinating is doubly silly. I like flat sandals and chipped nail polish and messy hair, pencil skirts be damned. I love carrying a backpack, especially when I bike. But the food thing is just weird.
I’m lucky enough to have a fridge so stocked I can eat good-quality food almost whenever I want, and I don’t have to bogart the fresh dinner rolls or good guacamole when offered, at least not the way I did my senior year of college when I catered events for hungry students (aka me) and ate as much of our spread as I could before returning to the glum trays of the dining hall. Back then, every third Friday, the day of the events, my co-cook, Lisa, and I would drive to the local bread bakery at 8am to buy dozens of loaves–for tea sandwiches, mini grilled cheeses, and crostini.
At the bakery, we would breakfast on samples. No matter that it was 8:30am, Lisa always went straight for the Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta dip sitting beside whichever bread the bakery had put out for us to try that day. I would feast on the dip with her. It was salty, rich, and full of umami. On the car ride back, our exhales reeked of garlic.
One day, we ventured to ask the clerk what was in the dip. Perhaps we could serve it at our events, we thought. If only we knew the recipe.