Not long ago, I considered renting a condo in Aspen. I wasn’t dead-set on going and had no interest in spending a lot. I thought - make an offer. If they are interested great; if not, oh well. I sent maybe 10 emails out. Some of the folks replied that they were booked, others that they wouldn’t lower the price, others didn’t reply at all. And then there was this one, a man from California , who simply said I am highly insulted by your offer. I could not help but think- Seriously? You are burning energy on being highly insulted by a below-market offer on your rental condo in Aspen in the off-season??
One Monday night, at 10:30 pm, I was attempting to pick up my friend from the airport. I entered the waiting lot along with hoards grumpy picker-uppers of friends and relatives set to arrive on much delayed flights. The lot was full, and cars were moving at a snail pace each hoping that someone will leave liberating a coveted parking spot. No luck. I made myself a spot by getting my Toyota 4Runner to fit in front of a Mini Cooper- at the end of a lane. Our cars were facing and the size disparity was obvious. I turned my lights off but kept the engine running, which, in turn, kept the little orange side lights on. The middle aged woman in the Mini Cooper was not pleased with my presence: her mannerism and silent huffing was making that clear. With nowhere else to park, I figured it is best to let it go. But I could sense her frustration and see her irritation out of the corner of my eye. Flailing her arms, she was gesturing frantically that my lights were blinding her. I turned the lights on to kindly demonstrate blinding. And then I saw a parking spot open up and drove away, not ready to get in a parking lot fight.
I will not go on. Seriously, life is short, a lot of times miserable, and certainly full of things to be upset about, annoyed with, and insulted by. But this December I say ask yourself: seriously? Am I seriously upset/ annoyed/insulted? Bring it down 10 notches when the answer is no. Thanks.
December Snark-Free Turkey Meatball Wraps
Ingredients: 2 lbs ground turkey thighs; 6 small shallots, finely chopped; 6 garlic cloves, minced; 2 stalks lemongrass, tender white inner bulb only, minced; 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus 1/2 cup for serving; 1/4 cup mint, chopped finely, plus 1/2 cup for serving; 2 teaspoons cornstarch; 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon ground pepper (or to taste); 1 cup granulated sugar; 2 heads butter lettuce heads, leaves separated; 1 red onion, peeled, halved, thinly sliced; Sriracha and rice vinegar for serving.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the ground turkey, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chopped cilantro and mint, cornstarch, salt and pepper with your hands incorporating all ingredients well.
Spread the sugar on a large plate. Roll the meat into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and roll the meatballs in the sugar until evenly coated.
Transfer to the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned and cooked all the way through.
Arrange the lettuce, cilantro, mint, and red onion on a plate. Top with one meatball in each lettuce leaf. Drizzle with a little rice vinegar and make it as spicy as you can handle with Sriracha sauce.
Photography by Jennifer Olson.