I hate to say it, but I often perform best under pressure.
//Obviously, we all are going to need to listen to Queen’s “Under Pressure” now. Come on, you know you want to.//
Throughout the past ten years or so, I’ve been able to start to curb the maddened procrastinator’s panic and channel it a fraction more usefully by ever so slightly planning ahead. Yet still, that edging towards a deadline, that building of pressure seems to always produce something a little more magical than that which is created without the deafening drumbeats of time.
Or maybe, that’s just the procrastinator’s validation because, really, there’s no true way to test it.
All that I do know for sure is that sometimes I need a little fire beneath my feet in order to jump in.
Alaska, in and of herself, is a fire underfoot. She pushes you to do things now because later will often look very different. And so, to her, I am grateful for the small procrastinations she’s helped me to shift. To do the little things immediately, before you can’t. The generator is warm? Run it now before it cools down outside and you find yourself having to build a fire to bring it to temperature, all while your computer battery is now suddenly dead and you find yourself suddenly approaching a deadline. Do it. Now.
The other way, perhaps a bit sneakier, that Alaska has set a fire beneath my feet is in the way of a simpler life. I wanted a simpler life. I read about it. I dreamed about it. But my life was so plentiful that I didn’t have scarcity to be my guide.
Never fear, Alaska is here.
I needed the scarcity of Alaska to really learn to take inventory and advantage of what I have. To use everything to the very last drop and savor it, knowing that it may be months before I can replace it. To get inventive in stretching meals when unexpected guests come over without simply going to the store to pick up more. And don’t get me wrong, there are times when I wish we could do just that, but I also love the communal effort that ensues when you’re short just one egg for a recipe and suddenly, the neighborhood search is on.
Scarcity has forced me to repurpose and reinvent that which is no longer available and to use all of that which is abundant.
So, when our garden had gifted us it’s very last labors of love and was ready to be put to sleep, I turned my attention to our final product: herb salt.
After a girlfriend gave me a heaping jar of this salty goodness, I could not get enough. It’s a finishing salt (something I didn’t even know existed until another girlfriend introduced me to Maldon salt. Try it, thank her later) that goes on, well, everything and I absolutely adore it.
And so, since that first gift, I’ve been taking anything and everything from our garden I can to make herb salt.
Bring it on.
My usual suspects, sage and rosemary were only flying at half-mast this year (the rosemary was a no go) and so, the old steadfast oregano came in for the win.
I spent the better part of an afternoon in my gardening overalls, watching the sun make it’s journey as I sliced and diced and salted to my heart’s content. I layered pink and white sea salt and labeled away and as the sun started to make her descent and the chill came on.
I packed up, using my garden bounty baskets I’d collected the herbs in (which feels very fancy and fun. Funny how one small wicker basket can bring you such delight) and was almost inside when…
I spilled the salt.
Of the dozen or so salts, my favorite, the one I had written birthday wishes upon for my girlfriend crashed to the ground, breaking the delicately crafted layers of pink and white and green into a swirled mess on the ground at my feet.
So is life.
Thankfully, there were others remaining that I could also dedicate to her and thankfully, a little bit of that good old-fashioned Alaskan fire underfoot had made me take the day to turn our garden’s goodness into something that would last all year.
I needed that fire.
Thank you, Alaska for always providing a little incentive (sometimes a lot) and for always giving a last-minute reminder to not take it too seriously, spilled salt and all.
With love, and a little bit of get ‘er done pressure,
P.S. Want the recipe? It goes a little like this:
Dried or fresh herbs (they say to refrigerate the fresh herbs but I’m not so worried about it – up to you). Mix and match to your heart’s content. My favorite combination has been sage and rosemary. What’s yours?
Your favorite salt or salts. I adore me some pink Himalayan salt if for nothing but the color alone. Everything is good. It’s salt, what could be bad?
Mix or layer to your preferred ratios.
//I know this recipe is more of a suggestion than hard numbers. If you like those, I totally get it, I’m exactly the same. Dashes of this and pinches of that used to stress me out. But, consider this a little fire under your feet, a little stretch to try out winging it. I know you’ll do great!//