When I saw the prompt of “eyes” pop up, I immediately thought of potatoes. And when autumn arrives around here, it’s also a time for potato leek soup, which is one of my favorites. Potatoes have been touted as America’s most popular vegetable and even as the first vegetable to be grown in space, with the help of the University of Wisconsin. As a kid, my favorite preparation of potato was always the mashed kind with a bit of butter. Fast forward to today, and it’s almost impossible to choose when potato dish I love most. They’re all good. A super cheesy potatoes au gratin is another fave, though I far prefer Philippe’s version over the kind with the weird greasy cheese I had as a kid. And yep, fries and tater tots are definitely a happy treat on occasion. But really, anything fried or with cheese gets an unfair advantage. So a simple combo with leek is a lovely thing indeed. I’m not really sure I even knew what a leek was a kid since we mostly ate vegetables out of cans.
I often envy Philippe’s Parisian childhood when it comes to food. He wasn’t served chicken fingers and mac & cheese, he was served the same food that the adults were eating. Healthy food that made him grow up to have a true appreciation of food in general and an interest in preparing it. I grew up learning how to use a microwave and how to combine a can of cream of mushroom soup with a can of green beans. Thankfully, even if I still can’t prepare it, I’ve learned to appreciate good whole foods. And I’ve had the joy of experiencing new foods that I’ve never tried before, having gotten more courageous in my eating habits over the years. But don’t get me wrong, if you put a plate of tater tots in front of me, I will not be insulted. I will devour it like a hungry kid and make no apologies. No matter how much my tastes grow up, I still enjoy an occasional indulgence that reminds me of my youth.
I think that life is all about finding the best balance. I’ve seen so many people jump on fad diets, decide to be vegan for a few weeks, or refuse to ever eat dessert. That last one confounds me. In truth, when it comes to everything in life, taking an all or nothing approach is not always the best path. It’s the bits of things that we love, enjoyed bit by bit that bring harmony to life. I adore watercolor, but I simply don’t have much time in the day. Still, I make a bit of time and produce a tiny something each and every day. It’s a little treat that I allow myself no matter how crazy or hectic the day becomes. And I’m always happier for it. Finding those perfect combinations in your life is part of learning how to truly live it with joy. It’s never those exceptional things you’d expect. Far more often these happiness combos come in a ridiculous, almost stupidly simple fashion. Sometimes, it’s just leek & potato.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.