It’s been nearly a month since we arrived in our new home. Another new home. We’re lucky, we move by choice and have great reasons for doing so, but it doesn’t make it any less exhausting and the questions don’t ever stop. Such is the fate of the expat…and expat parent. We’re not alone and for that I’m grateful. There are whole communities of the likes of us. We schlep our kids from country to country, time-zone to time-zone and somehow we stay sane. Anyway, I like to believe that most of the time we do.
My sanity this summer, besides the sound of laughter my daughters shared, was avocado. It was a summer where I contemplated “home”, the word, the place, the feeling. We’d had many homes this summer; the one we vacated, a flat in Germany, the grandparent’s home, a home we sublet in New York (thank you, J!), a new home in a new city. You go through that many and your nearly 4 year old will ask all kinds of questions. She got it though and with the simplicity of an almost 4 year old, she helped us get past the thoughts of how hard it was all going to be, and are we damaging our kids with these experiences.
Through all of these existential moments, every avocado we ate played an important role. You know the certainty of sweet perfection when you slice open an avocado and you’re greeted with a creamy, yellow surface that at the edges is just the right shade of green. No brown spots, no flaws, simple perfection.
You also know the disappointment of slicing open an avocado only to be greeted by surprise brown spots, a watery center, a pale complexion all around. You don’t judge that avocado. You don’t hold your expectations against it. You simply know the potential every avocado strives for and more often than not, it’s achieved.
This was comforting. Who knows if what we’re doing is “right” or “the best thing for our kids”? Who knows when we’re going back, IF we’re going back “home”? All I know is that it’s our life and for one reason or another I met, fell in love with and married a man whose heart also yearns for the open road, whose soul craves living outside; outside his comfort zone. Then we decided to make a family right there, outside our comfort zone.
Every avocado we ate brought me back to these facts. The perfect moments come, more often than we think, and they are sweet perfection. When you realize you have the whole row on a 13 hour flight, when you meet someone new in some random corner of the world only to realize you have so much in common, when your definitions to things like friends, family, and home shift and grow. They all belong to perfection. Those watery, pale, spotty imperfect moments pave the road and prepare you for the bliss that every avocado lover knows, that every traveler knows, that every expat knows.
Home can be anywhere. Especially if you have avocados.
As for the recipe, well, avocado toast is not a novel idea belonging only to cool, hipster cafes any longer.
Yup, they’ve hit mainstream and what’s more, everyone is eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s no wrong way to eat them. Claire’s favorite is just avocado smothered on a piece of toast. Literally. I usually start with a thin spread of olive oil or tahini or even miso. Then, I spoon out some avocado and sprinkle salt. My toppings range, but some of my favorite are oven roasted cherry tomatoes (pictured) with some basil or cilantro; a 3-minute egg with some za’atar, lightly sautéed greens…well, you see where I’m going.
Enjoy and be comforted!
What food are YOU comforted by?