Back when I had a real job, about a million years ago, I was project editor on a book that revealed the secrets of being a successful entrepreneur. It was all about money, obviously, with a lot of attention devoted to marketing. People were consumers, first and foremost, and they could be manipulated into buying things if you made them feel a lack or made them feel bad about themselves in some way. It struck me as so sad and cynical, and I still think about it, particularly this time of year when the market-targeting-messages are coming thick and fast. It’s holiday season, and we’re all taking the time to be thankful. This year, I’ll tell you that as well as being incredibly grateful for the things I have, I’m going to declare my gratitude for the things I don’t have, that I don’t want. I’m grateful that I’m at a place in my life that nobody can shame me into wanting something I don’t need, or make me feel so bad about myself that I believe somebody can sell me something to make everything okay. Believe me, I still have plenty of insecurities, but I know what they are, they’re my familiars, and I will not let anybody exploit them for financial gain. I do not want longer eyelashes, I do not want perfect children, I do not want my children to have everything that they think they want, I do not want a bigger house or a cleverer car, I do not want quilted toilet paper, I do not want to be the life of the party, most of the time I don’t even want to go to the party any more, I do not want a smarter faster phone, I do not want cheaper cable TV, or any cable TV, because I do not want to watch your commercials. I’m thankful to be liberated from fabricated need!!I do want to bake nice warm comforting meals that I dream up in the nice warm comfort of my happily eccentric brain. This is (obviously) modeled on a chicken pot pie, but it has chickpeas in it!! I made the chickpeas myself, from scratch, and weirdly, this is the first time I’ve ever done that. You could easily make this recipe with a can of chickpeas, though. This pie would be vegan if you used margarine instead of butter in the crust. I used a bit of olive oil in my crust, because the other week I didn’t have enough butter, and added olive oil and it turned out nice and flaky, so I thought I’d try it again. I thought the sweet potato hash browns turned out well!! I’ve never quite taken to sweet potatoes, because they don’t seem to get crispy like regular potatoes. They did this time!! I fried them in butter, with a bit of cheddar and rosemary, and they were lovely!!
Here’s Tom Waits with Step Right Up. Live, in 1977!