Green Egg and Avocado Salad and Saint Patrick’s Day Reunion

My friend, Jennifer, came to visit us on Saint Patrick’s Day this past weekend.  We hadn’t seen each other since 1993!  That was many lifetimes ago when we were both graduate students of Linguistics at Stanford. We had a wonderful morning together catching up and reminiscing.

The year I met Jennifer, my second year of grad school, was the lowest point in my life. I realized I was on the wrong path.

The day I actually made the concrete decision to leave academia was when I was staying with Jennifer and her family in Los Angeles during an LSA (Linguistic Society of America) conference.  Surrounded by brilliant scholars passionate about their work, I felt like an impostor and completely disconnected.  During one of the conference days I cut out and met my dad and his wife for lunch.  We had a long heart to heart talk.  They were amazingly supportive and told me to “go for it” — to pursue my dream of illustrating and writing children’s books.

I also took it as a “sign” that Jennifer’s mom, Caroline Arnold, was (and still is!) an amazing award winning children’s book author and illustrator of over a hundred books.

I dropped out of my program at the end of that year (my department was nice enough to grant me an MA!)  I went to art school in Pasadena and later came to NYC to pursue a career in children’s books.

Jennifer continued successfully at Stanford and eventually became a professor of Psycholinguistics at University of North Carolina.  We had lost touch for many years, but reconnected recently on Facebook.

If you told me nineteen years ago during my “life crisis” that I would someday be having brunch with Jennifer in Brooklyn in 2012, happily married and having my dream career (even sharing a publisher with her mom!), it would seem TOO good to be true.  It is also surprising and wonderful that we both have sons just months apart in age!

Her visit made me remember how blessed I am.  In a visceral, tears-of-joy kind of way.  I am SO lucky to have such supportive people in my life and to have had the opportunity to pursue my passion–no matter how crazy and out of reach it seemed at the time.

This Saint Patrick’s Day was more like a second Thanksgiving Day for me — as corny as that sounds!


Green egg salad in Romaine lettuce leaf--it looked "greener" in person!!

Here is a belated green dish to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day that I had made the day before.  I used my whipped cottage cheese for extra nonfat protein, but you could substitute mayonnaise.

Unwhipped new container of cottage cheese.

After processing -- silky smooth!

Green Egg and Avocado Salad

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

3 tablespoons whipped cottage cheese (or mayonnaise)

1 tablespoon minced onion

kosher salt to taste

pepper to taste

1/2 ripe avocado, mashed

1.  Mix together and use as a dip, as a sandwich spread, or as part of an hors d’ Oeuvre.

On pita chip

Pita Chips

1 pita

non-stick spray

kosher salt or other seasonings

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Cut pita in half, then fourths, then eighths.  Split each triangle into one layer.

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Lay pita triangles in a single layer and spray again.  Season with salt or other seasonings.

4.  Bake, watching closely (thinner triangles brown faster) for about 6-9 minutes.  Cool.



Filed under Lunch, Snack, Uncategorized

17 responses to “Green Egg and Avocado Salad and Saint Patrick’s Day Reunion

  1. not ‘corny’ at all (though that IS a food!) As we get further on in our journeys of life, we do get those rare and special moments when we can see the path so clearly…the same one that was so foggy years before. We hopefully see we made the RIGHT choices, or if not, that they did lead to others that ‘fit.’ It IS a gift to see that….and to feel gratitude too. All I can say is that I persoanlly am VERY happy you left that first path for the one you obviously truly belonged on! I’m feeling very grateful too just now…..

  2. Thanks, Chris, that means a lot… 🙂

  3. How wonderful to connect with your old friend.

  4. What a great reunion! 🙂 That’s the stuff true friendship is made of.

  5. Love this story. Hooray for Facebook (sometimes!).

    And the recipe looks yummy, can’t wait to try it! I don’t have a food processor, do you think I can whirl the cottage cheese in a blender?

    • Thanks!
      Yes, a blender works really well, but it’s just a little harder to get out of the container at the bottom than a food processor (where you can remove the whole blade). But it doesn’t affect the consistency. You can still get it really smooth!

  6. It is heart warming to see that you were able to follow your dreams and find success. We always find most happiness in things that we love and not those that are either imposed on us or which are for monetary gains only. Good that you were finally able to catch up with your friend 🙂
    The salad looks nice and creamy. Delicious!
    Lovely post

  7. Your reunion must have been wonderful – I am very very happy for you my friend 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. I have awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award because I found your blog to be simply awesome and delicious – come check it out here:
    Congrats 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. This salad sounds delicious! I love the idea of using cottage cheese in the dressing, extra protein!

  10. How wonderful you had the chance to reconnect with an old friend! I enjoyed reading your story about how you came to be an illustrator. 🙂 I recently made egg salad sandwich but never thought to add mashed avocados! What a great idea – will need to try this. I also still need to try your cottage cheese “mayo”. Such a great low-fat alternative.

  11. magicofspice

    What a great reunion and wonderful post! And such a fun egg salad recipe!

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