Burnt Grapes

I have a confession to make: I’m an emotional eater.

I’m kind of scrawny, so it surprises most people when they realize the sheer amount of food I intake on a daily basis. But nothing, and I mean nothing, rivals my eating habits on a bad day.

My dad used to call me Rizzo – from the Muppets – when I was a kid. I’d get into everything. The fridge was my playground: onions were chewed like apples, apples were devoured, and no one dared tell me otherwise.

I always thought it’d be something I’d grow out of, or at least turn into a bad habit that I’d have to kick once puberty hit. Not so: as it turns out, my constant snacking got even worse with age. Thank God I learned how to cook, if only to sustain my addiction.

The past few weeks have been, well, difficult, so the snacking’s been at an all-time high. Christmas is over, winter is in full swing, and general crankiness is ensuing. I over-think pretty much everything, and the dreariness of winter creates the perfect condition for OCD to run rampant inside my brain.

I feel complacent, stagnant, yet unwilling to change. There are so many things I want to accomplish, but all I seem to find myself doing is eating and watching cooking shows on the Food Network.

I want to go to pastry school, but I’m scared I won’t be good at it, or I’ll get bored of it, or it’ll make me resent baking. I want to write for national magazines, but I’m convinced I’m not ready, or I’ll just get rejected. So instead I bake, and think, and then write about what’s going through my mind, hoping I’ll get some kind of epiphany that tells me exactly what to do with my life and how.

I think my real problem is this ridiculous fear of failure; I’ve gone my whole life excelling at pretty much everything I put my mind to, simply because I’m afraid of disappointing everyone around me, but also myself.

There’s comfort in stagnancy; an undeniable relief that comes with staying still in life, knowing you don’t have to change or try, or even more, regret. It’s that comfort, and that fear, that keeps me from even trying.

I wish I wasn’t so afraid of the future, that for once I could think of where I’ll be this time next year without getting a tightening feeling in my chest. There are plenty of things I’d like to do with my life, but don’t know how. And I’m so scared of shaking things up, of risking everything for uncertainty, that I stay where I am.

I’ve come a long way in the year it’s been since I started panicking over my future, when the excitement of my impending university graduation was outshone by the sheer terror of not knowing where, who or what I was going to be in a few short months. I think I turned out pretty alright, so who knows what this new year will bring.

Speaking of emotional eating, I devoured an entire bowl of this grape dessert while writing this blog post. Okay, I know grapes drenched in sour cream and brown sugar syrup sounds like something you eat when you’re a) really, really, desperate or b) really, really inebriated, but trust me, it is quite simply delicious.

This recipe comes from Saltscapes Magazine; the original yielded six servings, but I halved it to make three bowls.

Tools

colander
large bowl
measuring cups
measuring spoons
small saucepan
whisk
wooden spoon
small serving dishes

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups seedless red or green grapes
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions

Wash and dry grapes. Mix sour cream, white sugar and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture over grapes and stir to coat. Divide grapes into separate bowls, or one large dish.

In a small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add brown sugar, whisk, and bring to boil, maintaining the boil for a minute, or until the mixture turns golden and sugar dissolves. Pour over grapes immediately. Do not stir. Chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Enjoy!

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