Thursday, April 22, 2010


But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost

I keep a lot of lists - ones for errands, for work, play, and for life. These lists fill up notebooks, notecards, and Post Its, both real and virtual. I can't always rely on my memory, as I'm easily distracted so for me it's necessary to write everything down. But I also keep lists to remind myself of what's really important in life.

My "Sweet List" is a revolving list of things I'd like to see, do, and be. I think most of us keep a similar one whether you call it your "bucket list", "things to do before I die list", "carpe diem list", etc. These lists hold our deepest desires, fondest wishes, and biggest dreams. And there's nothing sweeter than crossing off an item on that list. I've been lucky in that I've been able to cross off a lot of items off my "Sweet List". I've never let the lack of money, time constraints, or even fear stop me from accomplishing those things that I believe are worth pursuing. Life is short but sweet, and from a very young age I decided that I could do anything I set my mind to. Many of the choices I've made in life have been on account of that list. And I have very few regrets because I believe absolutely that it's never too late to do anything. When most post-grads buckled down to a career, I chose to travel. I wanted to see the world, immerse myself in the underbelly of life and live fully without regrets. I knew when I was ready to have a career it would be waiting for me, and it was. When I wanted to write a book, I made it happen for myself. And I think that's the key - you can't wait for things to happen to you or for you, you make it happen for yourself. If I'd waited for those things I desired to be handed to me, or for people to do or go with me I'd never have accomplished much. Instead, I chose to do things solo, to follow my own agendas. I've traveled the world on my own, but even then you find like-minded companions. Even when I begin a journey alone, I'm never really alone.

Family, friends, strangers - they've all told me that certain things are impossible, that responsibilities prevent them from following dreams. But I think I'm a pretty responsible person, and I've always managed just fine. Certainly it's necessary to shift priorities, shuffle around schedules, and re-think what's important to you but if you want something bad enough, and you're willing to work for it then nothing is impossible. Where there's a will, there is a way. It's for you to discover how.

So I hope you wish me happy trails as I'm off on another adventure, another item to cross off my "Sweet List"... surfing in Costa Rica.

Dulce de Leche Banana Cream Pie
2 (14-oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
3 medium bananas
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp sour cream

1. Pour condensed milk into a large, heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water to make dulce de leche. Cook, checking water level and adding water as necessary. Stir milk occasionally and cook until it is very thick and golden brown, about 2 1/2 hours.

2. Bake crust according to package directions. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Slice 2 bananas. Spread half of warm dulce de leche in crust; top with sliced bananas. Spread remaining dulce de leche over bananas. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours.

4. Just before serving, combine heavy cream and sour cream in a bowl. Whip, using a mixer on high speed, until soft peaks form. Spread over pie. Slice remaining banana and use to garnish pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve.

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