Friday, June 26, 2015

You Can't Get Here From There - Cassie's "Famous" Avocado Dip

Time is a bitch.  In my mind, heart, and soul, I am that 39 year old overweight redhead, with a brand-new Bar license, starting my first job as an attorney with the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.  I had a little boy in kindergarten, and a brand-new house in Hunter's Creek.  Life was good.

And then I blinked.  My little boy is all grown up, and I've gotten older, the house in Hunter's Creek is gone.  Somehow, I'm a post-menopausal, underweight, gray-haired, 62 year old hag (I own a mirror, thank you) who can no longer do the job I've loved.  And so I sit, terrified, with a stack of papers in my hands, knowing I have to fill them out to apply for disability retirement, but still ... terrified.

Here's the recipe for the avocado dip to serve with the tamale pie.  Cassie was a deputy in the Brevard County juvenile courthouse where I practiced for several years.  Back then we did potlucks in the courtroom and everybody brought something, including the judge. I tweaked Cassie's recipe slightly to boost the avocado flavor and keep it thicker,  but her version is still famous as far as I'm concerned.

2 perfectly ripe Hass avocados

Think of it as a relish, like guacamole but creamy.  This goes great with my empanadas, and chili, and enchiladas, and burritos and you get the idea.  And unlike guacamole, the avocado does not turn unappetizing brown.

Cassie's "Famous" Avocado Dip

2 perfectly ripe Hass avocados (how to determine when an avocado is perfectly ripe)
1/2 pint sour cream
1/4 cup Hidden Valley cucumber ranch dressing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
ground black pepper
granulated garlic
The Salt Table's Raging River Five Pepper Blend

Peel and mash the avocado.  Add the sour cream, ranch dressing, lemon juice and all of the seasonings, to taste.  Stir until well combined.  Serve with Frito scoop chips or any Tex-Mex dish.

I am so excited to watch the 2015 NBA Draft.  These kids are all terrific. Best of all, this is taking place at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, the city of my birth and home of the Brooklyn Nets.  This year, the Magic has the number five pick, behind the Lakers (what?) and the Knicks (WHAT?)

Now it's our turn - Mario Hezogna?  From Croatia, played in Spain.  The commentators all have good things to say about him.  They say he'll be a good fit for the Magic.  Let's hope he will do as well as my two personal favorite Magic draft picks, Shaquille O'Neal (1992) and Victor Oladipo (2013).

Fun facts - Victor Oladipo was born on my husband's 46th birthday, in the year that Shaq was drafted.

Another "fun" fact:  I pushed through the panic, completed the application and faxed it to the Division of Retirement in Tallahassee.  It's official - I have applied for disability retirement.

I feel like something very dear to me has been taken away, and I am very, very sad.  But in filling out the application, and having to recount the symptoms and manifestations of my illnesses, I realized how the entire quality of my life has been irrevocably damaged.  I am a virtual recluse, rarely leaving the house.  I find travel, even cruising, to be very difficult.  I tire easily, my balance is compromised, I am uncomfortable in crowds and have had to miss a number of friends and family gatherings.  

I was having terrible difficulties at work; I know that, and I also know that a bunch of people were quietly helping me, sometimes covering for me, without even being asked.  Preparing for trial, doing my own legal research, interacting with my case managers, completing staffing forms and petitions, drafting final judgments, managing a difficult judge - all things which I had done successfully in the past - have become a series of exercises in mental and physical torture.  I know that; I hope, as this process continues, that the State of Florida and the Social Security Administration come to know this as well.

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