Saturday, June 20, 2009

Toasted Procrastinator Salad

What are you putting off? What unresolved encounters rob you of the moment? How bright does this salad have to be to bring you back? Remember the papers you put off in school, mentally building them, one impossible detail at a time, into mountains too high to conquer. Paralyzed by the towering fear of encountering your own monsters of inadequacy along the way, you hesitated, trailing further and further away from the base. Shiny excesses build into operable necessities as you gather that last cup of coffee, or hour of television, or funny Internet photo, or that important shopping trip. All the while the cats are watching you, shaking their heads and wondering when you are going to get that important paper done. Everyone you meet turns quickly from friend to giant finger of shame waving their tips in disgust. A simple "how's your paper coming along" echoes in the dungeons of your mind where you cover it up quickly with the details of how clean you have just made your apartment.

Remember the day when you gathered your courage, sat 3 inches from the computer screen, stretched your eyeballs to their widest setting and felt your back begin to compress as you sat for hours, ignorant of the sky tint at your window, until you were finished? How easy it was after all. How you laughed elated and opened your ears to the praise of your teacher, and walked out of the office like you were floating out of your sneakers and you inhaled, with ease, the calm air of summer? You vowed at this moment never to forget the feeling of relief that comes from facing your fears.

Soon enough, you again find yourself busying your mind with the impossible mountains you mean to climb and the pressing distractions that keep you from your daily salad moments. It is the news you have to break to someone, it is the person you need to apologize to, it is the truth you need to tell, it is the job application unfilled, it is the lifestyle change put off.
Remember the air beneath your feet.

The Salad:
Blanch 2 cups cut up green beans, 1 head broccoli and rinse with cool water. Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil and add 4 small cloves spicy garlic (the bulbs should be purple) until the oil begins to slightly sizzle. Remove from heat and add 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil. Toss the broccoli/ green bean mixture in oil mixture and add 1/2 small head purple cabbage. Add 2 tsp ume plum vinegar and 1 tsp salad vinegar or white wine vinegar. In a small dry frying pan, toast 2-3 Tbsp Sesame seeds until they just release their aroma, then mix them with the salad. If you find you need a little sweetness, ad some carrots or golden raisins or a tsp of sugar.

Christina's vote: "Woke my senses!"

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