Monday, June 21, 2010

Beet-en and Fried Salad with E Scape dressing

The thick, humidity had been hovering for days, and the sky smothered our little city under a blanket of rainclouds. In the dim light the heavy leaves brightened and came alive, like pages of a comic book illuminated by flashlight. I lumbered through the intermittent, heavy raindrops, stepping my boot down awkwardly on the pavement to protect my heel from the piercing blister which tore at my ankle. Many of the veterans at the hospital have the same labored walk, probably from grenade blown limbs and amputated gunshot wounds. My injury was a casualty of gender and fashion. I felt absolutely ridiculous. I let the world turn into a jungle around me on the drive home. I turned where the trees arched over the road and allowed them to engulf me into there once skeletal arms. I was exhausted. I was hungry. It was late.

A hard day of work is refreshing, when your mind and body have been pushed to the edges of your own ego, forcing you to dangle your fingers and toes into the surrounding abyss. Your hair blows through the winds of the unknown, and you don't even try to tie it back. You hope that it will gather lofty messages, and bring them to you so that you too can fly freely around this earth. These messages cannot be contained within the confines of an ego.

I got home and opened my computer. The letter finally came. I didn't get the fellowship I had applied for. I turned into a perfectionistic 7 year old, throwing a tantrum. I began compiling a mental list of my failures. I felt like giving up on school, but instead shared my thoughts with Christina and allowed her to put them into perspective.
"Don't be one of those people that never appreciates what they have." She said. That made me laugh. I said those exact words to her yesterday. I love my life, and I can't stop showing up for it just because I have skinned pride. As I began peeling the beets, I went through my list of failures, mentally erasing each one and replacing it with a gratitude.

E SCAPE dressing
1 tsp raw dandelion honey (it melts like butter and turns bitter tongues sweet)
2 tsp white wine vinegar (it just sounds fancy)
1 tsp ume plum vinegar (a deliciously salty, lovely flavor)
2 diced garlic scapes (crunchy, independent child of garlic
1 tsp french basil (As I poured it into the bowl, I thought of Diane Boutin and of my trip to Quebec, I demanded that Christina and I pack up our things and move to Canada at once. She just started at me and slowly chewed her beets.)
lots of ground black pepper (it feels good to grind)
2 Tbsp olive oil (flavor matters, make sure your oil is fresh and to your liking)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (lighten up, it's summer)

Beet en and Fried Salad
Slice thin:
2 small golden beets
2 small red beets
2 small candy striped beets
4 thin carrots
In a frying pan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and the gold beets. Add 2 small cloves minced garlic and 1 sprig rosemary. Add a pinch of salt. Pour in about 1 tsp mirin and saute for about 4 min. Pull the beets out with a slotted spoon and add the candy striped beets, 2 more cloves minced garlic and about 1/2 cup water. When the candy beets are soft, pull them out with a slotted spoon and add the red beets. Cook to desired texture and remove.
Toss 2-3 cups arugula in 1/2 the dressing and pour onto a platter. Toss the beets and sliced carrots in the rest of the dressing and serve (warm or cold).

Christina's vote: "This salad can do no wrong"

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