Monday, September 6, 2010

Gingerly Sweet Year Salad

The blood of the beet threatens with stains of colorful proportions, but reminds me that things are not always as they appear. Sometimes the seemingly insurmountable problems in life wash away easily, like beet juice. As the pink juice loosens from my hands and runs down the sink, and I am reminded that stress is a boastful child who targets with weapons not in his possession. The danger comes when I try to dodge one of his imaginary bullets and end up jumping into a creek.

With just two days until a grant deadline at work, I relax. I have worked long, hard hours. I have made a lot of progress, but I am not going to make my deadline. At the thought of this, I picture a grinning child with a slingshot ready to land a rock between my eyes. His freckly cheeks turned into a sadistic grin. I start to feel my heart race, and my palms sweat. Before I begin planning my escape, I am reminded to pause and look at it from another perspective. The boy is just an illusion that I have created. The situations that life presents can't be more powerful than the meaning that I assign to them.

Yesterday at the farmers market Sara Rice demonstrated some recipes for celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Being uninformed about Jewish cooking and customs, I stood beside her asking all sorts of naive questions, like "What does Kosher mean, really?" and "I have heard that this holiday is two days long, how much of that time is typically spent feasting?"

I felt like a complete idiot, but I learned a ton. Sara explained that Rosh Hashanah is a time of atonement for the Jews. It is the time of year for going up to the people in your life and asking for forgiveness. Sweet foods are typically eaten at this time, to welcome in a sweet new year. Round foods are also encouraged, as a symbol of fertility and new growth. Sara cooked recipes using carrots, raisins, apples, and honey. I was inspired by the idea of asking forgiveness, in particular as it applied to my problems of being over committed at work and at home. This salad was inspired by Sara's demo.

Gingerly Sweet Year Salad
Peel and slice 4 small beets (mixed varieties)
Heat a pot of water, and blanch the beets (boil for about 4 min). Shock them in cold water.
Peel and slice 4 small carrots (either slice them small, or blanch them too. Whatever you prefer)
Mix beets and carrots together, and dress with
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp ume plum vinegar
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Christina's vote: "This salad made me want to run with the bulls"

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