It started this morning. I woke up with the ability to breathe again. Yes!
Yesterday I was thinking how we so often say things like, "I will never take the ability to breathe for granted again!" For example: I used to live on this little (and by little I mean teeny-tiny, 1/4 of a square mile in size TOTAL) island with about 15,000 people living on it. Yes, it was a little claustrophobic at times. But that was OK. I am incredibly sanguine, so that didn't bother me that much. But the showers, oh the showers... Not only were they cold, but they were salt-water. And sometimes, when the power went out, which really was more than "sometimes" and instead like half of the time, we had to go get buckets of said cold, salt water out of a well. That had cockroaches crawling all over it. In this dark basement room. (No, I am not making this up, and no, I did not walk to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways.) During these moments I would hear myself saying, "I will never take clean and warm running water for granted again!" But then I returned to the States. Sure, the first few days I was in awe at the beauty of the faucet. It didn't take long, however, for me to forget how wonderful that actually is and now I totally take it for granted -- unless the water heater breaks. Then I find myself remembering my little island and how this used to be the norm and I think, "HOW IN THE WORLD DID I SURVIVE COLD SHOWERS ALL THE TIME?!"
The point is this: I can breathe again, and I know I am going to take that for granted. Shoot -- five hours into and I already do. And that is OK. I am ready to take that for granted again. That cold is over and I can fully live again.
Then, on the way to work, the sun was actually shining, and shining brightly. It wasn't warm, but it was bright. I slid open the sunroof, turned up my music, and tapped my toes along with the beat.
So I bring to you today a sunny side dish. A little salad, to be exact. The beets and oranges, when cooked, release some of their juice which is used a little olive oil and salt to create the dressing. The arugula has its own wonderful (albeit slightly bitter) flavor. Mix it all together and you get something light and yum.
By the way, if you don't like beets, try this anyway. I used to think beets tasted like the ground. Actually, I still do... but it doesn't taste bad to me anymore. And these beets you see up there in the picture are awesome because they are already steamed and peeled and you just have to heat them up for this recipe, although they are also great cold. This little box has six or so beets in it. Much easier than peeling, steaming, and then cooking with the oranges. You could also use regular beets, of course. Either way though, use them! They are some of nature's wonders. And remember, it is March. The time of sunshine is near... yesssss!
Salad from Real Simple, October 2011
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 45m (or 30 minutes if using the TJ's beets)
Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the beets with 3 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast until beginning to soften, 13 to 15 minutes. Add the oranges to the baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until the beets and oranges are tender, 15 to 17 minutes more. Add the arugula and toss to combine.