Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Quinoa Blueberry Basil Salad
There is a local u-pick blueberry farm here where I live. Every year people flock to the family owned farm and stock up. I picked this season for my CSK share which I look forward to every week. Every week I plan the menu I will be making. Then 10 people (10 is the amount I can handle by myself) come and pickup their food and we chat and laugh and I get to introduce them to things like mizuna salad with miso tahini dressing. I brag a little about how the mizuna was picked that day, how the mizuna they are eating is also served in 3 star San Francisco restaurants. The young farmers who grow that mizuna drive those special greens all the way down to the bay because they are that good. This salad was a CSK creation too. I love blueberries and basil together! I added red quinoa, fresh sliced fennel, lemon zest and olive oil to round out a perfect summer dish. This salad might have everything but the quinoa at the farmers market you currently frequent!
I have a really good friend going through a breakup right now. The fertile ground of strong emotions. She has a lot of women around her right now holding her tenderly. As we talk almost daily, I am brought back to my life when I was in her spot, and I was looking down the rabbit hole as I was falling through it. She has recognized this, and asked me a few times "Jess, how did you get through this?" It is difficult for me to watch her suffer; I have cried with her on more than one occasion. The memory of that pain is still fresh. The pain of your life shifting so radically and trusting you will get out on the other side is a big leap of trust. Now I appreciate my journey through heartbreak as one of the most profound things I have experienced. Yet I don't wish it on anyone. And so she and I hold hands, and I tell her she is in the worst part of things right now, that the container of support she has built will hold her, and mostly I just love her. And I keep going back to loving everything. That idea, to love everything was the turning point for my grief. It was when I stopped drowning and started floating in the ocean of what was happening. Tall order though. How can we love cancer? Love the loss of a child? Love being fired from our job? Love the disease we have just been diagnosed with? I started with loving the grief. I did not try to change where I was or how I felt about what was happening. I spent so many days just crying and sad, that I started saying out loud to myself "Oh, I guess today I am having an especially sad day". Loving what was in front of me meant loving me while I was angry too. Loving my humanness. It is almost a paradox now that I grieved so deeply about my family breaking up and losing my partner, that now I am looking at a different set of fears to love around getting back into relationships. The work keeps coming I guess. I know my friend will make it through this heartbreak. She is plowing the fields in her heart right now, her tears being collected to water the seeds of her new life. Flowers more brilliant than the ones she has known are getting ready to blossom in their own perfect time.
Quinoa Blueberry Basil Salad
makes 4 servings
3 cups cooked red quinoa chilled
1 cup fresh basil torn into piecies
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh thinly sliced fennel bulb
zest of a lemon
1 Tbls fresh lemon juice
2 Tbls olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toss together and season to taste.