Monday, January 19, 2009

Simply Red

I am on staff at a learning center for an organic farm in northern Illinois. I was fortunate to also have the opportunity to work with the farm crew for several weeks this past fall. The vegetables on this farm are gorgeous! I knew that chard was pretty, and that herbs can be quite attractive. But I didn't know that broccoli could look so majestic, or that cabbage could be quite so large...think Little Shop of Horrors!

I realized that, while my family eats a much wider array and quantity of vegetables than many, there are still so many that I am just not accustomed to preparing. And cabbage is one of them. I don't remember eating it as a child, I don't remember my mother fixing it. I just somehow missed all things cabbage (except for coleslaw at a restaurant).

But, cabbage is such wonderful winter vegetable. It is harvested in the late fall, even here in Northern Illinois, and it can keep for a month easily in your fridge.

So, earlier this week I made a lovely cabbage salad with a nice little head of red cabbage. I looked at a variety of recipes online and in my cookbooks, but opted for just slicing and dicing what was in my crisper. Here it is...

1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
bunch of green onions, chopped
stalk of celery, chopped

I then made a simple lime dressing (based on the Lime-cilantro vinaigrette in GRUB)
2 T lime juice
1 t dijon mustard
1 t parsley flakes (I didn't have any cilantro)
2 t pure maple syrup
sea salt to taste
3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Toss together, and let the flavors blend. Tasted good that day, tasted even better the next.
My 8 year old daughter gave it a try but didn't like it. My husband said it was definitely a keeper.

Did you know that cabbage has more vitamin c than oranges!

Humbled by History

I was in tears this morning as I read our local newspaper. On one side of the page was a beautiful piece on the new AmericaIam museum exhibit in Philadelphia. This exhibit is a tribute to the African American experience. From the Doors of No Return, through the Emancipation Proclamation, through the life and teachings of Frederick Douglas, to the ballot box, to the Klu Klux Klan.

And on the facing page, was a spread detailing the Inauguration Celebration of Barak Obama. News coverage, online coverage, balls and concerts. The Disney Channel will be broadcasting the Kids' Inaugural. The inauguration of our first African American president. I'm not sure what amazes me more...that it's happening, a person of color leads our American people. Or that it's taken this long for it to happen.

The two stories, side by side, brought me to tears. Bring me to tears. Each time I think about it. I am so humbled by the men and women and youth and children who brought us to this day. I am so humbled by the legacy that they have left us. And I am so proud that my children are alive to witness it. To see what was only imagined, come true.

Can it be that Martin Luther King, Jr's dream has come? Is this the beginning of measuring the worth of our brothers and sister by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin?