I've been suffering from a bit of writer's block. In college when it came time to write my history papers I would fumble & fumble with the introduction. And that's how it's been feeling when I sit down to write a new post. I can't seem to find just the right words to begin. But, in a way, it's exactly how life is going in the here & now. Take breakfast for instance. It's 8:00 and I'm actually showered & ready, so breakfast should be a snap. Not quite. When I came downstairs I found my "risen bread" to be not so risen, but quite fallen. I didn't want to waste it, so I began thinking what I could do instead.
Then, insert two little girls under the age of four asking for, "Mama, can you put Shortcake Swing on?" Me: "Yes! (still looking baffled at my dough). And since I didn't move in .milliseconds I was asked the same question again. Then, Tayers needed her boots on like sissy. Oh, but my hands were sticky, so go and wash, help with said boots, then back to dou...oh wait, there's dirt all over the floor. Find broom. Another question asked of me. Me wondering if I had something I was doing in the kitchen. By the time I got back the dough was sticking to the board. Eventually, I made a sad excuse for a breakfast pizza (eggs cooking on top, dough a bit soggy [because it was intended for bread in the first place]); however, the girls didn't seem to mind.
Oh, what I also forgot to mention was the time when we finally ate...oh about 9:15. Because what ensued from the time I started to the time I finished, well, I have no clue at this point in the afternoon. I do know that I lost my marbles at one time with a bit more boisterous mama (some call it shouting) saying, "I need to think! Out of the kitchen...get out of the kitchen!" I think I was the one who needed an immediate time out and my apologies & reminding myself in front of the girls how we are to "use our words." That's what my introductions to posts feel like. My life at present is like the first time I learned to drive stick, a whole bunch of jerking stops not knowing how (or if I should) to begin again.
But you know, I find a bit of solace amidst of all this (granted, it's almost 8 hours later). As I was picking up the toys, hats, shoes from the floor for the umpteenth time I thought of the people without kids (whether it be the barren, the empty nester, etc) and how this mere "inconvenience" is full of life. Our home is full of non-stop chatting, laughter, cries, music, movement & breaths. The silence is more than appreciated & needed, but there's something about that little voice after nap, which gladly says, "Hi Mama!" There's something about it all that I wish I could stuff it into a bottle so it never fades. It's contentment in these little things, that makes a Monday feel like a Friday. This little salad does just that. The acidity from the marinated beets, sweet licorice blend from the fennel, and the creaminess from the avocado. You could eat it by itself or put it on top of salad greens.
A Year Ago: Superlative Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cabbage-Apple Salad
Beet, Fennel, & Avocado Salad (printable recipe)
This salad can be eaten without salad greens, or with. I found a good washed kind from my Farmer's Market (had kale, mustard greens, herbs, bibb lettuce). Be sure you don't throw out your beet greens. You can either saute them up with a little minced garlic, olive oil & salt for later. Or, chop them up to use as part of your salad greens for this here salad.
1 bunch of beets (if you can get a variety sold at a Farmer's Market--that would be optimal)
4-5 small fennel bulbs (or 2 big ones)
2 ripe avocados
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
Directions: Chop the beet greens off (save them for later use by steaming or cut up & put as part of your salad). Scrub the beets, but no need to peel them. Thinly slice them using a mandoline. Put them in a bowl and pour enough raw apple cider vinegar to cover them. Allow them to marinate for minimum 2 hours. Once your beets have marinated (I marinated mine for 3 1/2 hours), drain them & if you want to barely rinse them, go ahead.
Slice the fennel with the mandoline (think thin as well). Put them in a ice water bath, then transfer them to a salad spinner to get the water out. The ice water bath shrinks the fennel, allowing it to be crunchy.
Transfer the beets & fennel into a bowl. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt & cubed avocados as well. Lightly mix with your hands. Place a portion on top of mixed salad greens. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil and you're good to go.