This week has been a pretty sweet one, I've got to say it loud & I've got to say it clear. It's been great to get out there and meet some new people, make some new friends, share a story or two. Folks, if you are one of them, thank you - truly. You can't know how much it means to connect in truth & to share in goodness, and you all look good. Real good (and I know you don't need me to tell you that). By the same token, I've got big love right now for two folks who are certainly no strangers. I am talking about my parents: those two crazies that I've known my whole life who, at the age of 60 something, continue to live the life they set out to pursue some 40 + years ago.
I got a call from my mother this past weekend, and here and there amongst a rabble of normal familial topics & updates on the work around the garden, she told me of a few pictures that were taken of both my mom & dad together for a recently wrapped community project to which they've both contributed (more on that someday as it's pretty cool stuff).
What struck me was the happiness I could hear in my mother's voice when she shared this with me. You see, after 40 something years together, my folks are still madly in love. My dad (a deeply talented, brooding artistic type) has long had a loving supporter in his wife, who (bless her) has always been the 'positive' one. You can find my dad at any given moment enraptured in a project of some sort, focusing intensely, and usually pondering serious things in life (read: the guy's intense). Add to that lifelong battles with physical pain and things haven't always been so rosy for my old man.
So after the usual exclamation that her photo only turned out 'so-so' (what is with us women and photos anyway?), my mom went on to tell me that dad looked good. That there was a softness in his eyes. Something to indicate a shift in consciousness, and a settling or calmness about him. I simply was not prepared for what would soon come to me in an email just minutes later.
My dad looks simply beautiful (so does my mom), and not only does he look beautiful, but the happiness that is pouring through his eyes made me cry. My parents are two of the craziest, zaniest, bravest, & most authentic people I know, and to see them so happy together after all these years is such a joy. Let their love to be a lesson for us all.
It's true that some wounds take a lifetime to heal, and even though we try and try again it seems we just never get anywhere. You just never know when it's finally going to click. So don't ever stop trying, and don't ever give up on the things that matter. It will happen, if you just keep working at it.
In the meantime, make a little something tasty to take the edge off of all that hard work. Here's a tasty noodle salad to get you on your way.
Soba Noodle & Vegetable Salad
- (1/2) package fave soba noodles (I use kamut soba, in a pinch you could also use regular fettuccine noodles)
- (1) bunch broccolini (or 2 broccoli florets)
- (1) yellow pepper, washed & chopped
- (2/3) cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
- (1/4-1/3) + cup of Soy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- (1/4) cup basil leaves, cut in ribbons
This salad couldn't be easier, or more open to interpretation. Start by putting up a medium/large pot of water to boil for cooking the noodles. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook according to package directions.
Next, wash & trim the broccolini ends and put in another pot of water with about two inches of cold water. With the lid on, bring the water to a boil a 'steam' the whole broccolini pieces until bright green: about 3-4 minutes. Be careful to not overcook the greens (you want the green to be bright emerald, once it is overcooked the green starts to fade). Once the broccolini is cooked, drain it into a colander and dunk it in an ice bath to cool.
Prepare the pepper & sun-dried tomatoes and add to a large bowl. Once the broccolini is cool to the chop it coarsely lengthwise (into 3rds or so) and add it to the rest of the veggies. When the noodles are cooked, drain them and let them cool. Do not rinse them with cold water as this will affect how the noodles absorb the dressing.
While the noodles are still warm (but not hot so they will wilt the vegetables), toss them in a bowl and add the dressing, starting with a (1/4) cup and adding more to taste - this will be a personal preference! Toss everything until well coated & smelling wonderful. Add the basil leaves just before serving & enjoy warm or cold.
This lovely combination keeps very well in the fridge and seemed to get better as the days went by. I find that broccolini holds up a little better than broccoli in cold salads, where vinegar will often discolour broccoli over time. It seems to be high season for this green vegetable in Cali right now as I've been buying it for cheap just about everywhere I go.
Of course, broccoli will work just as well here, as would any number of vegetables, of course. Another testament to the versatility of that dressing I've found almost indispensable since I discovered it.