Sunday, May 24, 2009

blessings in a salad

I took the above photo this morning when I went into my fridge to get some almond butter to eat with my Extra Strength Advil. I noticed that the pea shoots that I bought yesterday at the farmer's market were all backing away from the top of my fridge, as if repelled by the cold or something. Made me laugh. I know food that's stored right beneath the freezer tends to freeze, for sure.

This morning at church the guest preacher (a member of our congregation who is also a member of parliament) talked about a mission and service trip that some of the congregation took to a First Nations tribe in northern Ontario this past week. We had raised money to buy nets to allow the tribe to feed itself according to its traditional ways, and Glen's story of that visit was very moving and also heart-wrenching. Among other challenges, these First Nations people can't afford the healthier food that can be shipped into their community (a carton of eggs or a bag of potatoes can cost $20), and therefore their diets are often poor, and diabetes runs rampant through the community.

When I got home and started making my lunch, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the abundance of affordable, healthy food here in southwestern Ontario. The above salad (my lunch) is made with fresh organic spinach and pea pods from organic farms, as well as Ontario carrots and apples. The only thing that was shipped from somewhere else was the celery, and even then it was really inexpensive (although don't remind me how many pesticides were used to create it - I might lose my lunch).

Seriously, though - that is some miracle sitting in my bowl. Awesome.

Really quick, here's how I make homemade dressing for my salads: drizzle olive oil over everything (don't ask me how much), and then splash red wine vinegar on top of that, and sprinkle liberally with salt or Herbamare. I toss salads with my bare hands. True. I usually wash my hands first, if that helps. Besides, I'm usually the only one eating my salads. Anyhow - when everything's all tossed, I test the flavour by popping a leaf or two in my mouth. If the salad tastes like something you'd buy in a nice restaurant, you probably drizzled, splashed and sprinkled right. Otherwise - lather, rinse, repeat. Wait - that's for shampooing. Nevermind.

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