The difficult moments of our lives feel like rogue waves. They catch us when we least expect it coming out of nowhere. Charging from behind a deep horizon, at first all you see the tip of the iceberg. The hump of the beast peaks through while the beast barrels towards you. Unable to move, you simply stand and face the oncoming monster, partially due to curiosity of the future ferocity and partially to the chilling fear freezing your bones in place. As this wave draws near, you can feel the boat begin to tip. Beneath your feet, your stance becomes unsteady. Your world begins to turn as the structures and certainties you hold most dear begin to shake. As the water rushes over us, we are knocked us on our ass. The only difference is that everyone will come to face a difficult moment in their lifetime. Not everyone will face a rogue wave. I know I haven’t.
What do we do when faced with life’s tribulations? Obviously, I can’t answer that question perfectly. No matter the situation, my answer would always be to logically face your problem. You can’t outrun a buffalo. The beast would mow you down where you stand. However, facing a charging beast could also provide a hassle of funerary services no one really wants to deal with. So, what do we do?
Just the other day I was having a nice long chat with one of my best friends, Jay. We discussed our lives, our own trials we are currently facing. He told me something slightly silly, but very true. He said, every morning he wakes up and he thinks about his favorite superhero. He thinks about the kind of superhero he would want to be. What kind of character should he have? What qualities? What ambitions? And then every day he strives to become that superhero. I know is sounds incredibly nerdy, but I believe Jay is a secret nerd at heart.
After talking to Jay, I woke up the next morning and I thought long and hard about my superhero self. Who is my superhero self? I asked Craig who his superhero self would be. He decided his superhero self would be Luke Skywalker, if a Jedi counts as a superhero. I think it does. After a lot of thought, I decided no one has written my superhero character into this world. There is an overwhelming lack of awesome female superheroes that aren’t annoyingly righteous or totally good. I am so obviously neither all goody two shoes nor indignantly righteous. So who is my superhero? What kind of character do I want to emulate? What qualities do I want to possess? What ambitions do I want to strive for? And how far from my true self do I want to design this superhero self? All good questions, but I can tell you one thing. My superhero is a kick ass cook.
Beet, Cherry Tacos topped with Goat Cheese
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp pickling spice
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ onion, halved
1 small bay leaf (not California)
¾ tsp whole black peppercorns
¼ bunch fresh dill
3 beets (1 pound without tops)
½ cup Montmorency Dried Cherries, rehydrated by boiling for ten minutes
8 oz goat cheese
tortilla, freshly toasted on a hot pan
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Bring all ingredients except beets to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Cool marinade, then chill, covered, 1 day to allow flavors to develop. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cook beets in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Drain and cool. Slip off skins and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir together beets and marinade, then marinate, covered and chilled. Basically, let them sit overnight. Chop up the beets you want that night for the tacos and store the rest. In a bowl, mix the pine nuts, beets, cherries and a tablespoon of high quality olive oil. Assemble the tacos. Heat a pan on high. Using tongs toast the tortilla on the hot pan for a minute a side, maybe less. Spoon the beet cherry mixture over the tortilla and top with the goat cheese. Bon appétit!