Well, at least yesterday was July!
I remember Christmas in July sales, and I always wondered why they were called such. "Shouldn't someone go correct these confused store owners?," I thought as a child. I have just realized that I rarely, and rarely is being oh-so generous, go to stores. Well, stores other than a Grocer's, that is. The last time I was in a mall was more than one year ago now. Loud echoes of children's' screams, pumped pop music, overly made-up and matched women, and smells of Fastly-Created-Food-Grease nauseated me. I left feeling the need to shower the world off.
I will admit, Christmas is my favorite part of the year. The itch to hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas is scratched as soon as November's All Saints arrive. Sometimes, even earlier. I have always loved Christmastime, but instead of growing out of this child-like fetish, I have only grown into it all the more. Perhaps, I associate it with Home. In my college years, this was often the one time I would see my family.
My college house-mate turned best-friend, made me worse. We fed off each other's freakish love of this season, secretly savoring finding someone with whom we didn't have to hide the fact that, Yes, we listened to Christmas Music early...sometimes in October. Sometimes, September. It hasn't snuck its way up to July. Not yet at least.
Yesterday, I found a little bit of Christmas, in July, at the Golden Farmer's Market. Beets. Again with the beets! I wrote a post just last week on Beets for Edible Front Range. Am I becoming obsessed with these vegetables? Now that I have made their acquaintance, I fear I might over-stay my welcome and exhaust their genuine hospitality.
A while back, I lived for a year as a Raw Foodist. I drank spinach smoothies for breakfast and ate my fill of bananas. I even gave up tea. It, after all, is heated. I was crazy and took it too far. But, I am like that. If I do something, I do something. If I was going to be a Raw Foodist, dammit, I wasn't going to be a half-hearted one. However, that year turned me into a Half-Person, even with a Whole-Heart. I lost 20 lbs. off of my already too thin at 100 lbs. frame. My mom thought I was dying. Maybe I was.
My relationship was failing, as was my body. Both my significant other and my digestion didn't want me anymore...didn't want to try for me anymore. Every effort, for both, failed. And, I couldn't even console myself with comfort food.
During this time, the Boulder Farmer's Market was a sanctuary and I worshiped weekly at its altar, fellowshipping with other foodies. I could walk up and down, and then down and up through the stands and see things I could eat. Interesting things. New things. One of these new things were bright bunches of beets. Being, of course, that I was a raw foodist right then, I asked a farmer, "Can I eat those beets raw?" He gave me an "only if you dare" look. "Well, I tried it once, you see," he said, "and got these horrible sores 'round the corners of my mouth. But yeah, I suppose you could eat them raw if ya wanted to." Oh, what a good salesman!
But, I bought a bunch anyway because I had heard they would turn my pee beet-red, and I thought this was interesting. I would worry about how to eat them raw and sores in my mouth later. In the end, they were juiced. And, there were no mouth-sores afterwards. But, there were several, err, "changes" ...
I was mesmerized. Beets were powerful things. Victorious things ...
Ah, how I ramble. Now, back to Christmas. As I said, it was found yesterday. Christmas, that is. In July. A stand had three boxes of beets: golden, red, and candy-cane. The latter two looked the same -- exactly the same from the outside. But, outsides don't tell everything. In fact, sometimes they lie. They play the part of expectations and convention's constraints. Some, don't embrace their inner stripes. Some, you have to break, to cut open, to really see what's inside -- to see what they're made of.
A Candy-Cane Beet is one of these. It tries so hard to be normal. Can a beet ever really be "normal," though? Cut open, it reveals its unique traits, its character; and, these candy-cane beets reminded me to stay true, to be honest, about who I am and what I'm made of. Even, at times, showing some red stripes on the outside...
~ Christmastime Summer Salad ~
~ Candy cane beets & their greens, green-leaf lettuce. Dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, dill, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper. ~