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Adventures come few and far between for me these days.  It is not that I am not loving my maternal/ professional/ domestic life, but I do feel the nostalgic for the days when I could take off on a moment’s notice for some incredible journey- usually with twenty bucks in my pocket and only the vaguest of plans.  So when my husband’s parents offered to watch our kids for a weekend so we could fly away (Yes, on a plane, with no children!) for a friend’s wedding, we jumped at the opportunity.

We filled the weekend with all sorts of adult outings and completely refrained from anything even hinting at a whine.  It was fabulous. The wedding  itself was  special in just about every way.  I was especially smitten with the food.  Every dish served was beautiful and inspired.  One dish in particular though, struck me with its intriguing taste and unique presentation, the beet salad.

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One winter while living in Eugene, Oregon, my roommates and I joined a local farm’s CSA (community-supported agriculture) for the winter.  We wanted to support a family that was growing organic vegetables through the winter in the soggy Northwest.  As it turned out, that winter was extremely harsh.  Most above ground crops froze.  Our weekly box from the farm consisted of only vegetables that could be stored in the cellar or the ground.

There was an abundance of potatoes, parsnips, burdock root, sunchokes, and beets.  There really was not much else aside from a scant amount of winter squashes that were harvested in the late fall.  Since we had spent the bulk of our food budget for the season on our CSA share, we were fully committed to making our meals from the food on hand.  It was an education.  We ate the roots boiled, pureed, and roasted with just about any flavor combinations you can imagine.  Still as the months wore on, our creativity began to wane.  It has taken me years to regain my affection for beets.  I am still working on burdock…

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