We are constantly surrounded by noise. Barking dogs, heaters whirring, music, tv, cars, airplanes, people talking. The holidays seem to exaggerate all the noise. There is a constant buzz in the air. They say that making time to sit quietly allows us to connect with the noise inside, to recognize it and to learn about our fantastic and fickle minds. For years I’ve enjoyed making time to notice my thoughts and watch them fade away as I breath in and out. But for the last few weeks I’ve found myself afraid of the quiet. In the absence of noise, my mind gets carried away. I can’t control it and I don’t like losing control. I can only hope that learning to be ok with the chaos will make me stronger.
I heard a story today about a man who took a vow of silence for seventeen years. He said that after some time he was able to just be without thinking anything. Imagine how liberating that must feel. To be free from our minds. While I hope to someday experience the peace of thoughtlessness, even for a few moments, I can’t help but think about all the wonderful things in the world, made wonderful by our ability to recognize their beauty.
This holiday I’m more grateful than ever for the little things; for feeling safe in someone’s arms, for a sloppy kiss and a smiling wag from Roux, for Scarlet’s sweet moments of contentment, for icy cold water on my feet, for the warmth of the sun on my face, for the full moon, for snowy branches and a warm drink in my hand, and for simple nourishing food that reminds me how beautiful and wonderful this world really is. Happy, peaceful holidays to all of you!
ROASTED BEETS WITH HORSERADISH HERB YOGURT AND TOASTED HAZELNUTS
6 small beets, tops removed, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup sheep or goat yogurt
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the beets with the olive oil and salt and spread evenly on a lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from the oven and rub the hazelnuts between your palms to remove the loose skins. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, horseradish, herbs and salt.
To serve, place the roasted beets on a plate, top with generous dollops of the yogurt and sprinkle with the nuts.