Spring in My Step

March 29, 2021

And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
And the Spirit of Love fell everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest…
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant” 1820

 

 

Several days ago I received a vaccination against COVID-19. The subsequent intense and uncomfortable 24 hours of flu-like side effects, followed by a few days of a minor headache and mild fatigue, were totally worth it, as I look forward to near-future lengthy hugs with friends and loved ones and all the other myriad possibilities that victory over this pandemic will manifest.

Although the actual Spring Equinox was March 20th, today is the first day I am authentically feeling the anticipation of newness, warmth, healing and hope. It’s difficult to put into words all the emotions that are rising up inside of me, ready to bloom as soon as my “fully vaccinated” status date arrives.

How I feel at the moment is best expressed by the short video embedded above. Thanks to Rabbi Jordania Goldberg for sharing this with me. The video was created by TBWA/Paris, an advertising agency in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. The public service ad was produced for the SNCF, the national French railway company, to encourage train use in order to combat climate change. A brief “making of ” video, in French with English subtitles, is below.

Happy Spring!

 

 

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Lighten up as you step into spring with this classic Sicilian salad of Fennel, Orange and Olives.

 

Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad
This light, refreshing salad is surprisingly delicious and satisfying. Easy to assemble, it can be made up to a day ahead. Make sure to choose organic seedless oranges for their flavor and so you can safely use the zest. You can make this right in the serving bowl or pack into small covered mason jars for a picnic. The measurements below will serve two and can easily be doubled or tripled for more guests.

 

1 medium fennel bulb
1-2 organic seedless oranges (1 large or 2 small)
1/4 to 1/3 cup sliced, pitted black olives (about 2 oz)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

 

Zest orange peel onto a piece of plastic wrap and set aside.

Working over a medium to large bowl, cut oranges in half, peel and remove as much of the pith (white part) as possible, discarding the pith and breaking up the orange segments into the bowl. I like to do this process over the bowl so that I don’t lose any of the juice from the oranges. When all the segments are in the bowl, add a generous 1/4 teaspoon of the zest (save any remaining zest for another use).

Rinse fennel bulb under running water and trim off very bottom of stock, discarding outer part of bulb and tough stock parts. Cut the bulb into chunks and slices and add to bowl, reserving some of the fennel fronds for garnish. Add the sliced olives (you can also buy whole olives and slice into bowl).

Mix everything well, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and add salt and pepper to your taste. Mix again thoroughly and taste one more time in case you’d like to add a bit more salt or pepper. Top with reserved fennel fronds and serve. You can also make ahead and chill until serving time. Just toss again before serving.

 

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