Light and Refreshing
I’ve been traveling a bit more than usual lately, on my own, which is different. When I was younger traveling the world from Bogotá to Tokyo, Tel Aviv to Athens, Seattle to New York—it was both exciting and no big deal in terms of exploring by myself. I’m adventurous by nature but these days I prefer to be with my family. Some of my travel has been back and forth to Long Island to take care of my elderly mother whose health is failing. The other was a single trip to Miami, Florida to meet with other website designers from around the world to discuss and develop our work, support each other, learn, and enjoy.
Sunset, Miami Florida
Boardwalk, Long Beach, NY
I’m not entirely sure how to describe this, but a lot of the learning and the thinking I’ve been doing recently as a result of these journeys has been on the level of how and what do we really know about each other, even ourselves. Traveling alone I had the time to reflect on myself and interact with other people as just me. A lot is said about the internet giving us the opportunity to create the image we want of ourselves, one that might not be entirely accurate, so when I ventured to Miami I wondered who I would really find. You see, this group of designers interacts regularly over the web about our work, but many of us had never met face-to-face before. It turns out that the people I thought I knew were close to exactly the way I had come to know them online. No surprises—just a rich and deeper understanding of one another that could only be accomplished in person.
As for the visits and caretaking with my 94-year-old mom, there’s so much that connects us genetically and experientially in our lives, that while our relationship isn’t close, we have a bond and an understanding that is unique to us and only the two of us. We see each other as mother and daughter, but seeing her interact with those around her in the healthcare system, friends and even family I’ve not met before or knew little about—I felt like I was getting a glimpse into the life of her as a person, separate from me. It’s useful and instructional. I’ve come to accept she won’t be with us much longer, so as I prepare to let go and say goodbye, I feel like I’ll be more able to bid adieu to all of her and who she is, rather than being limited to a version I know well. I’ve garnered a bit of strength from this realization.
Whenever I return home, the moment I move the car off the highway, I open the windows and am instantly welcomed by the freshness of clean Upper Valley air. Spring is here and with it the rich scents of lilac, lavender, apple and cherry blossoms, basil, mint, and marjoram. New life literally growing around us is truly affirming.
This dish of Grilled Swordfish with Spring Herb Salad is light and simple. The fish is marinated in a fig sauce which gives it some tenderness and a bit of crispy outer texture after it’s grilled. Normally a delicately flavored fish, cooked like this, it becomes filled with smoky flavors. The herb salad, with the aromas of mint and basil, is a light and refreshing accompaniment to the rich fish. Topped with some lemon zest and a bit of fresh salsa for spice, enjoy it any night of the week with chilled wine or beer and a loaf of fresh country bread.
What travels and adventures have you had recently? What has inspired you as a result? What have you learned?
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
You can view and print the recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Spring Herb Salad here.
You can view another version of this post here.
The swordfish and Stonewall Kitchen sauce were purchased at the Hanover Consumer COOP. The plate used in the photos you see here were purchased at the Norwich Farmer's Market.