Springtime apparently has gone and went, and hello we have come to say this past week to the bright sunshine and hot weather. Well, for me at least. I have no idea what I’m going to do when actual summer comes around because this has been plenty warm for me!
When I was young, my parents made it a point to show us the countryside. Oftentimes Summer vacations consisted of long car trips to various national parks, usually involving some crazy antics by my sister, like her “sleepwalking” episodes that caused her “unknowingly” reach into the containers of homemade cookies and snack on them (I don’t think she’s ever actually admitted to doing this on purpose, but I just know she did). I wasn’t really a fan of the long car trips, and sometimes I didn’t understand why we had to see “x” site or hike on a certain trail – afterall, didn’t every trail have a path with trees and after a long exhausting climb one finally got to see a decent view? Was it really worth all that work? I admit, there were times I really wasn’t feeling the fun-ness of family vacations.
But then, there were more than a few magical moments on each trip where I really saw what my parents had been trying to show us year after year after year – that there are some really awesomely gorgeous places in America, steeped with history and beauty – that outside of the craziness of every day life there is a world where none of the petty stuff matters, and what’s really important is being together as a family appreciating some of the more basic pleasures of life. I see this now, that I am grown and an adult. And I thank them more than they know for giving me and my sister such great opportunities to learn about beauty in the world, and having that sense of wonder that comes when gazing upon a horizon in a place for the first time seeing a vast expanse before you. I try to carry that with me still to this day.
I think I’ve totally taken that sense of wonder with me when we moved to Suisse. I’m sure my husband thinks I get a little overenthusiastic about the prospect of hiking, seeing the mountains, and taking photos. And yes, sometimes I’ve even been moved to tears (I’m really quite an emotional sap). But I love the warm weather because it means now all the ski resorts can start to transition to hikers’ resorts – and we can walk through valleys of green velvet with waterfalls all around us, and have lunch on the top of a mountain staring out at the world. Or we can choose to stay in the low lands around the lake, wandering around the Lavaux region watching the flowers of springtime and the vineyards coming back to life:
As much as I adore seeing the Alps, I also love seeing natural beauty in little things – a flower, a stone, a tree, to me these things are just as impressive as the tall mountains that stand before us.
And when I don’t feel so philosophical, I just like going for a walk soaking up the sunshine. Winters so far (all two of them that we’ve seen) are so dreary and gray, it’s nice to know that there still is a sun after all these months and that the earth is springing back to life again.
Or maybe it’s just all the jazz goodness in Cully that signaled the first of the coming long nights outside, open wine at a romantic table, enjoying the busy atmosphere around us
I’m sure the actual reason lies somewhere in a combination of all the above, but at any rate, I’ve really come to enjoy our hikes and our walks around Suisse on these warmer days, and also the excuse to prepare salads and stay away from the oven and the stove for a little while (woohoo for no-cook!). Lately we’ve been eating several salads for lunch and/or dinners – not ones that are just lettuce on a plate with a bit of dressing, but with every vegetable we can find – often good for those “clean out your fridge” meals. I particularly like using beans in salads, because it keeps the meal filling and adds a bit more of a weighty feel to the dish. This particular one took advantage of the last of our chipotle peppers and our newfound southwest herb rub, made into a simple sour cream based dressing. Simple and easy, and best of all no cooking required – perfect for a warm Spring day pretending to be Summer, so you have time to go outside and enjoy the view
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 15 min
For the Salad:
4 cups chickpeas, precooked (either by you or canned) and rinsed
2 cobs worth of corn removed from the cob
1 bunch scallions, diced
2 small red onions, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
fresh dandelion greens
1/2 cup sour cream
southwest spice rub, however much you want
juice of one lime
1 chipotle chile (diced) & a couple spoons of adobo sauce
a couple small spoons of mustard
1. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the salad except for the greens.
2. Plate dandelion greens and then the salad with the greens.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
4. Add desired amount of dressing and enjoy.