In the last two years, my World has been turned upside down. As many of us have become sucked into the unpleasantries of COVID… job layoffs, surprise isolations, unimaginable financial stress. It all came together for us in a way I never thought. A year of thinking I was going back to the same job of 7 years… and then I didn’t. Only to take another job, that was not a good fit for me. And then one day, my husband calls and says, do you want to move to Seattle?? And after careful discussions and contemplations, we found ourselves selling our Log Cabin, shoved everything we owned into two PODS and drove in a KIA Telluride across country to land in the most foreign space ever. With a Chocolate lab, two children under 5, and two very adventurous adults.
The last 6 months have been… all the things. The way we navigated through this move was not smooth, but kind of perfect in its own way too. We’re renting this little house. In a sweet little neighborhood. Up on top of a mountain. Above the city sounds and the crazy buzzing noises… and on a clear day I can see Mt Rainer from my backyard. Eagles sing to us in the morning. Hawks too. And I have a garden! And right now it is just bursting with color. Brilliant colors of yellow, green, red, and even more green. It’s taken me a minute to realize, but I’ve always wanted all of this. All of the above. The full time mom’ing, the mountains, the part-time auditioning in my living room, and of course the gardening too. And how I got here… I have absolutely no idea. Life is just kind of cool like that.
Here’s my recipe this week. A beautiful EASY salsa using these beautiful bad ass homegrown tomatoes and one of your favorite songs to follow from DEPECHE MODE!!! EEEK!
RECIPE BOOK: WHAT CAN I BRING?
By Elizabeth Heiskell
8 Medium Tomatoes (About 4 ½ pounds)
1 Jalapeno Chile, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 Yellow Onion (I used Red), peel left on
4 Garlic Cloves, Peels left on
½ Medium Size Red Bell Pepper
¼ Cup Canola Oil (I used Olive Oil)
½ Cups Cilantro Leaves
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tsp Ancho Chile powder or regular chili powder
2 Tsp salt
1.) Preheat the broiler with the oven rack 8 inches fron the heat. Place the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and the bell pepper in a large bowl; drizzle with the oil, and toss gently with your hands to coat. Place the coated vegetables in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until all the vegetables are charred and blistered in spots, about 8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway. Remove from the oven, and cool completely, about 1 hour.
2.) Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Place the tomatoes, jalapeno, bell pepper, cilantro, line juice, ancho chile powder, and peeled onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.Pulse until finely chopped about 10 times, or until desired consistency is reached. Stir in salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Tortilla chips.
Life isn’t supposed to be easy. I suppose COVID highlighted the hard parts and made them harder. Made the isolation feel even more isolating and lonely. However, If COVID never happened, what would life look like? For all of us. I’m finally realizing that no matter how much control I think I have in this life, I really have none. As the saying goes… “Jesus take the Wheel.” And I will do just that. Whether you’re a Jesus believer or a Depeche Mode believer, I encourage you to pave the way through your own COVID challenges with lots of love, music, food, family and a few adventures.