There is nothing more rewarding than watching the people you love come alive doing the things they’re passionate about in their work and play. Shaun competed in the San Diego International Triathlon last weekend, medaling in his age group with an old-school bike, worn out shoes, and a humble heart. As I clocked his transitions and watched him cross the finish, I was overwhelmed with pride and love for this man, my comrade, my best friend and all of his amazing qualities.
One of the things I love most about Shaun is that he says YES to life. Yes to the challenges, yes to the adventures, yes to the broke months, yes to the rich (er, relatively speaking) months, yes to giving his time, his love, and his energy to others indiscriminately and often. The biggest and most admirable “yes” has been in his commitment to making a career out of his strengths and passions. Many have viewed his path as challenging and unlikely; but his perseverance has ultimately led to success and happiness.
I don’t have enough hands to count the number of times I’ve had someone say to me: “Savor every last bit of college before the real world, you’ll never get this back.” These kinds of comments or warnings make me sad because they reflect on the dominant reality that many people are stuck doing things they don’t love, that they have no passion for, and are longing for (the distorted image of) their college experience when life was (seemingly) easy and carefree.
I’m going to say YES to real life. Every phase of it. As I enter my last year in college, I couldn’t be happier to take what these years have taught me and put them to the test. That’s the point, isn’t it? With this attitude, we both can reward each other by coming alive and doing the things we’re passionate about. Thanks for leaving footsteps on the “road less traveled by,” Shaun. I love you to the stars and back.
When it comes to vegetables, I’m really passionate about beets. No, but I’m serious. It’s taken some serious restraint to postpone another beet post on Happyolks. I was inspired by La Domestique’s “Beet Week” to share a recent recipe that is simple, light, and perfectly summer. I might add that this has made the absolute best brown-bag lunch to my internship this week, a tribute of sorts to Big Girls Small Kitchen and their upcoming brown-bag lunch feature. Say yes to the beets, people.
- 6 golden beets
- 2 large heads of fennel
- 2 large peaches or nectarines (yellow or white, your preference)
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3-4 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Salt, plus more to taste
Peel the beets and chop into fork friendly pieces. Fill a large stockpot with water, bring to a boil. Add the beets, and boil for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
While the beets are softening, remove the large stalks of the fennel and cut into quarters. Remove the tough middle. In a food processor (have you guessed this is my favorite kitchen tool?) with the slicing disc, run the fennel through to thinly slice. Scoop the sliced fennel into a large bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons of salt. Let sit for 10 + minutes to soften. Prepare the peaches or nectarines by chopping or slicing them to your liking. My peaches were super soft so I went the “chunk” route.
When the beets are tender, remove from their cooking liquid into a strainer and soak with cold water to stop the cooking process. When cooled and dry, return to the bowl of fennel and squeeze/pour the salty water that has now pooled at the bottom of bowl down the sink. Add the beets, and then the peaches. Stir in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a bit of pepper. Cover with tin foil and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Liven up with more salt and pepper if you like, and enjoy. :)