Transitions- Part 1

Spring is a time of transitions.  Some are surficial: purging closets, boots to sandals.  Some are botanical: bud break, the emergence of a crocus.  Some are spiritual: an awakening, a yearning.  All around, there is a renewed energy, a pull.  All week-long I have felt the need to write, a to-do list of pieces that need to be written, but I haven’t had the focus or time.  I awakened this morning after ELEVEN hours asleep, with the idea of transition.  It is the theme that is both pulling me to write and connecting the jumbled ideas, which cover the aforementioned range.  To spare you the crazy of my thought patterns, I’ve decided to break it into two parts.  I’ll start with the surficial.

It has been a brutal winter for many of you, so I hesitate to share that we have had a few days in the 80s.  When the thermostat begins to hit that range, it generally means I get my first cravings for Sauvignon Blanc.  Our grill died last fall and my husband finally had time to go pick out a replacement on Saturday.  So, I headed to the store for something to grill and some SB.  I don’t know about you, but I pick fish based on what is wild and what looks the freshest.  I had a preparation in mind, so I had already gotten the sides.  My shopping buddy also thought the Coho salmon was the “shiniest” so that’s what we chose.  (BTW, I didn’t even tell him what to look for, he’s got the instinct.  His uncles would be proud.)   He also did well with the Sauvignon Blanc label picking.


I started with the Israeli couscous so it had time to cool to room temp.  I browned it in sunflower oil for about 5 minutes, boiled for 15, then drained.  I added olive oil and salt so it wouldn’t be sticky, then started on the fish.  I  drizzled with olive oil, added salt and pepper, chopped rosemary and oregano, and lemon zest.  For the salad, I used bibb lettuce, toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan, and grilled raddichio.  While the boys grilled the fish and raddichio, I tossed parsley, oregano, lemon juice, and the extra pine nuts in the couscous.  On the side, I had Castelvetrano olives.

Since my brother-in-law moved here, we’ve shared many meals and he’s been very complimentary.  It means a lot to me since he went to culinary school.  This was the first time, however, that he’s said, “If you gave this meal to professionals, they would not tell you to add one thing.  It is perfectly balanced and complimentary.”  Who-hoo!  Love it when that happens.  Especially with a meal that is healthy and easy to throw together.

The wine I paired it with was a 2012 Doña Paula Los Cardos Sauvignon Blanc.  Bright fruit, a bit of herb and a lot of grapefruit.  This paired perfectly and, priced around $12, it is a wine you can drink anytime.

If you want something a little more elegant, the 2010 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc would work nicely too.  It has the lively citrus and herbal notes, but the addition of 6% Semillon and 5 months in oak soften the wine a little.  The wine has some briny, savory notes that would play well with food.  This wine retails around $20 and was provided as a sample*.

Saturday was in the eighties, Wednesday was in the fifties.  Transitions are like that.  A few steps forward, a few steps back.  Progress, regression.  They can be slow and daunting, or immediate and undeniable.  Regardless of the results, the process, the learning, the discovery often has its own rewards.  Some are intrinsic and some are as simple as a delicious meal with people you love.

*{Disclosure: I was provided with the Robert Mondavi wine from PR Firm, Folsom & Associates. All statements and opinions expressed in this article are my own.}

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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