Driving home from the inauguration yesterday, our three kids were in the back of the car, waving their flags, giggling, cracking jokes. Limbs were sprawled over each other and heads lolled onto shoulders. It was rowdy and raucous. Listening to them, I was heartened by their togetherness and their ability to make each other laugh.
But I was also nervous that someone would go too far and cross that line that had been crossed before and before and before. Those squeals of delight would turn into accusations and the mood would be broken.
We made it home, though, and after Gabe and I went into the house, the children stayed shoe-horned into the back of the car, talking together about who-knows-what.
It was a metaphor for the day, that togetherness.
When we are at our best in our non-political lives, we rely on that unity in good and bad times. Communities pull together when tragedy falls. Neighbors dig each other out of snowstorms. Families gather together around the table. In happy times, unity is cause for celebration; in difficult ones, it sustains us.
And for a day -- even in Washington -- unity was the theme. I was swept up in it and optimistic that if we pull together in our communities and as a country, we can overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenges that we face today.
At least for now, I'm feeling the promise that unity can bring. We are in this together.
Richard Blanco's "One Today" said it so eloquently, ending on a high note.
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always -- home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country -- all of us --
facing the stars
hope -- a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it -- together
20 minutes preparation time
approximately 60 minutes cooking time
This soup is made with the vegetables of the season, roasted first to give the soup that rich, earthy flavor. We liked this combination, but feel free to substitute the vegetables that you find at the market on your next visit, carrots, greens, sweet potatoes would all make interesting additions.
There is no need to peel the potatoes or turnips. Just scrub them well and trim off the turnip stem and roots.
1 small cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
6 medium turnips with their greens
4 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 head of garlic
1 quart vegetable stock
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the turnip greens off of the turnips. Set aside. Scrub the turnip bulbs and cut them into cubes. Put them in one side of a baking dish. Put the cubed potatoes on the other side. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and mix.
Cut the top off the head of garlic so that the tops of the individual cloves inside are exposed. Wrap the head tightly in foil and put it in the pan with the vegetables.
In another pan, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the vegetables, stirring them a few times, until they are browned and tender. The cauliflower will be done first, after 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the florets. The potatoes and turnips will take a bit longer. The garlic will likely be last and will be done when the individual cloves are lightly brown and soft enough to spread.
When the vegetables have finished roasting, remove them from the oven and add them to a soup pot. If necessary, add a few splashes of water to the pan to loosen any caramelized bits. Add that water to the soup pot. Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins and add them to the pot, too. Add the vegetable stock and enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 minutes.
Taste and add salt and pepper. Purée with an immersion blender.
While the soup is cooking, arrange the turnip greens on a baking sheet and toss them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Toast them until they are crisp and dark, but not black. Watch them carefully; they should take 7-10 minutes.
Serve the soup in individual bowls and add a turnip leaf or two to the bowl for garnish.