Ruby’s Corner – April Edition
I take vitamins before bed: Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. Every night for the past several years without fail, I’ve taken these specific vitamins before bed. It’s what makes me know I’m not going to give up. You know, on life.
I recall an occasion some months ago where the sadness overtook me one night, as it sometimes does. I was in my apartment, sitting on my couch on the phone with someone I loved. In this conversation, I was confessing a lot of mistakes I’d made. In turn, I was encouraged yet lovingly scolded for being partly at fault for the situation I was in at the time – lost, in bed with shady business people, creatively stifled, broke and depressed. I recall something said to me that night about the universe, and about how it was blocked in regards to me because maybe I had blocked it (as I translated, “because I was being a Negative Nancy“).
Talented, fit, loving, giving and gracious girls shouldn’t be depressed. They should be ever-positive and grateful at all times. They’re lucky. Shouldn’t we all be so lucky?? Talented, fit, loving, giving and gracious girls should look around at all of their blessings and consider those less fortunate than they and just suck it up in times when they feel low. The thing is, no matter my rank in the luck game, sometimes when I feel low, I just can’t strengthen my fingers enough to hold onto the side of the mountain … and I feel too weak in the knees to climb to the other side. Sometimes the winds are too strong and the storms make the rocks too slick for me to get a grip.
So sometimes, I think about giving up. Sometimes. But I don’t tell most people that because I don’t want to scare them. And I don’t want to seem ungrateful. And I don’t want to seem weak. So I just sit on my couch or in my bed, grasping for air. I stare at odd pills in my medicine cabinet, then I put them back. I Google hotlines but I don’t call because I am afraid. So then I breathe my deepest possible breaths, and I cry my most broken tears – and I take my vitamins – because I want to live … and I want my bones to be strong when I’m in my 80s … and I don’t want to catch the common cold … and I want to be flexible … and, most importantly, not constipated. Definitely not constipated.
After I take my vitamins, I make some tea (Yogi Kava Stress Relief). I make it too hot so that I am forced to take big gulps of air into my lungs and exhale out into the steam in the cup to cool the tea down – because sometimes all we can do is keep breathing.
- 3 fairly large zucchini
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt; 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Juice of 1/4 of a fresh lemon
- 1 julienne grater or a spiral vegetable cutter*
- 10 large basil leaves
Place halved tomatoes into a large serving bowl.
Mince all of the garlic and add to the tomatoes in the bowl.
Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.
Mix thoroughly for about 15 seconds to help the tomatoes start to break down just slightly and marry their juices w/ the other ingredients.
Ribbon your zucchini with either a julienne grater or spiral vegetable cutter into a large secondary bowl. I personally stop once my fingers start getting too close to the blade. That usually leaves 3 wedges big enough to save and sauté later as a side for another meal.
Transfer zucchini noodles to the bowl w/ the other ingredients and toss until very well coated, making sure to lift and fold in the tomatoes that haven fallen into the bottom of the bowl.
Place your basil leaves into a neat stack. Roll them like a poster lengthwise (a miniature poster, yes, but work with me here). Starting at the tip of the roll, slice very thinly w/ a very sharp knife in a rocking motion (making sure that the front 1/5 of your knife never leaves the cutting board) so that little ribbons are made. This process is called ‘chiffonading’.
Toss basil into the pasta.
Salt to taste. Grated parmesan and/or red pepper flakes if you fancy…
*I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and purchased this thang called a Veggetti. It cost me $14.99 and it made my veggie pasta dreams come true. I would recommend getting something like this over a julienne grater because it will save you so much time and give you longer noodles.
Ingrid Michaelson – “Keep Breathing”
I first heard this song some years back and not a moment too soon. In the final bars of the song, Ingrid sings the lyric, “All we can do is keep breathing” over and over again. The music rises and falls around the repeated phrase, creating the sensation of partial chaos followed by complete calm. I listened to the song about 15 times that first time just so I could get to the end and begin again. It became a mantra.