Today's outside temperature briefly reached a balmy 0° F (that is - 18° in C). My car has a thick layer of snow on the floor mats that warms up enough to vaporize and then freeze on the inside of the windshield. Every car trip starts with scraping off the ice while my boys happily shout, "It's snowing in the car!" Somehow the coldest days of a Vermont winter are also the most sunny and beautiful. You look outside and think, "The weather report must be wrong, it can't really be that cold. Look at how sunny and bright it is." Then you step outside and your boogers freeze.
Today when we wanted to entice Sebastian and Julian outside along with their friends across the street, Ada and Ezra, we promised them a show. I tossed boiling water in the air where it instantly vaporized sending out a cloud of steam. We drained a kettle of water and all discovered the beauty of this cold day. It might have been cold but it still took several minutes for our boogers to freeze. Here is a video of our science experiment, if you live where it gets very cold I recommend you try this at home.
Sometimes in winter I crave something different, a dish with a fresh bright taste that allows you to look forward to spring and all the vivid flavors it brings. The other week I made the carrot ginger dressing I discovered last spring and we used it to dress shredded cabbage. Lewis, Julian and I each ate huge mounds of it. Sebastian declined, despite his recent love of soy braised cabbage and creamy red cabbage with mustard and fennel seeds, he still thinks of himself as a cabbage hater.
I found myself craving it again today to go with the bright clear sunshine outside, and the freezing cold temperatures. I figured out how to make it with an immersion blender as well, which I love for its easy clean up (plus I broke my mini food processor).
1 large carrot (3 - 4 oz's), coarsely chopped
1 - 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh ginger (we seem to prefer 1 Tbsp but make it to your taste)
1 Tbsp sweet white or awase miso
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (today I ran out of rice wine vinegar and used champagne vinegar)
1 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water
To make using an immersion blender (directions for blender of mini food processor below). Place carrots, ginger, miso, vinegar and sesame oil in a pint sized wide mouth jar or 2 cup glass measuring cup (or similarly sized container). Blend until finely chopped and blended. Add the olive oil and water a tablespoon at a time, blending well after each addition. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency.
To make using a blender or mini food processor; pulse the carrots and ginger in a blender or mini food processor until finely chopped, scraping down the sided as needed. Add the miso, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and blend until well combined. Add the extra virgin olive oil and water in a slow stream while the motor is running. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency.
Serve on the salad or vegetables of your choice, shredded cabbage is a wonderful winter choice.