Long Rough Roads That Do Lead to Somewhere

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Lighthouse Beach, Eluethra


I went on a fabulous trip with my wonderful, amazingly patient partner in crime.  We did some traveling along the roads of a small island in the Bahamas called Eleuthra.  There is one main road that travels the distance of the island that is paved.  Then there are tiny dirt roads that branch off if you want to explore towards any one of the many beaches.

One of our road trips was to a beach we had read was the most beautiful.  It was on the very southern tip and about an hour away.  After traveling the main road (about 45 minutes) we turned onto the this jarring and rugged road with tree limbs that reached out scratching the sides of the car and reaching inside the car to smack our faces.  We began our journey towards the Lighthouse Beach on this uninhabited dirt road.

Now, the tires on the convertible Chevy Tracker we rented were also so timeworn that they looked white.  I couldn’t tell if it was that color because of the sand or because the threads that were so exposed.  I was a little concerned our vehicle wasn’t up for the excursion.  It didn’t matter, we were on our journey.

This car ride to reach this amazing beach is like my own personal journey I’ve been on the last few years.  I feel like I have been on a road of rough terrain but believing this road will come to my own understanding, happiness and peacefulness.  I know people who have gone before me on this journey, which gives me some relief that I am not alone and a lot of gratitude for their stories.

My personal road seems to keep going on and on and on just like the road to the Lighthouse Beach with Stephen.  Is it ever going to end?  I feel car sick.  Will I get there?  Then, just when we level a hill and look out on the horizon, I think maybe this is it and then I see it goes on further.  This road seems to go on longer than I had anticipated.  Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten on this road had I known how difficult this journey was going to be.  Then I surprise myself with how determined I am.  Believing is what keeps me looking at the next hill towards the horizon.  Is it here?  No.  I keep going.  We keep going.  Another 45 minutes had to have passed.  I know that this road ends and a beautiful place exists.  It has to.

Just when I think I will crumble and I want to quit, I see it, a beautiful beach.  I immediately get out of the car and walk towards and into the water to cool off.   I touch the earth to keep my stomach from turning because of being car sick.  I am so glad to be out of the Tracker that any where would be better than the car.

I look over to Stephen and something is troubling him.  I have a feeling I know what is wrong but I don’t want to say anything.  Please just ignore it, I think.  It is a beautiful beach and I am happy to be here with him.  He says it.  “I don’t think this is it.”  Shit.  I really don’t want to get back in the Tracker.  I really don’t want to continue this journey.  But, the water is really rough.  There isn’t a lot of places to swim and snorkel.  It doesn’t look like what we had been told.  It isn’t what we believed it to be.  I saw myself starting to settle.  I was nauseous and satisfied to be “almost there”.

My sweet friend and lover says, ” we need to go a little further.”  I am so glad I listened and believed.  I’ve learned there are no short cuts and believe me, I have tried them.  I’d like to think my journey will become my story and those who travel it after me will know they too will get there.  And once we have arrived, we will know it.  It is breathtaking.  It is paradise.  It is heaven.  It is a state of mind.

We did get back in the car that day.  It was the shortest leg of the journey.  I thought our little Tracker would tip right over going through some of the holes in the road or those tires would just pop.  But we made it.  When we did arrive, we both knew we were in the right place.  We made it together.  We made it to our paradise.  The water was the clearest I have ever seen.  It was clearer than pool water.  We saw hundreds of fish, a sea turtle, and miles of coral and white sand.  It was really stunning.  And to think, I was almost ready to quit and settle for rough waters.

Now, after traveling so far, you will of course need some nourishment.  What better than a picnic lunch?  If nothing else, we all need a little food to keep us going.  Stephen and I loved this Beet Sandwich that we discovered at a cafe called Da Perk in Governor’s Harbour.  Here is my recreation of this healthy sandwich.

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Beet Sandwich from Da Perk

Ingredients

Multi Whole Grain Bread (cut into 4 thick slices)

2 Red Beets

Hummus

1 Onion sliced

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Lettuce

Tomato

Goat Cheese

Directions

Preheat your oven to 4oo degrees Ferinheight.  Place your washed beets in foil paper with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of kosher salt.  Bake for around 20-30 minutes or until you can easily poke with a toothpick in it.  While your beets are roasting, saute your onions until they are wilted and carmelized.  Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to your onions and a pinch of salt.  Spread a bit of hummus on one slice of bread.  Stack your sandwich high with the slices of roasted beets, balsamic onions, lettuce and tomato.  Spread the soft goat cheese on the other slice of multigrain bread and place on top.  Viola!  Now you have a delicious, healthy, meatless sandwich!  This is perfect for a picnic to the park if a beach isn’t your destination.

Here is to going the distance!  For all of us who think on occasion we can not walk another step in our journey or that this is not the place we belong, I tell you, keep going, you are almost there.  Just pack a healthy lunch, it can be a long jaunt.  Cheers!

 

 

 

I am no Detective!

I have never been a good detective.  I have been known to be a little clumsy.  I was searching a particular someone when my cursor scrolled over the “Add as Friend” button.   If I take my finger off the key pad and so much as whisper, the button seems to be hit.  I have done this accidentally to someone before that I didn’t know.   This time, I knew the person and it could have been ugly if they had known, not to mention extremely embarrassing on my part.  What would have happened to my image?  Ha!  My stomach hit the floor and my heart sank into the empty cavity.  I cautiously looked to see if  the “friend request sent” was highlighted.  It was not.  I carefully scrolled around the safari page to click it off.  Oh, dear God thank you!  Lesson learned.  I am not a good detective.  I am clumsy.  And I have NO business stalking anyone.  Back to the kitchen I go…

Wrapped Italian Sandwich

One luncheon I catered this week I made my Italian Sandwiches.  They have fresh pesto, fresh mozzarella, and Italian meats.  These are wonderful to make ahead for a day at the park.  Adding the Italian Panzanella as a side and the Brownies with Ganache Icing for dessert is the perfect combination.  I do love a this meal for a picnic with the girls, although, we have been having daily rain this summer here in Atlanta.  It does make a good lunch at the office, too.

I am excited to say, the luncheon went wonderfully, and I am going to be catering for them again.  I really should stick with what I am good at doing.   Here’s to more picnics and less stalking on FB!

Boxed Lunches

The first Box Lunches have been sealed, taste tested and there is not a crumb to spare.  The picture below is the chicken salad sandwich.  It is made with a whole chicken that I simmer with vegetables.  This retains a lot of the moisture and I get to keep the broth for soups.  I add mayo, sesame oil, cilantro, scallions, and celery.  The combination may sound strange but the taste is amazing.  I have been making this recipe and selling it since I lived in Charleston, SC., which was over 10 years ago.  I would sell the salad by the pound then.

I will begin delivering sandwiches next week.  Get those orders in.  Mandy@gritsandhoney.com My arms are wide open for the universe to guide me.  This is such a treat to be home with the girls, working from home, creating wonderful meals for old friends, and making new friends that I am now cooking for.  Thanks to all of you for your support and love as this next chapter begins!!

Box Lunch With Chicken Salad Sandwich

Box Lunch With Chicken Salad Sandwich

Pressed Italian Sandwiches

Pressed Italian Sandwich

       I needed something simple but delicious for a party I was catering for this weekend.  This puppy would be great for the pool, beach, or sunday picnic.  And, it makes me feel all giddy inside because of the simple technique.  I discovered this from a great website www.crepesofwrath.net.  The very very best part, drum roll… it doesn’t heat up the kitchen and it is blazing hot this summer!

    I went to my local farmers market where they make the best ciabatta bread, italian meats and cheeses.  I bought a loaf and cut it along the center, lengthwise.  I also bought Sopressata, Genoa Salami, Hot Capicola, Prosciutto, Provolone, Mozzarella.  You don’t have to use all these meats, in fact, for my catering party I did a vegetarian one with sundried tomatoes and cheeses.  You can be so creative with what you like!  I topped the sandwiches with fresh basil from the garden.  Then, I  wrapped it with plastic wrap and placed a book on top to press overnight.  No grilling or extra oils for this pressed sandwich.  The next day, I have nothing to do but cut it and eat it!