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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Beautiful


“Mama, you’re beautiful”
My little boy says to me matter-of-factly, his face expressionless, save for the sparkle in his eyes - his one enduring trait.

I look up, stunned.
He meets my glance. And then again, as if to confirm. Or convince:

“Yes, Mama. You’re beautiful…” he says nodding his little head up and down, up and down.

To say I am surprised would be an understatement. Firstly, I have no idea where a 2 and ½ year old picks this word up from. Secondly, to have used me as an association for it's usage? I am filled with something warm and gooey inside me. It's threatening to drown me, and for a moment I can't breathe. I think it’s called happiness.

You see, the word “beautiful” is not just any old word. It is an incredibly special word. At least to me. It is perhaps my favourite word in the English language – the most “beautiful” word of all.

According to the Oxford dictionary, “beautiful” is  “wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying; delighting the senses or mind.”

And so it is something that rests on far more than perceived external beauty, something that penetrates the surface and reaches within. Like the light of the moon and the twinkle of the stars. The sound of church bells, the colour of that first Spring daffodil.
If the word “beautiful” could be felt, it would have a weight to it, a depth. A heartbeat, real and palpable. 
I love the word.
It takes my breath away.

When I sit back now – on this quiet Sunday morning, husband at golf, toddler asleep – and think, I realise that some of the most touching and memorable moments of my life, the ones that will stick forever and to the end, involve the word beautiful.

“You write beautifully” my mother said the first time she read my writing. I was 10.

“You look beautiful,” my father said, brimming with pride, when he first saw me dressed up as a bride. He couldn’t take his eyes off me that entire evening.

“You’re beautiful, Amu.” Sid said to me a few hours after I gave birth to our child. And  because, then, in that precise spectrum of time, I probably never felt less so - his words meant the world to me.

“He’s so beautiful.” My midwife Ebi said, when she handed Ranbir over to me, in his first few seconds of life. I remember the look in her eyes. The connection we made, over my just-born baby. My beautiful just-born baby.

And now.
“Mama, youre beautiful.”
From the most beautiful person in my life. 
For no rhyme or reason. No cause, nor occasion; no event nor celebration. Just because he felt like it.
And because it comes from the heart.

And so, to honour the word, here’s a recipe that’s just that – light, cleansing and utterly beautiful.

It’s my pear and walnut salad – wonderfully fresh with a delicious combination of flavours and textures. The slight bitterness of the leaves, the crisp juicy pears, the crunch of the walnuts, the sweetness of the ruby cranberries, and the soft tangy tartness of the dressing will leave you feeling refreshed and on top of the world.

Here’s what you need:

- 4 handfuls salad greens, washed and dried
- 2 pears, washed, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 cup roasted walnut halves
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 oz Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2tbsp light olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Here’s how you do it:

Divide the leaves onto 4 chilled plates and top with sliced pears and currants. Crumble the cheese evenly over the 4 salads, and top with walnut halves.

Dressing this salad is a simple affair. Combine the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk together and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Drizzle over and enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Yummyami,stumbled upon your blog during one of my food blog search journey and since then stuck here. I Love your blog/blogs!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am a big foodie and now a bigger fan of your blogs, your writting is so animated, i can imagine everything you talk abt in ur blog ( i am big dreamer you see and thats where my creativity starts and stops).
    Your style is so so chic,intelligent yet so homely.
    Variety of receipes your come up with are so damn in line with my mood swings......aha! just keep writing darling.
    Good luck.
    G

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    1. Hi G,
      Thanks so much for that very lovely comment - I am both chuffed and humbled by it, thank you! I am SO thrilled you like my food and my writing, they really are my twin passions :) honestly, its comments like yours that keep me going, so thank you, for reading, for writing in and hopefully for trying some of my food! Welcome and I hope you stay!!
      A xx

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