Quick Pickled Red Onions

(eye)Lids close, and the projector finds its starting point. You see: The same story. The same one.

You do not have to see it again, really. It is written. [And it is over.] And you were there. But it plays again, anyway. Slides clicking, light flicking. What a long time to repeat oneself through the dark. Airtight, except for that which made it in with all that came before.

You finally buy a book a dear friend told you about [and the movies he said star: you]. You watch this version of yourself someone sees in you on the television. You tell yourself the first page you choose will contain what you are meant to encounter. Here is what you find upon opening:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wonderous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. (Kahlil Gibran)

How silly to think we are immune. Lids open, and you start to realize that maybe what you told yourself (when you were alone and out of sight; when the curtains had lowered and the back stage was setting; when only you could see what was replaying) can be reworded.

Like produce turned to ribbons on the mandoline, purple-white bands of crunch to meet warm salt and sugar and water and vinegar / peppercorn dots and chili confetti and lemon twists / and left alone to transform underneath the confines of that which holds it in.

It is fuchsia beneath the casing of its bounds, a watercolor world within a world, projecting its transformation through the glass and waiting

for the moment you are ready.

One Year: Confetti Cookies
Two Years: Maple Brown Butter Black Mission Fig Sandwiches with Spinach, Walnuts, and Danish Blue Cheese
Three Years: Black Bean Salsa
Four Years: Black Bean Chili

Quick Pickled Red Onions
Makes one 8-10 oz jar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced on the mandoline
1/2 tsp peppercorns
zest of one lemon, peeled
pinch of chili flakes

In a bowl, stir together apple cider vinegar, warm water, salt, and sugar until completely dissolved. Arrange onion, peppercorns, lemon peel, and chili flakes in jar. Pour vinegar mixture over and replace lid. Let rest on counter at room temperature for one hour before refrigerating. Onions are good for two weeks.


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