When I was in second grade, we had what felt like an extra long, very cold and dreary winter. My mother, who was an avid reader of magazine articles, created her own version of a helpful hint for brightening winter meals. She decided to cheer up our day by serving a colorful breakfast one morning.
We often had oatmeal to jump start cold mornings, but this time she made a big pan of Cream of Wheat. She added some to the dog’s food, and then she heaped servings in bowls for my brother, our dad and me. As we sat at the table waiting to eat, Mom added drops of green food coloring to my bowl and stirred the concoction, then blue to my brother’s, red to hers, and yellow to my dad’s. (His was actually laughable; it looked like she’d made ice cream from snow where the dog had piddled.) My mother had the best intentions for brightening our day, and it ended up working surprisingly well.
I remember us all sitting there, staring wide-eyed at bowls of food that looked like we’d tried to make science projects but had failed. My dad finally smiled, picked up his spoon, and said, “You always appreciate the cook.” The food tasted pretty much the same, and soon we were all laughing: our lips and teeth had been stained the color of our Cream of Wheat. So on that dreary day, at home and then at work and at school, we all probably made others smile, too.
Mary Zalmanek, my favorite non-fiction magazine writer in my Wednesday morning writing group, and also author of ART OF THE SPARK, often thrills the group by testing recipes on us. She brightened a recent Wednesday by bringing tortilla chips and a big bowl of her amazing homemade Guacamole with Pomegranates. It was colorful, uplifting, amazingly delicious, and she generously agreed to share her recipe here: http://adventuresoftheheart.com/appetizers-pomegranate-guacamole-_529.html
This winter, and on any dreary day, rise to the occasion and create your own cheer. Spice up your life and the lives of others with a surprising burst of color.