Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Farewell to the beach

I grew up so close to the beach that for a long time after moving to Athens (four hours inland), driving back down to the beach never really appealed to me that much. But now that I only get back to the coast about once a year, I really do love it... and I often miss smelling the salt in the air and even the occasional visit from a crab that has somehow made its way into my backyard.

Bob and I went down to visit my family on Friday, and then Saturday we joined his family at Tybee Island, where they have rented out a beach house for the entire week. We meant to come back Sunday night, but I was having such an amazing time that I convinced Bob to take Monday off work so we could stay an extra day. Even yesterday evening it was still hard to leave, but we really did need to get back home.


Sunday morning's sunrise over the ocean was an incredible sight to see. I love the way the light dances on the water...


I always think it's fascinating to watch sea birds... the way they fly so gracefully together, the way the wind currents lift them and propel them along... the way they dive-bomb into the waves and emerge with a meal clamped in their beaks. This flock of pelicans I watched for quite awhile, until they disappeared around the north side of the island.

Swimming in the salty water doesn't really do it for me most of the time, but walks on the beach in the morning and after dark are always special moments for me. There is something about standing at the edge of the water, listening to the dark ocean and unable to see where it meets the dark sky... It makes me feel more aware of how small my life is, in a wonderful way.

I made this Quinoa Spring Salad (Vive!) to take along with us... It made several good meals until we finally polished it off.


Yesterday Bob and I had run out of food at the beach house, so I made a trip to the grocery store and picked up a few essential items, to make this quick three-bean chili. Yes, it may have been a little out-of-season, but it was the best and healthiest meal I could throw together inexpensively... and I could leave it in the crockpot while I was out on the beach. I thought it might turn out just so-so, but it was actually quite good. Fresh lime juice squeezed in at the last minute really freshened it up.


Other than that, we took black beans and soy milk and got by rather nicely for the weekend. Oh yes, and before we left for our trip, I made this incredible sandwich, prompted by Gaia: Kale and Kraut Sandwiches from Vegan Vittles. Only... I had no kale, but I did have local collard greens, and they worked just as well. This is a new favorite--it's easy and tangy and healthy, and filling enough to fuel a four-hour drive.


Well, now that I'm home I'm going to be studying a lot, and enjoying the weather as much as I can, and maybe not cooking too much. But I'm confident that I'll have more to share soon. I hope your week has gotten off to a good start!

19 comments:

Monika K said...

Just wanted you to know that I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed reading your posts. I appreciate that you experiment with so many recipes, show how one can be a vegan and on a budget (this from a fellow college student) and always sound so optimistic about life. (-:

That's all - keep up the great writing!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

beautiful photos of the beach. i love dusk and dawn on the coast, and i totally share your feeling so small in a beautiful way while taking it in.

i love beach trips and packing food for them. looks like you'd be someone, tho, i'd gladly let take over. yum! hehe.

Johanna3 said...

love the photos!

aTxVegn said...

What a great post. I can't think of anything I love more than the walks on the beach you described. I missed Gaia's sandwich recipe - it sounds very interesting! I love sauerkraut.

Vivacious Vegan said...

I too miss the beach. I grew up close to the beach (in California) as well and I miss it like crazy. It's an 8 hour drive for us now (from Nashville) to get down to FL or AL beaches. They're much more beautiful and warmer than CA beaches. Anyway, sounds like you had a terrific trip. I'm glad you two had the chance to get away and unwind.

laura jesser said...

Monika, thanks so much! I'm glad you dropped me a comment - I love "meeting" the people who read my blog!

DGMGV, morning and night at the beach are FAR better than the hot, crowded, middle of the day! Yeesh! I had fun packing food but next time I would love to come up with something a little more "seasonal" than chili... hee hee.

Johanna, thanks!

Diann, if you like sauerkraut, I recommend this sandwich from Vegan Vittles. It's a good one... I love sauerkraut too.

Crystal, I've never seen the Cali beaches but I am sure they're much different than here... Something about growing up at the beach makes it stick with you forever, doesn't it?

Dori said...

Looks like you had a nice place for some r&r. The beaches ... that is one goal in my life, I have never seen an ocean, I want to one day.

theONLYtania said...

Beautiful pictures, the one of the birds is great. I miss the beach :(

That salad looks great, I shall make it soon. I love peas! Haha.

And I should invest in Vegan Vittles, the sandwich looks delicious. What bread is that? It looks amazing.

Kati said...

One of my lifelong dreams has always been to live on the ocean. For me, nothing compares to the peace I feel when standing in front of the sea - your words captured it beautifully. So glad you had a good time!

Chris said...

I grew up close to the beach too but I've lived inland for many years now. And like you I'm lucky if I get back to the coast once or twice a year. But your description really made me think it's time to get back there again.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Sounds like a perfect beach get-away. Georgous photos. & Bob's birthday cupcakes look totally amazing - decorated so pretty - you've really got it down, Laura. I hope you don't still have a sore throat, but if you do, gargle with warm salt water.

Kate said...

The beach is, hands down, my favorite place to be. It takes away stress, melts away sickness, and gives you a killer tan (no skin cancer pun intended- as long as you wear sun tan lotion). Your Quinoa Spring Salad looks awesome.

urban vegan said...

lovely photos and descriptions of the beach. I love the water, too (being a Pisces) and luckily, we only live an hour from the Jersey shore. ii'm looking forward to going this summer.


I'm loving that Quinoa Salad--they look like little jewels.

maybepigscanfly said...

The beach photos are gorgeous and really make me want to go beach camping. I love nothing more than watching the sun set at the beach. Sounds like you had a good time and managed to get along quite well food-wise. Quinoa spring salad is the perfect camping/vacation/pot-luck meal- it just fits all occasions and pleases everyone. I've never had kraut before and always associated it with fishyness- am I way off?

-Teresa

Gaia said...

Oh, how that post is making me wish the beach was closer ! I can't wait to go back. I want to *move* near a beautiful and peaceful beach though, that's my real wish :)

I'm so happy you love that sandwich too ! I was almost afraid to mention it because I thought that people would just find it too weird. We have made it several ways now and even without the greens, it's still good although less healthy :)
I want one now ! LOL

Caty said...

That first picture is absolutely stunning! It looks so calm and tranquil. I love the way you described walking by the beach, it's been so long since I've been to the beachand now I'm really missing it!

The food all looks great too, especially the soup.

laura jesser said...

Dori, I hope you do get to see the ocean someday - it's fantastic.

Tania, I used the quick spelt bread from La Dolce Vegan, and it worked very nicely for this sammich!

Kati, I guess that is a natural reaction that the ocean evokes from people. I hope you get to live there someday! My perfect home would be by the coast and by the mountains at the same time... I can never decide which is more important to me.

Chris, I think once the ocean gets in your system it stays there! It would be difficult for me to live inland for the rest of my life.

Vicki, thanks for your compliments - and your advice! Salt water never seems to help my sore throats, but thankfully my sore throat is gone - I think the cayenne pepper finally kicked it.

Kate, you're right - it is so good for you! Well, like you said, the sun's not good for you unless you're careful...

Urban vegan, I bet the coast is much different up there than it is here... I would love to see it someday. I love your description of the quinoa salad - thanks!

Teresa, I have never thought of sauerkraut as fishy - it's pickled cabbage, and it's very tangy and pungent but not in a fishy way really. I recommend trying it sometime - it doesn't sound like the tastiest thing but it's actually pretty good on sammies and such!

Gaia, LOL - I bet it would still be really tasty without the greens! I'm glad you discovered this recipe, because otherwise I may never have.

Caty, it never fails to stun me... I had never seen the sunrise over the ocean until this trip, and I could not believe how amazing it was.

KleoPatra said...

Laura, you know how i feel about the beach. GREAT PHOTOS. i also love watching sea birds do their thing. Very fascinating stuff... i'm so glad you had a great respite in such wonderful surroundings and with peeps you love - both sides of the family, that is pretty fab. It doesn't get better than that...

bazu said...

Your beach photos are so inspiring! I'm glad you enjoyed your time away, and even convinced Bob to stay an extra day. Perfect summertime activities- and food!