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Oh the darkness

This is what it looks like outside

My fiancé said this to me the other day, and I think I’d have to agree. I think we all have a case of the SADs. For those of you that either don’t live in the Northwest or Alaska, or maybe winter in more southern climes, SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder; which basically means you become depressed when it rains too much.

Up here in Seattle we combat the SADs in a few ways: we complain, we become passive-aggressive, we drink copious amounts of coffee, we drink copious amounts, and we complain about how much everyone is complaining. This all works pretty well up until—well, up until about April. It is right about now that we feel generally entitled to just a little bit of sunshine, and very sad when we aren’t getting it.

To combat the SADs (which is a clinically diagnosed mood disorder first formally described and named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health; lest you think it’s some made-up Northwest thing) it is recommended to use light therapy, melatonin or anti-depressants if it doesn’t clear up on its own—somewhere around mid-July I think for us.

Tropical beach

This is what it looks like in my head!

I prefer a slightly different method. When I look at the forecast, as I did today during a beautiful late afternoon break in the clouds, and am confronted by not two, or three, but ten—that’s right ten days of rain and clouds I turn to two things. Barbecues and tropical fruit.

Put on some shorts, crank up the heat and throw on a little Israel “IZ” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole. Then fire up the grill, get some steaks, or some portobello mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, chips, guacamole, anything that reminds you of islands, beaches, summer, sun and have at it. Throw a Hawaiian themed party, have everyone show up in lei and flower print shirts. Put on sunscreen just for the scent, wear your sunglasses indoors, put on your thongs (I don’t care which kind, we’re not judging here, this is a matter of survival), turn the lights up, drink canned beer and dance. Dancing is essential.

That’s why my box now looks like this:

Cucumbers
Fingerling Potatoes
Radishes
Yellow Onions
Zucchini
Cremini Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Braising Mix (Cut Greens)
Minneola Tangelos
Ataulfo Mangoes x 2
Limes

I’ve also added some ground beef, sirloin steaks, halibut, pork chops and two whole organic chicken legs. This will ensure a ready supply of barbecue materials. I know it’s a little meat-centric, but I’m a heartless carnivore—okay, semi-heartless as I believe responsible animal husbandry leads to tenderness and besides, we’re really loading up for some rainy days here.

The cucumbers, radish and tomatoes will be awesome in a light Greek style salad.

Zukes, mushrooms and onions will be taking their rightful place next to some kebabs.

The limes, mangoes and halibut will make a delicious ceviche dish, and since mangoes are at their peak right now (and part of my mirror-island life-SADs detox) I doubled up. I’m hoping to try making some mango margaritas, mango lassis or maybe just grilled mangoes as an appetizer for the pork chops.

Of course, I couldn’t have a box without my favorite greens and since I could sub out kale for the more colorful braising mix—why not?! SO, for those of you suffering silently, or even those hurling verbal assaults at every slow motorist out there, let’s get in this together. If you have a good remedy for SAD, let me know.

Until next week then, chin up. I hear it’s still snowing in the mountains.