I’ve become quite fond of upstate New York. I never thought twice about the land that laid to the North of New York City. I never thought about what it meant to be upstate. What it meant to be in darkness. What it meant to see horses and sheep and cows roaming along the side of a green mountain. What it meant to see snow in May. That is until I was allowed myself to be introduced. Swept away.
I don’t travel much you see. So often I seek beauty in the ordinary of my own streets, the familiar. I find great comfort in routine, simplicity, predictability and so I prefer this way of life I’ve grown so accustomed to.
The dilapidated barns, the muddy tractors, the man walking in a spring storm, back hunched, gun slung over shoulder. I wonder where he’s going, what he’s looking for. I wonder if the plum sky is a sign of a storm approaching or rolling away.
But when night falls, under a pitch black sky unlike any darkness I’ve ever seen, dimmed yellow lights shine in kitchens and on front porches. Suddenly, these lights seem so strange and out of place against such a mysterious absence of street lights, mini marts and development put forth by mankind.
I realize that I didn’t travel to any third world country, I was merely four hours outside of my comfort zone; but the ability to drive through such green mountains, particularly in such unrelenting rain storms, subsiding only long enough for deep fog to nestle around the girth of these mountains and then develop back into soaking rains, was incredibly delightful. Delightful in a bundle-up and have two rain jackets handy kind of way.
I returned home, thankful to get back to consistent cell service and my regular routine, but the wild flowers and mental snapshots I captured on my journey are captivating reminders of the beauty in someone else’s ordinary.
Blueberry breakfast quinoa is a fresh take on my own ordinary. This isn’t my first go around with breakfast quinoa, and it certainly isn’t my last. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple.
Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
Inspired by Pastry Affair
Mix 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 tsp honey in a small bowl. If using quinoa that was made ahead of time (and stored in the fridge), heat a small skillet over medium heat and transfer quinoa mixture to skillet. Gently heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer quinoa mixture back to a bowl fit for serving.
Add 1/2-3/4 cup milk, top with blueberries and toasted almonds.