Full circle

About 42 million years ago when Dan and I visited Bayfield in March, I found out that I was going to be interviewing for the Greater Madison Writing Project. While on vacation in Boulder in April, I found out that I had been accepted to the program. And as of last Thursday, I can call myself a fellow of the GMWP Summer Institute (barring a couple of assignments that I still owe my team of enthusiastic leaders). Being part of the summer program meant presenting a 90-minute ‘Teacher Workshop’ in which I shared something that I was wondering about how I taught writing. I considered prezi and power point, but the truth is, I love blogs. So I created another one for my presentation- you can find this blog, entitled ‘Inspiring Writers,’ here.

Before my summer writing adventure began in July, Dan and I took a trip back to the Bayfield area, but this time we didn’t stop at the edge of the land. This time we took the ferry across the drink to Madeline Island.

Oh, Madeline Island. We jumped off rocks into Lake Superior, cooked delicious meals in the campsite and had riproaring campfires. We drove around listening to Neil Young, drank beer at Tom’s Burned Down Bar, checked out real estate and decided that we could retire now and work later.

And speaking of Bayfield, the photo behind this story has been making me happy/ weepy for several days now. If anyone knows anyone getting married in the midwest area anytime soon, I think you should encourage them to hire this woman.

All of this leads me to beets.

You have stuck around this far, so the least I can do is give you an idea for dinner. Dan and I recently dined with our friends Martha and Dominic, who always give me inspiration for salads. On this evening in their backyard we had a salad of garden tomatoes, olive oil, basil and mozzarella cheese and one of shredded beets dressed them in citrus and herbs. I have been making a version of this beet salad religiously since that night.


Shredded beet salad with citrus and herbs

1 bunch beets (I have been using golden beets)

Handful of fresh herbs (I like a combination of parsley, chives and lemon basil)

Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime (and zest of lemon and lime, if you are so inclined)

Splash of orange juice

Glug of olive oil

Salt and pepper, optional

Shred the beets in a bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a jar and give it a good shake. Pour dressing over the beets. Enjoy as is, or mix with spinach/ arugula/ lettuce.


My mom and sister, my salad gurus, have taught me that you can marinate components of the salad and then use this in place of the dressing (for example, cucumbers that have been soaking in oil, vinegar and herbs). I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Madeline Island, so I am heading back. This time I will be bringing a jar of shredded beets to pour over greens for our salads as we ponder that cabin with the lakefront view.