Snowy Cows | photo by Lea Valle

This is the year I finally learned to love winter.

In Texas the seasons are: almost summer, summer, still summer and Christmas. So my first winter spent in the northeast U.S., those many years ago, was a shock to my system mixed with wonder and joy at the novelty of the abundant snow. That year the winter weather lingered long into spring leaving me feeling, novelty or not, I might have made a mistake in venturing out of the familiarity and warmth of the south.

Snowy Trees | Photo by Lea Valle

But subsequent winters were far milder. Sometimes, much to my surprise, I found myself disappointed there was not MORE snow. It was a creeping, unconscious adaptation to a climate with four distinct seasons – winter not the least among them.

Snowy Willow | Photo by Lea Valle

This year the winter seems never-ending. The roads have potholes, the school vacation days are quickly disappearing from the calendar and the longing for spring grows stronger every day. But no amount of complaining will change the inevitable coming of winter snow. And this year I finally have learned to accept and embrace it. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but when others bemoan the next storm, I am quietly rooting on the snowfall.

Snowy Fence | Photo by Lea Valle

In spite of the inevitable inconveniences of the season, there is strange comfort in the quiet, forced sequester at home while the snow envelopes the world around us. I look forward to the quiet drives around town drinking in the peaceful landscape blanketed in newly fallen snow. I relish visits to the neighboring cows who seem only mildly perturbed at the cold, strange white matter covering them and their home fields. Even the time sitting at my desk peering out at the peaceful falling of new snow is a time to appreciate, rather than curse, the essence of winter in all its glory.

Cow with Sign double

The cleanup and annoyances that are all a part of the onslaught will come later. But for a while I resolve to be like a child in awe of the proverbial “winter wonderland.”

Boy with Snow | Photo by Lea Valle

Taking in the world made new, camouflaged as a cloud.

Snowy River | Photo by Lea Valle

So if you find yourself in the dead of winter lamenting the snow, take a moment to reflect. Because if you have even a hint of the mind of a poet, you might agree that newly fallen snow, covering the old, is not only beautiful but a sermon itself on the beauty of repentance.

A March Snow Poem with Photo

Seared Scallops with Strawberry Relish

Scallops with Strawberry Relish | PaleoSpirit

The bright flavors and cheerful colors of seared scallops with a sweet and sour topping of strawberry relish are sure to shake you out of any winter doldrums you might face. It is also the perfect recipe for summer when there is an abundance of fresh, sweet strawberries. Serve the seared scallops with strawberry relish as an appetizer or a salad. Enjoy!

Seared Scallops with Strawberry Relish

Strawberry Relish

  • 1 cup of diced fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt and
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced arugula (more for salad and to garnish)
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat and sauté minced shallots for two minutes – being careful not to burn. Remove shallots to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Add the diced/minced strawberries to the bowl of shallots along with the remaining ingredients: vinegar, salt, pepper and minced arugula. Strawberry Relish |

Seared Scallops

  • 1 pound of fresh scallops
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (ghee or butter)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add the olive oil (ghee or butter) and allow to heat for a few seconds. Carefully drop the scallops into the pan – leaving space between them.
  3. Sear for approximately 2 minutes on each side – You might need more or less time depending on size of your scallops. The scallops are done when they have a golden brown crust with a translucent center. 
  4. Remove the scallops from the pan and set them aside.
  5. Top each scallop with a bit of the strawberry relish and finish with a chiffonade of arugula for the presentation.

Serve as an appetizer or as a salad on top of a bed of arugula with extra strawberry relish on the side.

Serves 4

Scallops and Strawberry Relish | PaleoSpirit

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