As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t love the cold. I don’t love winter. I don’t love the lack of fresh produce in the grocery stores. Although the snow-covered outdoors is beautiful this time of year, I am constantly reminded that spring is nowhere near.

I am originally from Florida. I’ve only been up north (if DC counts as north?) for a few years now. Growing up, I didn’t know the meaning of ‘winter storm,’ or ‘black ice.’ Do you mind if I tell you about my first real winter? I’m going to assume that the silence means that each and every one of you is hanging on to my every word and cannot wait any longer to hear about my first winter experience.

I moved to DC a little over 3 years ago. I’m a Florida girl at heart. I love the sunshine, the beach, and, most of all, air-conditioning. I had heard about this thing called winter and wasn’t excited. But, I was ready for it. Or so I thought.  Sometime in October of that first year, the weather started to change and I pulled out the one sweatshirt I owned. Sometime in November, it became too cold for that sweatshirt. I went to Macy’s (aka the mothership) and spent a few hours picking out sweaters, tights, and a cute pair of boots.  I happened to be on the phone with my mom, who is originally from Cleveland, during my shopping spree. She warned me that it was going to get much colder than 50 degrees; she advised me to buy one or two things and wait a month for winter to hit.

It took me a few minutes to explain to my mom that she didn’t know what she was talking about. Winter had come. It was cold outside. I was sure of it.

Needless to say, she was right. I was wrong. Hey, there’s got to be a first time for everything. I bought myself a winter coat and spent the next several months complaining that my toes were freezing. Finally in March, a friend asked me why I never wore winter boots. HUH? Apparently there is a difference between cute fashion boots and warm winter boots. I know that now. But really, didn’t anyone think to mention it any of the other couple hundred times I complained? Was I not complaining well enough? Should I work on my whine? Forget whine. Does anyone have any wine they would like to share with me? It’s cold here; and, I hear that alcohol will keep me warm.

It took me a while; but, I’ve learned how to appreciate winter produce. More importantly, I’ve learned where to buy the stuff from Mexico that’s available year-round. (During the summers, I tend towards eating locally produced organically grown produce. During the winters, my ethical ambitions fail me and my grubby fingers grab whatever is available.)

Today’s recipe is my little ode to a simple colorful salad. It’s so easy to make that ya’ll are gonna laugh when you get to the recipe part of it. As a bonus, all the ingredients can be readily found all year round. I’ve been making this gem of a salad since my college days helping my Rebbetzin prepare Kiddush lunches.