Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When You Need to Create

A few months back, my best friend confided with me over cocktails at the Columns that she had been having some crazy dreams.  Almost every night over the course of a few weeks, she dreamt that she was pregnant.  I did not find this to be disturbing or abnormal, as I myself have had this dream before.  Plus she has been married for five years, so I figured that the subject of babies was naturally on her brain by this point.  But there was more to it.  There was an elaborate plot line I do not fully recall anymore, but the gist of it was this: She dreamed she forgot the baby every place she went.  That she forgot it in the car.  That she was feeding it soup straight from a can.  She had absolutely no idea what to do with it.  Everyone flew straight to the oh so obvious conclusion: the dream clearly indicated that she longed to have a baby but lacked confidence in her parenting skills.  She wasn't sure they were ready for a baby, they weren't at the right place yet, she still had other things she wanted to do before a baby, etc.  I reassured her that she would make an incredible mother, but even as I said it, I felt there might be more to the dream than the obvious.

I am not one to embark on a lengthy analysis of my (or heaven help us, others') dreams.  Nor am I accustomed to enure them with elaborate meaning.  But then a few weeks passed and Best Friend came back to me with some interesting information.

She had begun to crochet an afghan.  This on its own does not seem like much.  But when she began organizing the project, picking out the yarn, deciding on the pattern, and then putting it all into action, the dreams stopped.

Suddenly it all made sense.  She didn't need a baby.  She needed to CREATE.  Carrying a baby for nine months, giving it life, and then caring for it is the most profound act of creation of which we human beings are capable.  Her mind and heart found what it was seeking in the creative process of planning and crocheting a project.  It was also true when she forced herself to find the time to create in the kitchen.  We both share a passion for cooking.

Every year Trinity Episcopal Church on Jackson Ave. celebrates Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday with "Bach Around the Clock," a 27 hour ongoing concert featuring performances from school groups to some of the city's greatest musicians, like Delfeayo Marsalis.  While Bach does dominate, other classical composers as well as jazz and some out of the box selections (can we say "Harry Potter" theme) all resonate throughout the church.  You come and go as you please, and no admission is charged.  If you get the urge to hear a really stellar violin solo at 3 a.m., you know where to go.

After margaritas and Mexican, our two best friends (conveniently married to each other) accompanied us to "Bach Around the Clock."  And something amazing happened there.  I was reminded of Best Friend's dream.  In this amazing church, listening to brilliant works of art coming from the fingers, lips, and throats of talented individuals, my soul, so anxious and wound with worry, settled down, breathed, and sighed so loud I thought it echoed across the pews.  They weren't playing hymns, but that didn't matter.  What came from them was a gift from God.  God gave them the gift to be able to produce music of this caliber, and they in turn gave it back to us, sending our spirits soaring to the rafters.

My husband and I aren't exactly opera people.  But listening to one soprano perform an aria caused us both to clutch each others' hands.  I had tears in my eyes by the end.  How can a person's voice do that?  I was--and am---convinced that nothing short of God's intervention could bring a sound so ethereal from any of our very human and inherently flawed throats.

We were so awed by the performances that we returned the next day.  The New Orleans Youth Orchestra was playing.  I prepared myself to be underwhelmed.  These were just a bunch of kids, after all.  Quite the contrary.  They played the way I imagine heaven will sound.  Those little tiny children who can't drive or vote or do long division---heck, I'm pretty sure some of them are probably still struggling to keep their shoes tied---produced a sound beyond the scope of ordinary existence.  As if I was hearing music for the first time, I realized the skill and dedication these children were exhibiting, and how we all have a contribution to make, no matter our size, education, or economic status.  Live music will do that to you, will remind you of the truly amazing side of humanity.

All this to say---God made us in His image.  So often that part of us in which God resides is not visible to our neighbors.  So often we see only the destructive side of people.  God was and is the great Creator, and he made each of us with a need to create.  Not all of us are going to have the ability to play like those children in the orchestra, but we each have something to create and to contribute.  My husband is a writer.  My mother can look at a room and in two minutes rearrange it in a way that brings out beauty formerly unknown.  My father has an amazing garden.  My grandmother, self-trained and with no experience save that of her own kitchen, proves that food can truly be art.  My dancing sister moves her body in ways I never could.

When we lose our ability to create, our self-made demons emerge.  At first we might just be grumpy or confused.  But soon that God-given energy to create---that blocked up, denied, repressed gift---has to go somewhere, and it can so easily lend itself to destruction.

Which is why it is time for me to go cook.  And crochet.  And sing in all my off key glory.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

When You Have the Music in You

"For he who sings praise, does not only praise, but also praises joyfully; he who sings praise, not only sings, but also loves Him whom he is singing about/to/for."
---St. Augustine of Hippo

Sometimes I catch my husband glancing at me with a smile on his face.  I will pause for a moment and wonder why.  Then I realize I've been singing all along, entirely unaware of the song in my heart pouring out of my lips.  I blush and say, "I've got the music in me."  And it's as if it overpowers me, takes over me, and spontaneously soars from my mouth.

But it's more than music that is in me.  Clearly, obviously, without question, it is God.  How else can you explain that something coming from nothing, the quiet one moment and the exuberant rising and falling of voice the next?  And how can you explain the feeling I get when I let my mind go, my thoughts fall away, and the magnificent fervor of song rise up through my whole body?

I truly believe that singing is a kind of prayer.  And it is certainly a form of praise.  So often in prayer we seek things, bring petitions, ask things of God.  This is perfectly acceptable.  In fact, he tells us to do this, encourages us to come to him.  But wouldn't it be wonderful to send him praise as well?  Can you imagine how God must feel when, after listening to so many pleas and woes and recitations of complaints and fears, He hears someone glorifying Him, singing out the joy that God inspires within?

Sometimes when I don't know what to say, when words have fled, when my thoughts are all a jumble, all I have is song.  They are the songs I learned long before I could actually read the words and follow along in the hymnal, some of the earliest sounds of my memory, songs that have remained ingrained in my mind long after the Periodic Table of the Elements and sine, cosine, and tangent formulas have faded away.  I reach for these songs, and they never fail me.  They always deliver me from the immediate situation, from my worry, from my fear and bring me to a place far beyond those things.  I actually feel lifted up when I lift up my voice.

I do it in the shower.  A lot.  I do it when I wash dishes or fold clothes.  I whisper those wonderful words as I fall asleep at night.  Recently, when pacing back and forth watching my second graders pick apart their lunches, I found myself singing under my breath.

Not until adulthood, when I really began to seriously read the Bible, did I discover how closely those good old church songs adhere to the words of Jesus, to the poetry of the Psalms, the messages of the Gospels.  I never thought I knew many Bible verses word for word, but then I realized when singing out that I knew far more of them through song than I ever realized.

St. Therese of Lisieux said that "prayer is a surge of the heart."  I can think of no greater example of that than letting your voice ring out in praise of Him.

Monday, April 8, 2013

What's Cooking?: Beef Lo Mein

In an attempt to save money, I have been scouring the grocery for deals on meat.  I found some "stir fry beef" marked down to a ridiculously low price, probably because it was nearing its expiration date.  So I had to figure out something to do with it.

I have attempted stir fry on many occasions but am always disappointed.  I wanted to make something that tasted similar to lo mein, sort of a cross between a stir fry and a lo mein.  All previous attempts of this had registered somewhere between disastrous and just blah.  So I scoured the internet, comparing different takes, and ultimately decided to take a little bit from each recipe to create my own.  As I told my husband, it would either be amazing or absolutely horrific.

This is what I came up with.  I do not claim that it is authentic Chinese.  Let's just say it's my take on things.  And it was by no means horrific.  In fact, I loved it.

Beef Lo Mein

1/2 pack of linguine or spaghetti (I'm a linguine fan)
1 lb stir fry beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (I love ginger, but you could add less if you'd like)
1/2 of a red onion
1/2 a bag of shredded carrots
2 cups chopped up broccoli
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dry cooking sherry
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce plus extra for meat

Salt and pepper the beef and pour some soy sauce over it as a marinade.  Let sit for as long as you can (mine sat for a mere hour).  Cook noodles according to directions.  Put vegetable oil in skillet and get skillet very hot.  Cook the beef on one side, then flip and cook on the other.  Grate the ginger over the beef.  Add onions, carrots, and broccoli and stir fry for about 8 minutes.  In a separate bowl, mix together the corn starch, rice wine vinegar, cooking sherry, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce.  Pour mixture over the meat and vegetables and stir together to combine.  Take the pasta and fold it into the meat, vegetable, and sauce mixture until it is incorporated.        

Thursday, April 4, 2013

When We Listen

I am a teacher.  I have taught for five years now.  Consequently, I have encountered a large number of children, many of whom are now actively evolving from children into adults.  I am constantly reminded that, while there are some differences between children and adults, in most ways we are the same, with just some minor height differentials.  This does not surprise me now, though it did seem like a revolutionary idea when it first dawned on me.  Children are like microcosms of us.  Every single day I see reflected in "my" children behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, and dreams that I, too, possess.

One of the things I value most about my experience as a teacher is the way I have come to appreciate different personalities.  The way I now tolerate, accept, and understand differences in others that would never have made sense to me before.  The bottom line is: they don't have to make sense.  Other peoples' differences are theirs, not mine.  Just because it is something I wouldn't choose or do or say doesn't mean it isn't absolutely right for another person.

As I grew in this realization, I came to fully appreciate all "my" children.  And with the knowledge that children are just tiny adults, I then transferred this appreciation to those bigger people in my life.  As time passed, I realized I love that through teaching I get to know so many people, watch them grow and change and develop, and foster interests and desires different than my own.  Everyone has a story.  I love stories (can't tear me away from a good book!).  And children love to share their stories with you!  Listening to those stories could very well be one of the most important things we can do for them.

Children can tell when you don't really want to listen.  When you hear them, but don't truly take in what they are saying.  All the "uh huhs" and "ehmms" and "yeses" and "oh reallys" and "wows" that you absently mouth while you are trying to get the pencils sharpened, the papers stacked, the books out---they see through those things!  Truth be told, adults see through them, too, but they are just too polite to call you on them.  We are all guilty of it.  Life gets in the way, responsibilities pile up, and the powers that be bear down hard.

Especially as a teacher at this time, with the state of education being what it is, we are weighed down with testing testing testing and rubrics and evaluations and the implementation of such pie in the sky concepts as differentiation, grouping, assessment, and Bloom's Taxonomy (don't even get me started on the acronyms).  I find that elementary school teachers in particular become obsessed with things like interactive bulletin boards, color coded file folders, and elaborately designed word walls.  But nothing I have ever done as a teacher---no strategy implemented, no lesson planned, no organized filing system---has made as much of a difference in the lives of "my" children as listening to them.  Seemingly the simplest technique in the book, actually taking in their stories and responding in a meaningful way has far more of an impact on children than any other research based practice.  You want to talk about high quality instruction?  Nothing has aided me more in this endeavor than the stories the children tell about themselves and their world.

Why?  Because suddenly I know them!  Better than any score on a test or anecdotal observation or peer evaluation (see what we go through as teachers?!).  I know what they love, what they are passionate about, what moves them, what makes them laugh.  And then I know how to reach them!    

There are times when it is so tempting to say, "I don't want to hear about what happened at soccer practice yesterday.  Could we please just work on addition facts."  Or, "Really your drive to the beach is over and done with, and can't we get back to pronouns?"  Or possibly even more accurate, "I understand that your cat must be the only cat in the world who climbs trees, kills birds, and scratches people, but can I just have a moment of peace and quiet, please?"

The best part of all of this?  It isn't even about the student-teacher relationship?  It's about all our relationships.  Period.  How do we really come to know our friends, spouses, sisters, brothers, neighbors without listening to their stories?  Hearing how they perceive themselves and their place in the world has a direct impact on the relationships we are able to build with them.  If you take the time to listen, you may even find the littlest details fascinating.  And you might discover that the stories of those around you give you far more than you ever believed, that the joy, hilarity, and wonder gained exponentially exceeds the little bit of time sacrificed or energy expended by you.  I know that's the way I felt when I stumbled upon this one afternoon.

Sometimes the magic is in the tiniest of stories.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

St. Joseph

We say it every night.  The Prayer to St. Joseph.  I suppose it's one of those things that makes us Creole, uniquely New Orleans.

New Orleans has a deep sense of tradition surrounding St. Joseph's Day.  On March 19th, the feast day of St. Joseph, Catholic churches across the city have elaborate altars in his honor.  These altars are covered with enormous quantities of food.  Often the different food is symbolic, and the ubiquitous Italian cookie is always present.  Every year my great aunt rolls out pound after pound of dough and shapes them into cookies to cover the altar.  New Orleans was (and is) a port city, and consequently, quite a few people of Italian descent came to us and remained here.  They brought with them the tradition of honoring St. Joseph, and the native Creole population embraced it as well.  The tradition hearkens back to Sicily, where prayers to St. Joseph were thought to provide relief during a time of famine.  During the famine, a diet of fava beans brought them through, and today they are still placed on the altar.  Now we call them "lucky beans."

Here in New Orleans we have another special tradition surrounding St. Joseph.  When trying to sell a home, we bury a statue of St. Joseph in the yard and pray to him every night.  After your home sells, you dig up St. Joseph and display his statue in your home out of gratitude and love.  St. Joseph was a carpenter and also a hard worker, so associating with the home seems natural.  Of course, my husband and I speak to God and Jesus very regularly about our concerns, blessings, and petitions.  But praying for St. Joseph's intercession for the sale of our home seems like one more step in growing closer to God and those great people who were closest to Him across time.

For a while, I felt guilty praying to God about something as trivial as selling a home.  But then I realized that things like home and family are close to His heart.  He loves us.  Plain and simple.

Why all this urgency to sell our home?  What is motivating us to move?  More than anything in the world, we want to start a family.  And having a family in our 650 square foot, third story walk up, yardless apartment in the middle of the city just doesn't seem right.  Couple that with the fact that our dog Henry, truly a member of our family and so very dear to us, endured a serious operation and medical issues that render it impossible for him to go up the stairs to our apartment.  No longer will visits to the park do the trick; it is overstimulating and too much for him.  He needs a quiet yard and a one story home.  Right now, he is with my parents, and I miss him terribly.  I feel like our family is divided right now.

Which brings me to why I believe prayer to St. Joseph is so very important in all of this.  The Holy Family.  For two people who want to begin a family, looking to Joseph is so crucial.  Husband of Mary, foster father of Jesus, who better to exemplify all that it means to value family and home?  Joseph had some great struggles; how could someone from his time and place comprehend something as extraordinary as the Annunciation, as his betrothed bearing the son of God?  How easy it would have been to condemn Mary, to turn his back on her, and to want nothing to do with Jesus.  And yet he had such tremendous faith!  He trusted in God, grew in love with Mary and Jesus, and made a home for them.

I hold up the prayer card every night when we lie down in bed, and we say the prayer with our whole hearts.  My husband joked one night that we no longer needed the card; we know it by heart.  What a bittersweet moment!  On the one hand, I was saddened that we were still saying the prayer because it meant we were still trying to sell our home.  Yet I also felt moved that my husband and I have faithfully stuck to this practice, that each night we come together and share this, that we are growing in faith.  St. Joseph will always have a special place in our marriage, our hearts, and our home.

Monday, April 1, 2013

When You Want It RIGHT NOW!!!

There are moments in life when our adult bodies aren't so far removed from those of our childhood.  It's as if there is another layer of self just beneath the surface, like what can be seen with the eyes is just a film coating a tinier reality.  And the foot-stomping, door-slamming, yelling and screaming child wants it all RIGHT NOW!  Trying to speak of an abstract concept like patience to that self is about as successful as embarking upon an introduction to the fiscal cliff or delineating the history of strife in the Middle East.  All that it knows is RIGHT NOW, and instant gratification is demanded.

Perhaps being patient would be easier if there were guarantees.  When I was waiting for God to send my husband to me, I used to assure him that I could be ever so much more patient if He would only assure me that I would in fact get married.  Just the knowing would be comfort enough to get me through the waiting.  But waiting without any certainties is a torment, especially to the child-self.

How am I any different than the child whose questions about when it will be lunch keep driving me mad?  For him, the span of time between breakfast and lunch is an eternity.  We must sound like that to God, making a speck of time a century and fussing over something that will occur in good time.  We may grow up, but we rarely outgrow those longings, those needs, that imperative NOW NOW NOW!  The funniest thing---often when we do get "it," we don't know what to do.  We focused so much on the wanting that thoughts of application were never broached.

Would having had a guarantee that I would most definitely get married have made finding my husband any sweeter?  Would I have learned as much, grown as much, and been as grateful?  Not sure.

My outpourings of please please please and soon soon soon to God----do they sound the same as my prayers to find the person with whom I was meant to spend my life?  I am sure He listened to those with lots of sighing, knowing full well He had a plan for me, wishing I would trust more.  It's as if I can hear him saying, It will happen.  All in good time.  In my time.  At the right time.  Trust in me. 

So why does it seem so unbelievable?  Why so far-fetched?  On my wedding day, right until the point I was actually entering the church, I kept exclaiming, "I can't believe this is happening!  I can't believe this is really, actually, truly happening."  My mother said, "You MUST stop saying that!"  Why the disbelief?  What was the source of the astonishment?  That God would love me, too, among all the other people in this world?  That He actually had a plan just for me?  That something so longed for, prayed for, dreamed of could finally come true?  And if something as complex, nuanced, and unbelievably important as two people falling in love could come to pass through His grace, why not something as simple as the sale of a house?

It will sell, I tell myself.  God knows it.  Oh, for stronger patience and renewed faith.

I walk through the park in this early spring and see the live oaks full of yellow sprays of pollen and pale young green leaves screaming of life and rebirth.  They fill my soul with joy, with promise.  Then I notice wrinkled brown leaves---just wrinkled brown leaves, no sign of life---on two of the live oaks.  They are huge and magnificent and ages old, and I am immediately stricken with fear.  I ask my husband if he thinks they are dead, and he says it certainly doesn't look good when all the other trees are flagrantly displaying life and renewal.  A few days later, I return on my own for a walk of silent reflection, trying to set aside my anxiety and open my heart to spring.  And I see it!  I pull down my sunglasses, jerk them off entirely, just to be sure.  There it is---the slightest, lightest green, a sign of new life emerging from beneath the brown, the old leaves already falling away to make room for the new.  The trees are not dead.  They are being reborn, just like their neighbors, only a little later than the others.  I regretted my walk by those trees, thinking them dead, doubting their viability.  I should have looked at them and said, "All in God's time.  They may be brown now, but one day they will be green.  Just a little more time and a bit more patience.  Nothing lasts forever."

There is fruit on the tree, new life growing all around us.  We might be waiting now, but we won't always be.  Though we might feel like a little child, like NOW is all there is and all there ever will be, when we look back on our lives and all He has done for us, we just know that isn't so.  Though green today, the fruit will ripen and be ready.  That fig tree had never borne fruit for Him, but He gave it another chance.  He was patient, and He believed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When Life Takes Over

The last six months may well have been six years.  I try to sort through all that has happened and just feel bombarded by a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that render me a helpless ball of numbed anxiety.  When the real emotion breaks through, whether joy or sorrow, it can be overpowering.

The list is a bit ridiculous, really.  Lesion on my tonsil, mononucleosis, three sinus infections, bronchitis.  Having to choose between an expensive and risky surgery or putting our dear dog to sleep.  Truly there was no choice in the matter, but watching his slow and painful recovery and then cringing every time I think he may be exhibiting former symptoms has my jaw permanently clenched, waiting for the other shoe to drop and praying that it stays firmly on.  All the last minute plans that come with a wedding organized solely by yourself and with every detailed micromanaged by, who else, you!  An amazing wedding, proof that perfection can exist for a moment, that sometimes every piece truly falls into place.

Honeymoon in Ireland, the ideal spot for quiet reflection, soul stirring views, and harrowing drives that will either bring you closer as a couple or drive you right into steaming silence.  Then all the firsts---Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's---when newlyweds try to please everyone, allow time for everyone and everything, and wind up just plain old exhausted.

My husband gets hired for a new a job for which he has a longed, a great boon in the midst of confusion.  A much prayed for job opportunity appears for me, a trial period of proving oneself (nothing causes me to tense up and melt down more than constant scrutiny), and subsequently a hiring.  Now I have a job I love---but only until June.  Not permanent.  Like so much else in my life right now.  (That can be good or bad, right?)  So after having just walked through a thousand fiery hoops to achieve this job, I am immediately searching for another one.

And then, after packing up the bulk of our possessions and storing them at my parents' and tearing the house apart cleaning, we put the condo on the market.  It has been on the market since Valentine's Day.  Every day I wonder if it will sell.  Every day I wonder how many more days, weeks, months, we have of having to get out of our home at a moment's notice, having to arrive home to dresser drawers pulled open and private corners perused, having to clench our teeth in fear that something will break, having to ceaselessly scrub and polish.  There are much worse things than this, yet the permanent state of anxiety, of wondering, of the unknown has me on constant high alert.  What if it sells?  Then we have to act quickly, find a place to live, will the bank give us a loan, will we have enough cash for the closing, which house exactly should we pick, where exactly should we live, what is right for us?  What if it doesn't sell?  Will we exist in 650 square feet for the rest of our lives, our dog relegated to my parents' house with a yard and no stairs, no place for a baby, no family on the horizon?  We humans don't handle the unknown with much grace, yet it is the essence of life.

The unforeseen financial woes that gut punch you before you can even see the arm fly.  Oh, I won't go into those.  Suffice it to say they are present---omnipresent---every single day.

So much in six months.  I remind myself that this is in fact not uncommon and also that it was not without immense joy.  Perhaps that is the hardest thing.  The intense joy mixed with the worry and the stress, so many highs and lows that you feel like an elevator out of control.  I just wonder every day upon which floor I will make my arrival.  Such a strange amalgam of emotions.  Great joy and gratitude.  Foreboding fear and worry.

I try to convince myself that this is just a season in life.  But it isn't.  It is life.  There will never be a time in life when we aren't changing, transitioning, growing, learning, hurting.  Get used to it, kid, I tell myself.  And then I open my eyes to the way this exists in others' lives: the friends who are having triplets, the sister whose husband is leaving for Afghanistan, the other sister just trying to find herself in a new city all alone, the grandmother adjusting to life without her life partner.  None of us is alone in this.

My resistance to this change, my abhorrence of the unknown, would be akin to the caterpillar rejecting a chrysalis or refusing to emerge from it.  Transformation happens every day, minutely, profoundly.  It also occurs in giant waves that knock you down.  No matter the size or shape, I think we all know whose hand is behind it.

from Getty images

Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Salmon Orzo and Zucchini Salad

I wanted to cook something light, airy, and healthy but still manage to fill us up. My husband never really ate salmon until he met me, but now he enjoys it (at least so he says).  I searched the web, compared various recipes, and this is what I came up with.

Salmon Orzo Salad

You will need:

2 salmon fillets
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups spinach
1 green bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup feta cheese
torn basil (optional)

Preheat oven to 425.  Take two salmon fillets.  Generously coat them in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Squeeze half a lemon over them, then add 1/4 cup of white wine.  Roast salmon for approximately 10-12 minutes.  Remove salmon, let cool, then take fork and shred into small pieces.

While the salmon is roasting, cook 2 cups of orzo according to the direction on the package.

Chop up two cups of spinach and one green bell pepper.  Combine in a bowl.  Add half a cup of shredded carrots and half a cup of feta cheese.  Mix in the orzo and spinach.  Sprinkle with remaining half of lemon and salt and pepper.  Torn fresh basil would also make a nice addition.

Marinated Zucchini Salad

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and saute until translucent, 3 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl. Add zucchini and toss. Let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.
    Recipe is from Martha Stewart.