First the notes. A friend let me know that there are two kinds of persimmons; oblong /sweet and squat / savory. So the squat persimmon that sat on my kitchen windowsill could’ve been cut into wedges (while still firm) and tossed into a salad. Next time, I’ll know.
Second, I found some cilantro and so decided to modify the Ottolenghi recipe for a Sweet Winter Slaw. It was plenty good without the lime juice (used rice vinegar) or the macadamia nuts (I substituted pumpkin seeds). I skipped the tropical fruits and mint.* Served with a creamy potato leek soup, it was delicious.
And now, faces. They can speak for themselves. It’s not EVERYONE that graced this past year, but quite a few. They all make my life better.
At this phase of life and the pandemic, going to H Mart in Burlington counts as an adventure. Lots of other people had the same idea today — packed parking lot, busy fish counter, many, many vegetable and noodle buyers.
I wanted to get the ingredients for this delicious looking Ottolenghi salad (above) — to try something new. I managed to buy red and Napa cabbages, but forgot cilantro and limes. Oh well! Next time. Maybe if we go at 8 am on a regular weekday, it’ll be less crowded.
The good news is that Asians as a rule wear masks.
How fun it was! The exotic dragon fruit, the wall of tofu, mushrooms of every variety. I picked up some pumpkin-colored miso, a pack of soba noodles, a huge bag of rice, some potstickers, and star anise. Also: soy sauce, Korean BBQ rub, and rice vinegar.
The star anise imparted a spicy fragrance to the car on the way home. Lovely!
I bought a couple persimmons three weeks back (shown in the bin above) but they rotted before we could eat them. Oops! I know from my research that the enslaved made a delicious molasses from them. And a woman in Wegman’s who stopped me to ask where I’d gotten them, told me she eats them raw and unadorned. “But let them get good and soft first.”
It’s been friend catch-up time. I can motor along in my life (my fairly isolated life) and forget how good it feels to connect. Even before the pandemic this was true.
Today I was treated to pix of two new grand babies. A few nights ago, there was a really nice 70th birthday party (everyone tested beforehand). Tomorrow: lunch with two friends, one of whom I haven’t seen in person in years! Monday, I’ll see another friend who has been busy driving to upstate New York and Vermont to see her grandchildren.
I’ll close with a photo and paragraph about Pele.
“The ambition should always be to play an elegant game.” I like that.
I’ll start the list of Covid silver linings with two.
One, The first thing I hear every morning is, “I’ll go down and start the coffee.”
Do you now how nice this is?
Husband used to leave the house at 6:15, which meant he was up and out in full dark for portions of the year. I’d be so dead to the world I wouldn’t even hear his NPR-set alarm. I never minded making coffee but it is so nice to rise and shine with it ready to pour. His company is nice too.
Two, Covid has normalized my wardrobe choices. Ha! Most of what I wear has to meet a single criteria — is this outfit as comfortable as pajamas? The rest of the world has caught up to me I guess.
This is the time of year when my holiday timing clashes with my husband’s. That’s why I will begin to sneakily remove the smaller ornaments and put them away. Hope he doesn’t notice! Actually, this year he might go for full take-down before New Year’s because we got our tree the day after Thanksgiving. It is dry.
I got a rice cooker for Christmas and we might just have rice every evening from here on out. It comes out perfect every time. I used to have one. Here’s a fun fact you probably don’t know about me: I ate nearly exclusively with chopsticks for about five years.
But what am I saying about rice? I have all the ingredients for lasagne. I really hope it’s as good as the batch I made for my brother the trip before last. They purchased some specialty ricotta which was creamier than what I usually buy, and I think that made the difference. Wish me luck! It’s a lot of work for a meh-meal.
Lastly, I get to congratulate myself (again) for sticking with the Paris Collage Collective’s challenge for the entire year, even with four trips to Los Angeles and one to Boulder. I doubt I’ll do it again in 2022. I am eager to make some collages fueled by more personal images. This week’s image was a hand holding a balloon.
If you don’t have ADD or don’t know anyone with ADD, you probably can’t quite appreciate why this is such a big deal.
Homegrown summer herbs and a yogurt/mayonnaise base make for a yummy salad dressing!
Ingredients: mayonnaise, nonfat plain yogurt, a squirt of anchovy paste, garlic, lemon, rice vinegar, salt and
A mix of herbs (maybe NOT basil, though?) : parsley, chives, tarragon.
1. Put 1/2 c mayonnaise and 1/3 cup yogurt into cuisnart along with five cloves of garlic, juice of half a lemon, dash of rice or white vinegar, a squeeze of anchovy paste, a teaspoon of stevia, and two fistfuls of herbs.
3. Add additional veggie for greener color, such as chard or spinach.
4. Taste and adjust acid, salt, and sweetener until dressing sings.
This adventure was based on two recipes from the NYTimes recipe app (which I cannot recommend enough). Here and here. Mostly the latter.
Note: the first recipe uses basil, so that might be worth a try. It also adds the creamier Greek yogurt which I definitely want to try.
Since I generally rely on the tried and true oil and vinegar dressing (with Dijon and garlic), this made for a really nice change.
Locally grown pepper, lettuce, radish and pea sprouts were worthy carriers of this Green Goddess mix!
1. If you chop fast, leave a generous stub on your carrots, celery, cukes, etc. Since you’re a home cook and not a professional, you can pop these tidbits into your mouth. Way better than chopping a flap of your thumb off. Trust me I know.
2. Keep anchovy paste in the fridge. Essential for Caesar salad. Never goes bad, as far as I can tell.
3. Stevia is, by volume, four times sweeter than sugar. Adjust your dashes accordingly.
4. If you hand mix, use a whisk and a bowl with steep sides. But I have to say, this recipe is one of many reasons to keep a mini-cuisinart to hand.
5. Even if you live where growing veggies is impossible (like here — too much shade), treat yourself to container-grown herbs. It really is nice to have fresh basil, chives, sage, and parsley on hand. Pesto has been one of the most pleasurable foods of the summer (worth the outrageous cost of pine nuts!)
6. Re: knives. Either marry someone who will sharpen your knives for you or learn how to do so yourself. Nothing ruins kitchen prep like dull knives. * * * Having said that, it’s more important to know the status of your knife’s edge than to have a sharp one when it comes to safety. That is, as they say, another story, one that involves blood, an onion, and a poor attempt to assist a professional home chef in Cambridge.
The crossword puzzle gets me out of bed on Sundays, eager and curious.
Another beautiful day. It might rain at six. Regarding our patio dinner postponed from last night, K quips, “We should hold it yesterday.” It ended up being beautiful at six last evening.
A dunk a day keeps the depression away! Not gonna happen, but how grateful I am when we go.
You know it’s time to chuck a suit when the elastic crackles as you put it on. Since I love polka dots so much, a piece of the Lycra/poly blend will go into the fabric stash. I’ve used other synthetic polka dots to good effect.
Here’s a hint about tonight’s bean salad.
Here’s a hint about how the chicken will be served.
Here’s a link to GimmeSomeOven for their chimichurri recipe. Yummmm! I hope there will be some leftover for leftovers!