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.
Every now and then I like a salad without lettuce. Here’s tonight’s version:
Diced base of green pepper / Small chunks of half a tomato / two celery stalks, chopped / 3 Tbs diced red onion / small handful of chopped endive / half a chopped avocado / one small cuke, peeled and chopped / chopped herb (cilantro or parsley).
Tasty with all kinds of dressings but my favorite is a tangy vinaigrette.
This is a single serving.
* * *
Great opportunity opened up last night: got a space at a writing retreat. I had moved on it late. It was full. Forgot about it. And then: ta da! I was first on the waiting list and a spot is mine!
Not only is it being held in my old stomping grounds just outside of Northampton in central Mass., it’ll be DAYS dedicated to writing and feedback. The timing couldn’t be better!
Brutally hot here again. Finn and I started our day in the lake!
Anyone who camps knows how even the most pedestrian meal is enhanced to a near-miraculous degree after a day in the wilderness. It happens all the time. “How can a bowl of pasta with canned sauce and chopped zucchini taste so good,” you wonder. And yet it does.
The visit to Salem was tense and then tenser. We didn’t manage to capture the cat. The aide had to leave a full hour earlier than expected. Plans had to be abandoned, limitations accepted. But before we got there, a fair amount of hostility was expressed. I spent a lot of time walking around the building, sort of wishing I smoked.
My sister blamed her temper on a transiting Mars / natal Sun conjunction and pretty much everything else on me.
She kept telling me to sit down and to stop moving. I kept suggesting that it might be time to put some pants on. The aide cleaned the kitchen. Then the bathroom.
My wish to get something done collided with my sister’s refusal to move. It’s often this way.
It’s a kind of wilderness, really — and I think it made the salad I made after getting home taste ridiculously good.
With the sweet, candy-like beets, the smooth and creamy avocado, plus a little goat cheese, chopped scallion, sliced radish and a handful of micro greens, it was beyond delicious.
Recipe (you hardly need one!)
1 large beet, roasted, peeled and diced*
1/2 scallion chopped, including white end
1 radish, sliced thin
1 1/2 Tbs goat cheese
Handful of micro greens
Dress with a tangy mustard vinaigrette (loaded with garlic).
* if you stow beets, post-roasting, in their foil wrappers in a large, unsealed zip lock bag, be very careful carrying the bag to the cutting board unless you want your kitchen to resemble a crime scene!
A very cold day that included a brisk walk, raking (and more raking), and cleaning out some duct work. Polishing glass. Writing and sewing. Decapitation. That’s right: decapitation. I took the head off one of my figures. More on that later.
Meanwhile, Boy Mouse has his skates. His grey scarf is another one of my size zero knitting needle adventures. He’s more ready for winter than I am!
When I lamented to my husband that Boy Mouse’s skates were a little too big, he quipped, “That’s okay. He doesn’t have feet.”
The pipe cleaner on his back is for hanging. He can go on a wall or a Christmas tree. His jacket comes from old pjs and old (clean!) socks.
I made a substantial salad with blue cheese, bacon, apple, romaine hearts and bitter greens for lunch. It was satisfying.
I’ll sign off here. Stay warm if you are in cold temps! Danny comes home tomorrow and there’s chili on the stove in his honor. Later in the week, I’m cooking for Thanksgiving, but only for seven, so I hope to check back in here before then!
How could I have forgotten about barley?! Having chef-extraordinaire, Elizabeth Germain, visiting for two weeks upped my game in the kitchen some. I learned that my burners don’t get quite hot enough (who knew?). That I wasn’t cooking my chicken thighs quite long enough (sorry, guys!). And that barley is terrific for cold weather eating. This salad is an adaptation from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Their’s featured oat berries and feta cheese. I used barley and pomegranate seeds instead. I think pine nuts would be good here, too. Here’s the recipe.
Two handfuls arugula
1 c. cooked barley
2 roasted peppers, skinned & chopped
14 oz. can of chic peas
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
2 scallions, chopped
1 lemon, squeezed
splash of rice vinegar
about 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1/8 t paprika
1/8 – 1/4 t cumin
This salad is terrific the next day, which leads me to think the arugula should be added in by plate. Barley is not gluten free but may be less aggravating to some with sensitivities.