Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Slight Snag in the Proceedings

I broke my camera at Adriana and Rob's lovely wedding in Nicaragua.

The lens won't move. It's stuck. Also, the entire camera casing is cracked. Because I dropped it onto a stone-paved patio.

I had, in my left hand, a very full flute of champagne, acquired by pointing to the top of a normal-full flute and saying "muy champagne, por favor" while smiling at the bartender as if doing an impression of the Cheshire Cat. The bartender LOVED me. Ever my mother's daughter, in a moment of lost balance, I saved the champagne at the expense of my camera. Hey, it was good champagne!

Because of my inability to hold two things at once, the images on this blog are going to be even less photographically masterful than they were before (ha), as now we're working with bad lighting AND a sub-par camera (from my phone). Sorry.

On to tonight's dinner. My fridge is abundant with produce right now because I got a farm box last Wednesday and then promptly left town. I wanted to start using some of it up, so I decided a winter salad would be in order. Also, I've been eating a lot of meat and cheese (or, more specifically, jamon y churrasco y manchego) these past few days and thought some fruits and vegetables might be a good idea.

Growing up, we were assigned "kitchen chores" in an attempt to help my mother get dinner on the table. From the time you could follow directions until you were able to safely wield a knife, you got to set the table. Once you graduated from setting the table, you got to make the salad. I was Chief Salad Maker from age 8 until I left for college (because Liz never made it to the knife-wielding stage and Sandy somehow escaped all kitchen chores).  And we had a green salad EVERY night with dinner. On rare, rare occasions we'd have fruit salad. But 98% of the time, it was a green salad consisting of romaine, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and cucumber. The lettuce always torn, never chopped. All other pieces bite-sized and not a bit bigger. Occasionally red or green pepper got thrown in. As you might imagine, I got REALLY sick of making the same salad over and over and over again. For a decade.

Occasionally, in winter, I would make a Waldorf salad, just to mix things up a little bit. I know, I know, we are wild and crazy people. But I had to work with the ingredients we had on hand, and Mom was always good about keeping us stocked with all kinds of seasonal produce.

To be honest, I've never been much of a mayonnaise person, in that I ABSOLUTELY HATE mayonnaise. Nevertheless, it's an integral part of this salad, which is crunchy and sweet and savory all at once. If you do it right, you can't really taste the mayonnaise.

Kate's Classic Waldorf Salad
Serves 2

2 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced
1 pink or red apple, cored and roughly chopped (I like Gala or Braeburn for this. The green ones are too tart.)
1/2 cup red grapes, halved
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip, that horror of horrors)
1 tablespoon yogurt
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Prep your first four ingredients. They'll look like this:

2. Dump them in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Dressing should be smooth.

3. Add dressing to apples, celery, grapes and walnuts and toss until coated. It'll look like this:

Lightly dressed. Not too mayo-y.
 This is particularly good as a light meal if you add some grilled chicken.

Love my new cast iron grill pan. The chicken is seasoned with a little dried thyme and marjoram, a pinch of cayenne, and some salt and pepper. So easy and so tasty.

And that was dinner. Not exciting. Definitely satisfying.

1 comment:

Lindy said...

Don't give up too quickly on the camera. I dropped ours on a concrete basement floor with no good excuse like champagne, just clumsiness. At first the lens wouldn't go in and out at all. So, I forced it. Then it would go in and out some of the time, so I pushed it around some more and now it goes in and out just fine. Of course, the connection to the computer doesn't work and it takes crummy close-ups, so we got a new one anyway.