Sometimes I think this blog should be called “all salad thoughts” rather than “all food thoughts.”
There have been many times where I’ve stopped myself from writing or posting about salad – again.
But here we are.
Or rather there we were. My family was having dinner at my sister’s house recently and our salad was very simple: mixed greens, clementine sections, oil, vinegar, salt & pepper. Light and simple after pasta (tomato sauce), grilled chicken (lemon & herbs) and roasted vegetables.
But the conversation turned to what else should or could be in that salad.
Red peppers, crumbly or hard cheese, goat’s cheese, cucumber, grated carrot, beets, nuts. The list kept growing as everyone around the table added their suggestions to the clementine & greens base. But it really was fine as it was.
Are you as picky about plates, glasses and heavy-weighted knives as you are about food?
My favourite glasses have thick, heavy bottoms. I don’t like a deep bowl for cold cereal, but I choose it for oatmeal. And I hate to have a small fork for dinner: rice, pasta, fish, salad… I need a regular fork. If it’s not a tiny dish, I don’t want a tiny utensil.
There are plenty of matching dishes at my house, but there are also many that don’t belong as a set. So when anyone reaches in the cabinet, there’s usually a choice to make. I put yogurt in a small mug, eaten with a smallish spoon; my husband uses a soup spoon, which I can’t understand. And there is a stack of plates that I hear a fingernails-on-a-chalkboard sound when toast is on them, so I refuse to put toast on those plates.
When my friend and I make cappuccinos together, I pick the smallest mug, or maybe a teacup, while she always picks a tall, heavy mug.
And jars as glasses is a trend I can’t get behind; I hate the extra thick drinking edge, and can’t help but fell that sauce or pickles would be better suited in the jar than iced tea. Even with a red-and-white-striped paper straw.
The last time my niece was visiting for dinner, she helped to set the table. My son warned her that I will be upset if she gives me a small fork, but she said she’d be upset with the large one.
Where do you stand on this? Particular, don’t care, never thought about it?
Don’t you love it when a dish you hadn’t really planned comes together perfectly?
That happened to me last week: I had a piece of fish to cook for dinner but no plan beyond that.
I often bake fish in tomato and onion, so I was thinking of something like that but I had no fresh tomatoes. Instead I made a thick kind-of sauce from an onion, and things I had in the fridge: capers, olives, sun dried tomatoes, wine, baby spinach, tomato sauce.
Then I put the fish on top, covered the pan and put it in the oven. Perfect and delicious.
We had it with rice, and though I didn’t really have a plan in the first place, now I plan to buy a bigger piece of fish next time since it was such a hit. What surprise hit have you made up?
Do you think the order of ice and drink in your glass is important?
I do. Ice first.
Especially if you are mixing more than one liquid in the glass: ice, juice, bubbly water. In that order.
Not everyone agrees, but it’s like brewing tea. You’re meant to first put the tea bag, then pour the water onto the tea, and let it steep. That’s the proper way, anyway. Well, proper if you’re using a tea bag rather than loose tea, but that’s another story altogether.
So, does it matter to you? How about ice vs no ice? And do you even mix juice and water? We’re big mixers, and the ice is important to most in my house – and worth specifying if we’re requesting a drink from one another. If only we had crushed ice on hand, our beverages would really get ideal.
Where do you stand on ice order (or tea order, for that matter)?
I like to jot down my ideas and notes whenever I think of them, so I can work on them later. Sometimes a grocery list on the fridge has some strange words in the corner (small dishes) or a meal plan scrawled on an envelope back might also have “iced tea vs lemonade + bubbly?” in bold printing across the bottom. Usually I’m making dinner and have an idea but not the time to write it out so I just chuck the important words onto a paper that’s already stuck to the fridge (so I won’t lose the note as well as the idea) and get back to the chopping or the stove or what have you.
Then, when I have time to think it out, I write something about small dishes, or iced tea vs lemonade, and where I stand on bubbly lemonade.
But occasionally I’ll gather these scraps of paper and receipts and napkins from the car to consolidate the list and get started with writing, but I won’t understand one of the notes. Like this list, from the notebook in the car:
French toast + syrup
lobster roll (lobster/bread/mayo)
buttermilk onion rings
What is this?
Let me shed some insight:
I don’t typically like French toast; once every couple of years is fine with me.
I’ve never eaten a lobster roll. (but of course it would include lobster/bread/mayo)
no ideas about the onion rings, though I would like some
So, now I’m really stumped.
It’s not like me to not remember this at all: if I had been planning on making these things there’s be some forgotten buttermilk in the fridge, or talk of where to get the lobster. Maybe a sliced bakery challah that only made it as far as morning toast, but, no, the kitchen holds a crusty peasant loaf, no shellfish and 2% milk.
If I figure it out, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, any thoughts from you couldn’t hurt.
Not carrot salad, but carrots as an ingredient in your mixed green salad, alongside tomato, cucumber, radish, pepper… whatever you normally add.
The reason I ask, is I’m not too sure about it. They’re just too hard. You can’t easily pierce them with your fork the way you do the rest of the vegetables. And if you can’t pierce them, it’s because they’re too thick which means that the whole mouthful is just carrot and you’re chewing and chewing but not on salad, on carrot.
I find if the carrots are grated, it works better. Then the little pieces just cling to the lettuce greens or stick to the cucumber slices and you can taste them without tasting only them. But sometimes I don’t want to bother grating carrot.
Thin slices are a nice middle ground, but still… I’m starting to think I don’t really want carrots in my salad.
I try to wait for it and enjoy the freshest, sweetest berries I can, grown nearby rather than on a different continent. But, yes, sometimes I have berries that are not seasonal and local to where I am.
But that is about to change as berries are about to be in season!