Missing a birthday can make you feel a little sauer (sauerbraten)

PinExt Missing a birthday can make you feel a little sauer (sauerbraten)
image1 e1422214744462 768x1024 Missing a birthday can make you feel a little sauer (sauerbraten)


So, as you may have already guessed, I’ve been busy. Really, really busy. Which shouldn’t be a surprise since the last few posts I have posted have expounded on this very fact, and you may have guessed it already in that those posts have been few and far between. Long story short, career business has been expanding, we just bought a house, and we’ll be moving… Again. See- at least I have reasons for my  (much lamented?) absence.

In all of the hullabaloo of my own private little world I forgot to send a birthday card to someone I really care about. Today is his birthday and I’m not going to plaster his vital statistics all over the internet, but you know who you are. Happy birthday! Please accept this post as a sign that I’m actually paying attention to all the other people in my life, even if it doesn’t always look like it. (All of you non-birthday people can wish Mr. Anonymous a happy birthday in the comments. That is, after all, what they’re for. Don’t believe differently.)

Since this is still a food blog and not just a place to ramble on about my private life (although that might not be too far from the truth), I thought I’d tell you about sauerbraten. It’s good. It’s easy. It’s super tasty, melting, falling apart tender, juicy but still tangy, piquant and balanced. It can sock you in the face with acidic punch or persuade you gently with nuanced debate. There is such complexity and so many subtle layers intermingled with a certain boldness of flavor that I find it incomparable to any other dish. For goodness sake, it’s pretty much pickled, then seared, braised, and served in a rich gravy. I can’t say I know of any other dish that calls for all those techniques together. (If you do, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to learn more.)

Marinade/ Pickling Brine:
1 big lump o’ meat (beef chuck, rump or bottom round are best, although it’s pretty awesome with pork shoulder or venison)
4 parts apple cider vinegar
1 part mustard (spicy brown or equivalent is my preference)
1-2 Tbl. juniper berries, ground
1 onion, sliced
1-2 Tbl. garlic powder
salt as you usually would for the piece of meat you have (don’t add extra)
black pepper
bay leaf (optional)

So, first things first: do not attempt this if you are an impatient person. You absolutely must plan ahead. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Since you’re still with me, you should mix up the marinade, which I have conveniently given to you in relative measures. This is due to the fact that your lump o’ meat will be differently shaped and sized than mine, as will your brining dish. I, as usual, used one of my Pyrex casserole dishes. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: they are cheap, plentiful, easily cleaned and generally exceedingly useful. Make sure that your dish is non-reactive (not aluminum, not cast iron, etc.) as the marinade is rather obviously acidic. It should also be just a bit larger than your meat. Your goal is to almost cover the meat with liquid without having a lot of extra space to fill. It should look kind of like this:

image3 1024x768 Missing a birthday can make you feel a little sauer (sauerbraten)

wait for it….

Now for the easy part- put it in the refrigerator and do nothing- for three whole days and nights. I’m being serious here. Yes, really, three days (and three nights). If you absolutely don’t want to wait that long, don’t tell me about it just deal with it. Your patience will be rewarded. Alternatively, you could let it sit for about a week if you’re that fond of delaying your dinner.

For those of you who aren’t fond of the acidic pungency of cider vinegar, some German recipes call for red wine. I’m not going to say you can’t do that; I’m just saying I will silently judge you if you do. Don’t fear the vinegar! Most of the acetic acid will cook out anyway. Your house may smell like a pickle factory but your mouth won’t pucker when you eat the fruits of your patience (since labor isn’t really that accurate for a recipe this easy).

Oh, yeah, and you should be turning the meat twice a day to keep it evenly pickling. So I guess you don’t actually do nothing- that extra 20 seconds of work each day has to count for something, I suppose. I like to sing “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof when I do that. Because yes, I do frequently burst into song. Life is better as a musical, anyway.

So time passes….




























Yes, I am going to make you scroll all the way down. It’s called realism in writing, or reader engagement, or some such thing. Feel the weightiness of time!






























My right little finger is worn out from hitting ‘Enter’ so many times, so that had better be enough of the passage of time. Onward, to the future!

image2 1024x768 Missing a birthday can make you feel a little sauer (sauerbraten)

This image brought to you at great cost from the future

Three days have passed. You are now going to get out your lovely enameled cast iron dutch oven (because they’re awesome and everyone should have one) and brown your lump o’ meat in it. Done? On all sides? Excellent- now throw in the remaining marinade/brine and move the whole darn thing into your preheated 275 degree oven. You did preheat it, right? Leave it in there for three hours at the very least (up to 5 or 6 if you want) and go do something else. I’d warn the impatient people again, but I think we’ve already lost them. They’ve already all gone off to chase butterflies or something.  At the end of the cook time, remove the meat carefully (it is now as soft and mushy as a romantic comedy starring kittens, puppies, and fluffy bunnies), leaving the much reduced cooking/marinating/brining liquid. Put that on medium low heat to reduce a little more, and add:

brown sugar (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup works for me, but taste and adjust to your preferences)
freshly grated ginger
freshly grated nutmeg
flour for thickening (optional)

I usually find that the liquid has reduced so much that it doesn’t really need any extra thickening. If, however, you skimp on the cooking time (yes, I’m silently judging you too), the flour may be needed to make the gravy a proper consistency. You may strain the gravy; I usually don’t bother (which is why I grind my spices at the outset) but it will look prettier and more restaurant-like if you do. As for serving suggestions, I would totally go for rotkohl and spaetzle, but I was out of time and served egg noodles and parsnips instead.

image4 1024x768 Missing a birthday can make you feel a little sauer (sauerbraten)

Mmmm…. sauer

Intrigued? Still reading? Congratulations! You officially have the patience and stamina needed to create this dish. Go forth and cook!



A Feast for the Eyes (Thanksgiving…summarized)

PinExt A Feast for the Eyes (Thanksgiving...summarized)

Author’s Note: I actually wrote this a while ago (I’m not quite that behind). However, my camera’s USB cable broke and I was unable to upload any of the pictures I’d taken. Between the back-alley procurement of a new cable and all of those other pesky holidays we’ve had, I’ve only recently been able to add the pictures to this post. After all, if I go out of my way to name this “A Feast for the Eyes,’ there had darn well better be some pictures. So yeah, I’m sorry it took so long, and that it’s completely past the appropriate season now. I will be doing a few more posts in the near future, followed by a particularly busy time in our lives. I hope to get back to the blog soon, as I do love writing it. I hope you understand and enjoy reading it as much as I do in writing it!

If you’ve been travelling around the blogosphere, noting the ever-increasing (and disturbing) epidemic of turkey-related posts and “25 genius ways to use toilet paper tubes to create stunning holiday decor,” you may have hoped to com upon this blog as a safe respite from the storm of insipid, faux festivity currently blanketing the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and most things holiday related, but I despise the way they are so often portrayed. This season should be a time for spending with our loved ones, honoring family traditions and paying attention to all the wonderful aspects of our lives. “Do what you’ve always done, enjoy it, and try not to spend too much money doing it” sums up my holiday philosophy. Unfortunately, it’s not very good for the people (and blogs) selling items and ideas. Cheezy, kitschy decor and creating the ‘perfect’ dinner party to impress all of your guests seems to fulfill that critera far better, but I’m not about to compromise my own beliefs on this matter. Yes, there should be great food. There should also be family and friends to spend it with, following real traditions rather than that other modern bromide, “let’s start a new tradition” which is essentially an excuse to follow a trend and cloak it in a veneer of respectability. Yes, I know I just mixed my metaphors. In a run-on sentence. Followed by  a few sentence fragments. I also don’t care; I’m going to have my opinions and eat them too.

I’ve stated before that I don’t care to do any posts regarding that most cliched of cliches, the ‘how to cook a turkey’ informational post. I don’t want to write a condescending article geared towards the once-or-twice-a-year cook. This blog will never go down that route. Ever. Unfortunately, my web hosting company just reminded me of the fine print I signed when I began this blog. Apparently if I don’t do a post about a certain politically correct ‘holiday meal of the winter season’ my WordPress will be spontaneously uninstalled and I will be forever banned from the Illustrious Guild of Freelance Food Bloggers (or the I.G.O.F.F.B. for short, founded last Tuesday). So, my back clearly against the wall, I must write this post. That and some family members have been asking how our Thanksgiving was, and I’ve been really slow getting pictures up. Take whichever explanation you want.

So this is the closest you’re ever going to get to a media-approved turkey post from me- an overview of what I made, well after the fact. I don’t care if that makes me a bad blogger, when everyone else in the food world is spending practically the whole season on pre- turkey day prep for people who haven’t tried cooking since last year. You can find that anywhere. It’s also past Thanksgiving now, so you probably aren’t even interested in those posts anyway (see how procrastinating can let you do whatever you want? I must be a genius… or at least running my own site where I can say whatever I like about how incredibly awesome I happen to be).

I decided to call this post “A Feast for the Eyes” since, of course, this forum only allows words and images. I’d love to give you a taste, or have some help eating the leftovers (I made way too much food for only three people), but unfortunately our technology hasn’t advanced that far yet. We still don’t have smell-o-vision, let alone scenternet. By the way, can I coin that word? Trademark it? I’m rather impressed with myself on that one.

…..And: The Main Attraction, Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages, It’s…. A FEAST!

<Cue trumpet fanfare>

DSC00950 768x1024 A Feast for the Eyes (Thanksgiving...summarized)

I had to stand on a chair to get this shot… the lengths I’ll go for my loyal readers!

DSC00949 1024x768 A Feast for the Eyes (Thanksgiving...summarized)

Whew… back on solid ground for this one.

We have, here, a roast turkey (I’m guessing you figured that out already) with our traditional family recipe for bread stuffing (using proper homemade bread), real mashed potatoes (although it’s sad that we live in a time when one must add that qualifier), gravy, garlic fried green beans, homemade sweet eggy dinner rolls underneath the tea towel, a spinach-walnut-apple-bleu cheese salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, an apple pie, a pumpkin pie, and a chocolate peanut butter custard pie (because custard beats cream as sure as rock beats scissors), a cheese plate with some cheeses we picked up on vacation in Wisconsin (it’s a great place for a trip, and I’m being serious) and ricotta stuffed mushrooms. There was whipped cream for the pies later, after we’d arisen from the happy food coma this feast had landed us in. And, yes, it was a lovely meal with good company, the most important ingredient of any feast.

You may recognize the dishes from my banner on top; they were given to my grandmother for her first married Christmas. I love having pieces around me that have a story and connect me with distant family members. It’s nice to have a part of my grandparent’s history with us for the holiday, even though we couldn’t travel to be with them physically this year. The candlesticks were used for our unity candle ceremony during our wedding; I think of that time whenever I see them. My mother-in-law found the casserole used here as an ad-hoc turkey roaster/ platter, which matches my everyday purple glass dishes. She’s always looking out for new pieces to add to my collection. The cheese platter is an old piece of ironstone, used for many years by my great-grandmother. Even the platter I used for the mushrooms was a gift from a wonderful family friend. Pieces like this are why tradition matters to me. It’s more than a formulaic method, it’s a way of including people separated by distance or time and reminding us of what’s important in life. This way of living many not be fashionable, or trendy, but it fills our homes and lives with meaning. I may be a sentimentalist; I am not ashamed to be labeled as such. I’ve lived too far away from my family for too long to not treasure any way I can to connect to them.

Are you still curious about the food? Would you like any particular recipes? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do a proper write-up! (Disclaimer: I reserve the right to avoid all mentions of a how-to post on the turkey. I have admin privilege and I’m not afraid to use it!

In the mean time I’ll go do something seasonally appropriate, maybe make make some cookies. My husband is nodding his head to this part and looking hopeful, so I should probably get going with that. Happy cooking! icon smile A Feast for the Eyes (Thanksgiving...summarized)


Real(?) Tacos-

PinExt Real(?) Tacos
DSC00890 1024x768 Real(?) Tacos


It’s no secret that we’ve spent the last couple of years in the Southwest. I may not have known much about authentic Mexican food before I lived there (upstate New York not exactly being what you’d call famous for the cuisine), but being immersed in the local culture was quite an experience. I learned a bit about real Mexican food there, including the interesting fact that it’s not really a homogeneous cuisine at all. Think about it- Mexico is pretty darn big, not to mention diverse. There’s desert, mountains and rainforest, many different indigenous ethnic groups, immigrants (particularly from South America) as well as the obvious Spanish influence. And I’m just getting started!

With that sort of introduction, you’d expect me to have a well-researched, authentic recipe, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. I was there long enough to realize that ‘Mexican’ food is way more complex than I thought and to have come across some relatively more common techniques and flavors, but I’m still nowhere near an expert on the subject. What I am, however, is a small-town Northeasterner who doesn’t mind inauthentic cuisines. Quite frankly I only care about how it tastes- and I am very, very fond of this recipe. The smoothest, thickest, most umami-laden liquid tenderly caresses tender, juicy strands of shredded meat. Gooey cheese melts over the still hot richly flavored filling. Gentle curls of steam rise into a halo of delightfully enticing aromas…

Gosh darn it. I was just trying to prove I still have the skill to sell my ideas but I made myself really hungry. Now I need a snack! Excuse me for a moment….




That’s better. So, without further ado, this is my made-up taco recipe that may be inspired by real Mexican cookery but in reality has no more authenticity than a Halloween pirate costume (for a seasonally appropriate reference):

5 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder or chicken legs
1/4 C. cider vinegar and 3 Tbs. ground red chiles OR 1/3 C. Flavorful vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Frank’s; I’ve been using Louisiana Crystal because it tastes similar and costs half as much)
12-16 oz diced tomatoes, canned or fresh
1 large onion or 2 small ones
1 Tbl. granulated garlic or an entire bulb of fresh garlic, peeled and finely diced
1/2 lb. fresh green chiles (you can roast them for exceptional flavor)
2 green bell peppers

Building supplies (try not to buy them from the hardware store):
green onions
tortillas; we like corn for flavor
cheese! I’m using an aged sharp cheddar, but Colby Jack works well and you could even use a proper Mexican cheese (gasp!)
lettuce (optional)

The filling will take a while. This is not the quickie throw-it-together-fast-dinner-has-to-be-on-the-table-in-half-an-hour sort of thing my Mom used to make with ground venison. You will have to carefully tend the pot for hours, shred meat (while trying not to scorch your fingers) and stir constantly towards the end of the cooking process. Consider yourself warned!

The most important detail is that it calls for bone-in meat. The rest of the ingredients are super simple- the slow cooked gelatin-rich meat flavor one gets with bone-in cuts is what makes this recipe special. I’ve made these tacos with both pork and chicken; I think they’re equally as good. If you do use chicken try to find the biggest, gnarliest chicken you can. I buy ten-pound sacks of very large, tough chicken legs for $0.68/ lb. They are ideal for this recipe. The older and tougher the meat the better, because don’t worry, you’ll be cooking this for plenty of time to ensure tenderness. You may be cooking this for long enough you start to feel yourself  becoming older and tougher, but I think it’s worth it.

Still interested? Does the lure of mouth-wateringly delicious flavorful, tender shredded meat in its own sauce overcome your time constraints? Are you sure? I can’t hear you, speak up! ARE YOU SURE? I still can’t hear you….because I’m writing this way before you’ll ever read it from many miles away. Gotcha, didn’t I?

I’m just going to go ahead and assume that you answered with a full, Caps Lock-strong resounding YES. If not, it doesn’t really matter what I say at this point anyway. So- back to a recipe! For food! Because it’s a food blog! (yes, I’ve had a lot of caffeine this morning)….

Take your meat- which should, of course, be bone in *sternly glances around, checking for some poor fool using boneless skinless chicken breast*, stick it in your biggest, heaviest pot (I used my trusty enameled dutch oven) and fill about a third full with water. Dump in your vinegar and chiles (or hot sauce) and tomatoes, set it on the stove and start it on medium-high heat. Between the water, meat and cast iron you have a LOT of mass, which on my wimpy electric stove takes forever to get to temperature using low heat. You’re aiming for a brisk simmer. Here You Must Choose (to make it far more epic than it needs to be): turn down the heat to low and continue to simmer covered on the stove top OR stick the whole heavy mess (yes, lid and all) in a preheated 325 degree oven. You will have to occasionally stir the pot if you decide to cook stovetop, but at least you won’t risk a back injury or an unfortunate geyser-like spillage of hot, acidic liquid while transferring your cooking vessel. You’re probably regretting using your heaviest pot right now, aren’t you?

Relax, take a break! Nurse your scalded forearms (just kidding- I hope)! You’ll want to leave it to simmer for an hour and a half if you’re using chicken legs or at least two and a half hours for that pork shoulder. Read a book (I finished Crime and Punishment) or a blog (not that I’m suggesting any one in particular…hint…hint). All done? Are you sure? better check that meat. Stab it with a wooden spoon. Does it fall apart into meaty tendrils? You can move on to the next step. Remove your meat from the pot but continue letting the liquid simmer uncovered on the stovetop. Chop your onion(s) and add them to the cooking liquid. Is your meat cooled enough to hand shred? If so, you must be really slow at chopping onions. Wait a bit, do some chores, hum a tune. Come back, now that you have that song stuck firmly in your head and proceed to shred/ debone the meat. I like to hand shred because I can easily feel the little bone fragments/ cartilage lumps that might otherwise be passed over. You can use tools for the shredding in order to cheat on the cool-down time but your dentist may become significantly richer. Throw your now boneless meat back into the fluid from whence it came to cook uncovered while you dice your peppers. Add in the peppers, continuing to leave the lid off and keep an eye on the amount of liquid-  you will probably have to start stirring a lot now. Your goal is to reduce the amount of liquid to just enough to nicely moisten the filling. Remember, nobody likes taco juice running down their shirt (or maybe you do; this is the internet, after all). This will take probably another half hour or so.

Now for the easy part: put your filling on a tortilla, add some cheese or the toppings of your choice and eat it already! icon smile Real(?) Tacos



There’s no such thing as too many Blackberries (Blackberry Buckle)

PinExt Theres no such thing as too many Blackberries (Blackberry Buckle)

DSC00917 1024x768 Theres no such thing as too many Blackberries (Blackberry Buckle)

Some things are better in moderation. Locusts, for example. Nobody wants a plague of locusts, or fleas, or pointless reality TV shows. Other things are fine in quantity. I certainly wouldn’t mind a plague of puppies, free orchestra concerts or chocolate-covered cherries. Blackberries  fit rather nicely in the latter category as well. This is a very lucky thing, as there is a stall at our local farmer’s market selling fresh-picked wild blackberries for $5 per gallon. Yes, that’s per gallon. As a lover of blackberries, and a proud card-carrying cheapskate, I certainly cannot resist the siren call of all those wonderful, delightfully cheap berries.  The question then arises, as we come home heavily laden with bags of sweet and juicy loot, as to what on earth are we going to do with all of that fruit. To make it worse, there are good quality blueberries on sale at the market, and the peaches are truly divine and just as well-priced. Summer’s bounty is, well, bountiful, and I for one can’t resist. Let flow the cornucopia!

How do we cope with such plenty? I begin by eating myself into a happy fruity coma, then eventually start to ponder 1.) storage and 2.) utilization in other foods. Since I haven’t done any preserving yet this summer and I doubt you want to read an article in which I put berries in containers, then place said containers in the freezer (trust me, it’s a real cliff-hanger), we’ll be focusing on the second option in this post.

My Mom makes something really quite wonderful called blueberry buckle. It’s kind of like a cobbler made with blueberries. It’s delicious, and easy, and I wondered if it would be as awesome with blackberries. (Are blackberries ever not awesome?)

Spoiler alert: Yes, you guessed it, it really is just as wonderful. Mom, close your eyes for the next part. I think my version is even better than the original. Don’t tell her that. Okay Mom, you can open your eyes now.

A list of stuff you use to make this food and the steps to turn it into said food (there’s got to be a better way of saying that…) :

Shortcake base:
2 1/4 C. flour (preferably unbleached pastry flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. butter
1/2 C white sugar
1 1/2  to 2 C. cultured buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 C. sugared berries (I added about 1/4 C. of sugar; this is dependent on the natural sugar content of your fruit)

1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients of the shortcake base together. I like to use an unbleached pastry flour (Bessie brand, from Birkett Mills in Penn Yan, NY if you really want to know); I find that the lower gluten content and finer milling creates a superior texture in the final product. I also tend to think that unbleached flours taste slightly better, so even if you use an All-Purpose flour, try an unbleached one and see if you prefer it as well. Here’s  a helpful image, since I’ve recently noticed that many blogs contain gratuitous photos of every step regardless of whether there’s a point to it:

DSC00910 1024x768 Theres no such thing as too many Blackberries (Blackberry Buckle)

A gratuitous photo of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Exciting, isn’t it?

I’m not really a fan of pointless images. I have a high opinion of my reader’s ability to figure out how to perform basic tasks without resorting to photographic crutches. The comments are always open if there are any questions regarding the recipe. Aside from photos with noticeable artistic merit, I’m not going to add unnecessary images.

At any rate, you should have enough assorted white powders to send any dozen TSA agents into apoplectic fits.

Now cut in the butter. I use slightly warmed butter and a pastry blender. The below picture actually adds to the discussion, as it illustrates a less common kitchen tool.

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Using a pastry blender to cut in butter

Using a pastry blender (or a fork), cut the butter into pea-sized nodules. I always use unsalted butter. However, if your spouse did the last grocery run and came back with salted butter (not to name any names), you can cut the amount of salt called for in the recipe in half. Now you can add the buttermilk; the measurement of flour is so variable (unless you use a scale which most people, including me, don’t want to bother with) that I don’t think it makes sense to always use the same exact amount of liquid. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla until it looks right: in this case, a moist, homogeneous batter. It should be soft and slightly oozy but still clump together. Stir only to just barely bring it together; avoid over mixing. It won’t help. Really. Just step away from the spoon. Glop the batter into a greased 9″x 13″ (or equivalent) pan, spread it evenly, and let’s move on to the berries.

Good ripe berries don’t need much sweetening. If your berries are under ripe or  your tastes run to the extremely sweet, add sugar until you decide it’s adequate. I used a quarter cup of white sugar with my two cups of blackberries. I should note that the traditional blueberries are of course excellent in this recipe, as are peaches, cherries, raspberries and most other fruits. Evenly distribute the fruit over your shortcake base, and we’ll move onto the topping.

This one’s easy. Put all the ingredients in a bowl (butter that is warmer than refrigerator temperature will make this easier) and mash it up with a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers. The idea is to create little bits of extra crunchy deliciousness to add over the top. Sprinkle on top of the berries; you should now have something that looks a little like this:

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Bake for 25 minutes; let cool for as long as you can keep from digging in. Ice cream, whipped cream, vanilla Greek yogurt, etc. are all excellent pairings but my personal favorite is just a piece of buckle on a plate with nothing else to distract me. That’s all, folks! I need to end the distraction this post is causing me, as there’s still some buckle in the kitchen. I can hear it calling to me.  :)



Sort of vaguely Greek-inspired-ish salad

PinExt Sort of vaguely Greek inspired ish salad

DSC00880 1024x768 Sort of vaguely Greek inspired ish salad

Doesn’t that title make your mouth water, your tastebuds tingle and your stomach rumble? Okay, me neither. Maybe I don’t have this whole blog thing down as well as I thought I did… At least I can take comfort in the fact that it really is a great salad.

Part of my view on healthy eating is to eat a wide variety of mostly whole foods, including plenty of vegetables. Since I don’t always want to go through the fuss and bother of cooking vegetables separately (and cleaning yet another pan afterwards) I like a salad I can prepare with little effort while the rest of the meal is cooking. The summertime heat here in the Ozarks is starting to rear its ugly head as well; the less I have to actually cook, the better. This is my go-to vegetable solution, made with probably  inauthentic Greek flavors that I happen to really enjoy. If you’re Greek, or a Greek food purist, you should probably look away right now. Honestly, if you’re any sort of food purist, this might not be the best choice of reading material.

Receipt (I’m old-school now):
6-8 oz. fresh spinach if it’s still young & tender, or you can spring for the baby spinach. I buy mine in bundles with the stems for cheap.
1 medium cucumber
1 large tomato or 2 smaller (Roma- sized) tomatoes, as ripe as you can get
2 oz. crumbled feta

2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed or mashed into garlic-scented paste
1 Tbl. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Serves: 2 salad lovers, or 4 reluctant veggie-haters

This would be a great time to get that garlic press out of the drawer you stowed it after receiving it as a wedding gift from dear old Great Aunt Martha. If you don’t have a Great Aunt Martha, or a garlic press for that matter, mince it as finely as you can, then smash it with the flat of a chef’s knife for good measure. You could also use dry garlic; the idea is to avoid big, super intense chunks of raw garlic (unless you like that sort of thing- I don’t judge).  Mix up the vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while stirring constantly. Toss the vegetables and feta in the dressing, and you have a salad.

It’s kind of embarrassing to come to the logical conclusion of this post so quickly. I usually try to write something longer and more in depth, but I’m just not sure how to extend this post. I mean, it’s a salad. There really isn’t much else to write about. I can always continue to ramble on about how it’s unusually short, and in doing so, repeat myself, rehash the same tired idea, saying the same thing over and over, and generally reiterate myself. Then again, it might be pointless. Feel free to reread the article (or just the last few sentences) if that’s your thing. As for myself, I’m going to go munch on some salad. icon smile Sort of vaguely Greek inspired ish salad