Tonight we were invited to a potluck at the beach. I will be honest I am not really a fan of potlucks largely because the food can be less than appetizing but tonight I wished I had a camera to snap a photo of the beautiful spread we enjoyed!
It was market day like I said and so my lunch consisted of shelling peas and strawberries. I bought a large bag/basket of each in the morning and brought them along to for us to finish off as appetizers for dinner.
Potato salad was the official dish I brought and I’ll admit it was rather unconventional.
Tomorrow is market day which means that I go through my produce drawers and clear out my veggies to make way for the delicious new produce that awaits me in the morning. In the summer this usually means a huge salad and tonight is no exception.
I was already out of greens so I sent my daughter into the back yard for lettuce and here is what was in the bottom of my fridge. Most vegetables can go into a salad if they are cut appropriately.
beets (I didn’t manage to use all of these)
I also had a zucchini which I diced and added to our last jar of salsa from last summer along with some diced garlic scapes.
Everything went into a picnic basket and we headed to the park for the evening!
Where I live every night of the summer we have Music in the Park from 7-8:30pm. It is such a lovely way to spend a summer evening that I find I am constantly trying to make portable easy dinners so that we can enjoy the spontaneity of all summer has to offer. I cooked a chicken last night and we still have a fridge full of cherries which led to the inspiration for tonight’s dinner.
I’ve been making chicken salad after a recipe from the Narrows restaurant (I think that’s where it came from), adding a tablespoon of stone ground mustard to mayonnaise, balsalmic vinegar, and a shot of hot sauce to the mayo and throwing in dried cherries (Michigan’s are the best), and walnuts with the onion.
A huge salad for lunch has got to be one of my guilty pleasures in life. Curling up into a chair with a book, a bowl and a fork is a daily source of joy and nourishment.
Today my salad consisted of baby greens, salad turnips, radishes and carrots from my back yard and my CSA box. Topped with chopped walnuts from our Rancho Vignola order. My dressing was made with Made with Love Crimson Love, kombucha and sunflower oil. I haven’t figured out yet what to use in place of the fancy oils we buy for salad dressings.
While I chop greens for my salad I learn a new song. I try to learn one a week but sometimes I am slow. This week it is The Dreamer by The Tallest Man on Earth because the man I love thinks it’s a fun one to play on the guitar.
Tonight we made a belated Father’s Day dinner. I had wanted to finish it off with a cherry pie ironically I’ve been too overwhelmed with cherries to accomplish it!
Our roasted chicken cost $16 at the market this weekend. I cooked it in a roaster with about 1/4cup of water in the bottom and sprinkled a few herbs on top. Lid on and in the oven at lunch time at 200C makes for a juicy tender chicken by dinner and the house doesn’t get hot because the oven is on low.
I sliced several beets and steamed them briefly while I chopped carrots and garlic scapes for a salad and made a simple wild rice risotto to go along with it. I sautéed shallots and scapes with some butter then added two different kinds of rice. My wild rice comes from Naosap Harvest in Manitoba, did you know we grow rice here in Canada? Pretty neat huh? The brown rice comes from my organic buying co-op. We go through roughly 25lbs or rice per year.
Once you have started eating seasonally you start to have a whole new relationship and appreciation for lettuce. What once may have been taken for granted becomes an almost holy experience when you go without it for the better part of the year. In October heads of lettuce gradually begin getting smaller as a stark reminder of the season coming to a close and the earth going within to regenerate for another season.
We love our fall salads and eat them almost daily knowing that by the end of the month there won’t be tender greens again until April when the first few baby greens burst from the soil.
Coleslaw and kimchi replace fresh salad on our plates in the winter with most of our greens coming in the form of dehydrated leafy greens such as kale and parsley flakes or frozen spinach and chard.
Goodbye fresh salad we will miss you! See you again in April.