Sunday, August 28, 2011

the knack for slack {daily garnish's summer corn + avocado salad + smitten kitchen's bloody mary salad}

there's been some major slacking going on around here lately. 
to tell you the truth, the chef and i are really, really good at slacking.  we are like the royal couple of (happily) doing nothing.  it's not like we're lazy, we're just pretty nonchalant about the "requirement" to have a social life. 
we don't like to be busy all the time, and we both start to feel overwhelmed when we have something "to do" after work for more than two nights in a row.  or, friday and saturday night on the weekend, that's almost worse.  yech. 
and the bottom line is, we just really really like each other, and like to spend time together.  oh, and our house is pretty damn wonderful, so why would we want to be elsewhere?  (that was me, tooting my own horn, in case you didn't hear it.  toot! toot!)

anyways, it feels like i haven't cooked anything in months.  like all summer, really.
which isn't really true at all, because there has been lots of eating going around in this enormous lil' house we call home, but i guess other things have been getting in the way of me telling you about them. 
there's been numerous trips to farmer's markets,  which results in a fridge that's always filled with bountiful produce, and for the most part, it's all been gobbled up (my apologies to that lovely bunch of asparagus that went to mush...such a sad waste of life).

but, i guess there's no time like the present to fill you in, right?
here's what i've been eating...and some of the inspiration behind them.

summer corn and avocado salad, from the daily garnish.  seriously, might be my all time favourite summer meal, especially when scooped up with some of these (specifically multigrain).

watermelon, mint (from our now-dead "garden") and feta, with balsamic reduction.
inspiration? uhh...because we had watermelon, mint and feta in the fridge.

flatbreads.  because they are seriously the best thing ever.  and the chef can whip one up from nothing.

i have some sort of problem involving citrus, but most specifically lemons.  i apparently need to have copious amounts of lemons on hand to feel safe and secure...and it's usually to the detriment of the crisper, as none of the other fruit can fit in.  but really, there is worse things than having a nice sunny bowl of lemons on your counter.  but when they start to turn on you (when life gives you lemons), you just simply must make lemonade.  i'll happily suffer through carpal tunnel symptoms to get each and every last drop of that yellow-hued juice out.  the secret to good homemade lemonade?  simple syrup.  simple, right?

the simplest, yet totally delicious tomato sauce. 
i work with really lovely ladies, and they further prove their lovliness when i show up in the morning and there is a huge bag of perfectly ripened tomatoes (red and yellow!) on my desk chair.  thanks brenda!  your tomatoes make a very tasty sauce.

summer = salads. 
the first hit was smitten kitchen's mouth-awakening bloody mary tomato salad.  i love pretty much anything with green olives in it, and i always forget how tasty worchestershire sauce is, or "woo" sauce as the chef's family calls it.  speaking of which, this salad immediately made us think that the chef's mom would love it, so i'm sure it will make another appearance when we visit her in vancouver in a few weeks.
the second was a lovely green lentil number, with crisp tomatoes, green onions, goat cheese and just lemon, olive oil and salt. so satisfying and memorable.  if you want a laugh, take a look at this video, specifically when she mentions what she wears as a hat!

although there hasn't been much time to be able to share the usual recipes with you, there have been memories made instead.  it always amazes me how food can evoke such emotion and memory, and this fact was further proven to us last week at the cabin at the lake.  my grandfather (on the left) and his friend harvey were discussing the old days during the depression.  they were reminiscing about how little money they had, but made it sound like the best time of their life.  specifically, they mentioned a banana cream pie that sold for 15 cents a piece at a cafe that they couldn't afford to frequent.  they stared at the pie through the window, and imagined what the pie would taste like.  later in life, harvey's wife regularly made him banana cream pie.  harvey's wife now lives in a home for senior citizens, and suffers from alzheimer's.  he spoke of her so sweetly as he mentioned her "famous" banana cream pie, which of course instantly had the chef and i making an ingredient list in our heads.  we made him a banana cream pie the next day.  it took an hour trip to the store, and three recipes within a recipe (crust, custard, cream)...not to mention that i hate bananas and gag at the smell of them, and it required using the oven in the summer.
i'm sure the pie did not live up to the memory of his wife's, but the smile on his face while he ate an enormous slice was worth all of the work!

so, i'm back, friends.  and it's good to be back!
ill be back soon with banana bran muffins (for back to school, perhaps?), last bit of summer salads, and some restaurant reviews as well.
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