As we launch unforgivingly into what will be my fourth complete Oregon summer (we moved up halfway into one, so that doesn’t count), I’m reminded of Monty Python. Specifically, I’m reminded of the animated plot-moving section in QHG when the narrator tells us that “A year passed: winter changed into spring, spring changed into summer, summer changed back into winter, and winter gave spring and summer the miss and went straight on into autumn… until one day…” Oregon, I call foul. After a wretched winter, we’d barely touched into spring temperatures when we’re suddenly awash with summer. Except for the allergies, which linger in heavy layers of nose clogging pollen to remind us not only that Linn County just to the north is the grass seed capital of the world, but that it’s not quite summer yet, even though my feet are bare and my window fan is running at full blast.
So it’s hot, that’s basically what I’m trying to get across here. I’ve lost my California hardiness, but then again, it’s been four years. Apparently my computer has lost its tolerance for heat as well. Despite being mid-term-paper, I took long breaks throughout the day during which I shut the poor machine down so it wouldn’t die of heat exhaustion. The fan was running overtime, to the point that I actually pointed another fan at the box in hopes that this would help cool things off. With all this impending heatstroke, the last thing I wanted was a hot meal for dinner. Thankfully, my latest issue of Cuisine at Home charged me with the challenge to “build a better salad.” In congruence with their directions, I produced the following opus:
At its bass line, that’s a spinach salad you see there, but the accompaniment is really what makes it sing. It featured steamed sweet potato slices, raspberries, defrosted frozen edamame, and homemade granola. Like a complex perfume or a fine wine, a good salad needs a top note. Ours was a vigorously whisked dressing of yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
The best part is imagining what to do with the leftover granola. I’m thinking yogurt… honey… fresh raspberries…