Quick pickled cucumber and melon salad

August 22, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s been another crazy week, this last week.  More travel, more weddings (an exceptionally gorgeous and happy one of some close friends), and a running of errands for my own that could give the running of the bulls a run for its money in the category of harrowing, stampede-like qualities.

It’s all been beyond fun, but also beyond exhausting.  So, I’m going to take a little moment to share this refreshing little gem of a salad with you.  It makes me think of a spa food, which makes me think, “ahhhhhhh, I’m so relaxed.” (In spite of a certain preponderance of the evidence indicating the opposite.)

Granted, I’ve never been to a spa, so I can’t really speak to the nature of the food served at one.  But, here’s what I imagine spa food to be like: light and refreshing, nourishing and satisfying, full of pure, sensual flavors.  Food that lets you feel like you’re pampering yourself, while also being good for you.

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An even better broccoli (grilled with pickled shallots)

May 24, 2011 § 20 Comments

Wedding season has begun around here, and it’s going to progress with a vengeance.  It’s possible that I can count on one hand the number of weekends we’re going to be home this summer!  Not that I’m complaining.  I love the opportunity it brings to see friends that you rarely get to see otherwise and to spend more time with those you do, raising toasts with them and cutting a rug on the dance floor.

However, at these kinds of events I have a terrible habit of getting nostalgic for the present.  Wishing that every day were spent with friends from all over gathered around us.  I suppose it’s not unreasonable to wish for this.  But if you get too nostalgic for the present, you actually miss out on it!  So, I’ve been trying simply to bask in it, and soak it all in instead.

This weekend was especially great because the wedding we went to was in this area.  This meant we got to have dear friends staying with us at our house, there to spend the precious in between moments with us.  The moments of of not doing anything in particular, or groggily grabbing a morning cup of coffee, or watching the bird building a nest on the neighbor’s roof.

And of course, when we weren’t off at wedding related events, I couldn’t stop myself from cooking up a storm and feeding everyone until we were all ready to burst.  It can be such fun to have a full table.  The camera stayed tucked away in the corner though, so I’m going to go ahead and share something else with you.  Something that I cooked last week and pretty much haven’t stopped thinking about since.

I believe at some point last year, I claimed that I had made the best broccoli ever.  A bold claim, but I felt fairly convinced at the time that it was (at least mostly) vindicated.  I should have known better.  I don’t actually believe in the idea that we can have never ending growth and progress, including in the area of cooking.  I think some things are best left unimproved.  They are already great.  But, it turns out broccoli still had a couple of notches left for taking it up.  Back then, I had only made the best broccoli ever yet.  But now, now I would say that I have made the best broccoli ever…Okay, fine, ever yet.

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