Morning of cooking

Fortunately, I'm out of puzzles to do, so after taking the boys to camp, I went to the market and then returned home to cook (for the Grands, and for friends who are coming over this evening) and clean. I pitted and halved plump, sensual Bing cherries; their juices ran in rivulets through my fingers and down my arms. I steamed and chilled dainty French beans and patty-pan squash, and then put together a layered roast beef salad which they'll accompany later. I've mentioned this salad before; its provenance lies with my dear pal, Donna, though she may have discovered it in the kitchen of a friend, as I did with her. It screams summer eating - a cool salad on a hot night- and is marvelously simple to prepare: shaved roast beef, slivered red onions, avocado slices and a wonderful dressing that is no more than oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. summer beef salad, layer 1

The night I first had this, Donna had steamed veggies and nestled those and some fresh tomatoes alongside, maybe some couscous too. It was many moons ago, but suffice it to say that I don't do anything differently than what I recall from that meal. You simply layer the beef, onions and avocados, perhaps three times, pour the dressing over and chill for at least a few hours.

I'll also be making a grilled ciabatta with olive oil, garlic and fresh tomato slices as well as my cherry-rhubarb-hibiscus crumble with some almond-infused whipped cream. Beautiful, (mostly) healthy, and delicious!