A new delicious salad and a pie

I am bushed tonight, y'all, but it's been a productive, good week. We received several letters from the boys; Jack sounds positively ebullient, and Oliver does too, in his own understated way. No one who knows him will be surprised to find that with all manner of found object -stones, cobwebs, pine needles, etc- he has erected Tent 7 Town Hall underneath his tent (they're raised structures) at camp and is running it in his down time. We know not who else participates in T7TH but perhaps that doesn't matter. 

I am really starting to miss them and will be beside myself with anticipation one week from Sunday when I first get to lay eyes on them. Aah!

In the meantime, a beautiful pie and a new salad to share.


The pie is a strawberry rhubarb balsamic. Because yesterday was so humid, I could take great liberties with my oil-based crust. It's often quite finicky but is a snap on a wet day. So, fleurs.

And this salad arose from a burst of creativity and a need to use up some produce. I shaved a bulb of fennel and a nectarine, halved a few cherries, and chopped some fennel fronds and mint. I had some pepper-crusted goat cheese and roasted pistachios too, so those went on, and then I drizzled the whole thing with salt, freshly ground pepper, peppery olive oil, and some pear balsamic. Dreadful photo, scrumptious salad. Summer on a plate!

not the prettiest photo, but alas

not the prettiest photo, but alas


What a wonderful night- hiLARious

I am telling you what... There is nothing like an evening of slap-your-ass girl laughter to improve life, be it good, bad or average to start with. I had a perfectly fine, though relatively harried day, but come 6:30 when the gal-pals arrived, all was well in the world. We really had so much fun, and the food was divine. As if we were meeting on some weird hormonal or psychic plane, all of our dishes incorporated yogurt in a primary way: Evi (fifthfloorkitchen.wordpress.com) brought zucchini fritters with a yogurt-cuc sauce; Jess (mostly, but not only, at www.feastie.com) brought a yogurt pie with an apricot glaze, and yes, the three of us finished all but a sliver; while I supplied the aforementioned mujaddara with spiced yogurt and some champagne. The three of us met only a few weeks ago, but, and this is something I've noticed repeatedly since my later-twenties, when you meet someone (people) you know you like and with whom you connect, you really do just know. It's a different ballgame when you're post-college, well into your third decade, more comfortable/confident with who you are as an individual. Some of the initial BS falls away, no one has to be perfect, you can just meet others and get a sense that yes, (s)he is someone with whom I'd like to be friends. We might all have had some basic anticipatory queries tonight: were the group dynamics of a foodie conference such that we liked each other just for being there? will our connection still be thus? would tonight be fun or a bit stilted?

After nearly five hours, I believe concerns were put to rest, beyond the bummer that one of us is moving out-of-state in the near future. And that is a good lesson in why dormancy is never good. Stay alive, remain dynamic and open, welcome others, don't be afraid to close doors when needed, put yourself out there. You never know, and that's cool.

Dinner from tonight...delish!