Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Salad days

"...My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood..."

I'm not sure about the "cold in blood" part. We're very warm blooded at the moment, thanks to days of 30+. We've adapted to the heat by avoiding cooking in the kitchen at all costs. I tried warming up an apple pie in the oven for dessert at midnight last night, and just about died of heat stroke.

The kids have not taken to this well. I don't mean the heat - I mean the lack of cooked meat. Junior stomped inside after a dinner of roots and leaves the other night and microwaved a pie. Monkey looks at his bowl and says, "Where chook?", and stomps off to smash his latest Lego castle to bits.

For the sake of variety, we've been hitting the Jamie Oliver cook books for salad recipes. On the left, the pile of purple matchsticks is a raw beetroot, pear and feta salad (with a lemon dressing). I thought the beetroot would produce purple poo, but that was not the case. It was interesting, but not great. It lacked oomph. It's the sort of thing you produce when you've got guests coming over that you want to impress, so you put out 4 or 5 salads - made up of 1 or 2 normal ones and then some wierd ones that will have them saying, "Ooooh, aren't you a talented cook". This is one of those wierd salads. Tell people it's raw beetroot, and then check out the expression on their faces.

At top, we have a couscous salad with orange and nuts. It needs a really good yoghurt dressing made with lots of mint, lemon and cucumber, and I completely forgot to make that before putting dinner on the table. Bugger.

On the right, we have Jamie's new style coleslaw. I love it. I can eat this stuff all day now. We were fed soggy, grey coleslaw from a can at school, and it's taken me over 20 years before I could start eating it again. As you can see, the mandoline has been getting a workout lately. Dried cranberries are fantastic in this coleslaw.

The last one is a tomato salad, made with some grape cherry tomatoes that J found in a specialty grocer. This photo does not do them justice - they were almost purple on the outside (like a red grape), and the seeds were bright green. The skins were really thick and chewy, and the tomatoes were quite tart. Interesting as an "ooh-ah" salad, but the last bits of it went in the bin.

So there you have it - our salad days. I can't wait to get rid of our busted BBQ and get a new one.

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