On the phone last Friday, College Boy suggested I bake cupcakes. I made chicken stock. After all, his train from New York that morning had been cancelled, so he wouldn't be here to eat them. That left two of us—Man of The House and myself—two people who could not be trusted with a plateful of little frosted cakes for a nano-second. Surely that would be dinner, along with a glass of Scotch (his poison) or red wine (mine.) Or maybe both. And plenty of it. I guess we can’t call out for pizza we joked reassuringly to each other, still uncertain when the lockdown would be lifted.
As it turned out, I could not summon enough focus to decide what to bake. So I cleaned out my freezer and made stock. Despite my best efforts to take breaks, my eyes and ears were glued to the television. Not even cooking—a favorite remedy of mine during times of stress—could offer refuge or distraction. At one point I snoozed on the couch, since I am one of the lucky ones who can sleep for twenty minutes any time, anywhere. I escaped into light slumber, lulled by the muted put-put of the helicopters through tightly closed windows, only waking to once again be riveted to the screen and the minute-to-minute updates. How very surreal to hear helicopters rushing to the scene, sirens wailing, and then, the unthinkable: gunshots--the final drama unfolding just three blocks down the hill from our calm and comfortable house.
There were no cupcakes for dinner. There was some good, soothing chicken soup, and plenty of the aforementioned poisons to wash it down. That was quite enough for one day.
The intensity of the past weeks demands lightness. In that vein, I offer you this colorful salad to bring you back into balance containing a wide color spectrum of foods, should you need that. With so few vegetables available to us Northerners in the in-between season, this salad fills in the gap. The salad goes nicely with some of those first grilled burgers or shrimp of the season, now that pleasant weather seems to have arrived.
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper together. Gradually whisk in the oil.
1 small celery root (12 ounces), cut into fine matchstick
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into small dice
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, for garnish
1. In a salad bowl, combine celery root, cabbage, carrot, apple, radishes, pomegranate seeds, and parsley. Toss with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with sliced avocado and pumpkin seeds.