rainbows again ::::
It seems pretty lame that I often focus my posts around discussions on the weather. When there is food, it’s a no-brainer that the weather will affect the meals, especially if you’re like me, giddy with local produce choices.
One can’t help but noticing the feathery, white-blooming trees in our neighborhood, the sprigs of new green dotting our trumpet flower tree in our backyard, and the finality of the minimal frost we encounter each winter. Yet it still surprises me, springtime in California. In the Midwest, getting through winter to spring was an arduous process sometimes , me often growing impatient with the late snows, salt-covered roads, and the slushy muck as it would all melt finally. One particularly sub-zero, snowy winter during medical school I was up so early to see patients that the heavily and newly fallen snow had yet to be shoveled from the walkways. Without a place to put wet boots in the hospital (they would be stolen) and need for comfortable shoes for walking the floors, I tied a plastic grocery bag to each foot to prevent my shoes from becoming a sloggy mess as I walked to the hospital. I thought I could make it without being seen, in this embarrassing fashion but practical shoe choice, my footsteps crunching with plastic and snow, my feet looking like an elephant’s. My heart raced as I heard footsteps behind me as I approached the building. I turned and found one of my classmates peering at my footwear, and I removed them smiling, feeling the need to explain my fashion choice, and threw the bags away hoping the walkways would be sufficiently shoveled and salted by the time I left that night. And that he didn’t think I was a total dork.
No plastic bag feet since then with a pair of waterproof and comfortable boots that I wore frequently on winter walks after medical school. And now, my boots have gathered dust in the closet for we are in a constant state of spring and summer here. In Cali, springtime just kind of sneaks up on you, as if it has been following you all winter, hiding behind you, you knowing something is just there. It’s so gradual, barely a change. Winter is barely winter in Northern California. It rains. My windshield is sometimes icy. I wear gloves not because I’m afraid of bone-chilling temperatures and frostbite, but because I don’t turn the heat on in the car right away. The grass remains green all year.
Yet I still welcome the extra color and a little more warmth during the days and nights. Eat and I admit: three years in California and we have become somewhat wimpy. I choose to hold steadfast to my sub-zero Midwest temperature upbringing as a gauge for cold, and refuse to admit that my current winters are ever really that bad. I do admit, though, I did buy a new scarf this year. Because it was pretty, not because I needed it.
And my vegetable slaw with gorgonzola today: very pretty. I’ve made this multiple times, sometimes being more of a stickler for true “slaw” sized pieces of vegetables and sometimes just cutting things up into bigger chunks. I prefer my sweet peppers cut more thickly, my cabbage grated, and get whatever snap peas are available whether small and tender or fat and bulging.
I welcome you, Spring. I hope there are much, much more of these vegetables coming up for more summer vegetable slaw. And I am sooooo glad I don’t need to wear plastic grocery bags on my feet to get through winter.
One year ago: strata story
Two years ago: banana bread pudding with cream cheese frosting
- ½ cup virgin olive oil (a grassy one is nice here)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups red cabbage, grated
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 colored pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (I used a mixture of yellow, orange, and red peppers to equal about one)
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, small and tender
- ¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and Dijon mustard until slightly thickened. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and whisk well to emulsify.
- Add the vegetables. Toss well to coat all of the vegetables with the dressing.
- The salad may appear a bit wet after mixing. Transfer to a clean bowl, leaving some of the dressing behind if it looks too wet.
- Top with crumbled Gorgonzola and serve immediately.
- You can prep the vegetables the day before. For a crisper salad, assemble the salad no sooner than a few hours before serving.
- NOTE: This salad does keep for a couple of days refrigerated, but the red cabbage will discolor the cheese and other vegetables. It doesn't look pretty but it tastes fine.