(Just for clarification, the above sequence of photos is in no way meant to imply that Chewie likes beans. I’ve fed him a couple and he always just looks confused, like “These are food? Why won’t you share that cold chicken you’re gnawing on?“)
So it’s been a little while, and that time has meant a fair amount of fun in the garden and food worlds. My beans (moreso the green beans than the wax) have been producing steadily (hurray!) and I was amused to see the above sign when I was wondering whether or not to include them in a dinner featuring a guest with an L-name. The gods speak, and they do it via my vegetables!
Our CSA’s last shipment of beans included some purple ones which Farmer Gord alleged would turn green when cooked. I’m here to confirm that the rumours are indeed true! The skin just shed its purpleyness as the heat hit it and it transformed to match its green innards. Very tasty.
Some tomatoes have ripened nicely which, along with the first couple hot peppers (which I can now confirm are Quite Hot) went into a cherry tomato salsa. I cut in a couple tomatillos that had fallen (it’s been quite windy), but I don’t think they’re ready yet because while they added crunch, it was really just filler. No tangy flavour at all.
I made a cake for work (I’d been remiss — the last one was in May!) and while it was summery and buttery and light (don’t ask me how it managed to be both buttery and light, but it did), it really just confirmed the fact that I hate coconut in shredded form. The texture just bugs me. I long ago accepted that I only like coconut in milk form (preferably in a curry) and I think it’s about time I stopped trying to convince myself otherwise. I’d make the cake again fo’ shiz, but without the coconut. After all, the fewer ingredients standing between me and buttery, cakey, lime bliss, the better, right?
Now, all of these stories, although accounts of my happy, foodie adventures this past week, seem to have something of an “Ehn” ending to them. I’d like to wrap up this post with a decidedly happy ending… but first, some background.
Many moons ago, a number of us ventured on a road trip. The trip wound its way down from Vancouver (Canada), making a brief stop in Seattle, then further south to San Francisco. It was, for a week, an epic journey. During our overnight in Seattle, where we were graciously hosted by Maria‘s parents, they fed us (among many, many other foodstuffs) a potato salad.
This was, to me, not just any potato salad. It had everything cubed into an impossibly tiny dice. It had potatoes, and beets and I think apples, along with a number of other veggie treasures. It was colourful and light, not cloying but still creamy, with tang. It was delicious and life-changing. I vowed that at some point, I would recreate that salad. And this past week, some 4 years later, I did just that.
Now, when I informed The Boy that my salad had been inspired by Maria’s mom’s potato salad, his reaction was a blank stare, followed eventually by “She made us potato salad? Really?” Apparently all his attention had been on the custard-y pastries and meatstuffs. Well don’t worry, Salad. I didn’t forget you.
When I saw the beets in my CSA shipment and worked out my menu for the three days (or so) I’d be in town, I knew that The Time Had Come. I did some quick googling for potato salads that included beets, found this one, and promptly started modifying.
I left out the egg (although I’d definitely try it again with them in) and reduced the yoghourt (although not by enough as it turned out), as well as upping the spud:beet ratio. I replaced the scallions with a combination of green and red onions. I omitted the vinegar and seasoned the whole thing with wild abandon. I ate at least one fifth of it before it ever made it to the table.
The main lesson learned for next time (and yes, there will definitely be a next time)? Wash the cubed beets in cold water prior to mixing in. A lot. Otherwise the salad, while still delicious, turns an awesome shade of fuschia, which is slightly off-putting.
The salad is delicious: creamy and yielding with bursts of sweetness and crunch from the peas and carrots, tangy from the onion slivers but on the whole carrying so much flavour. It tastes even better the next day (although admittedly after three races, I was pretty hungry).
The Boy, after listening to my rapturous history of the salad, quietly informed me that he liked my “other” potato salad better. I’m assuming that’s because it features bacon and butter, but not to worry. I’ll win him over yet.