The last couple of months have been overflowing with all sorts of activity - visits to see family & friends that took me to places like Baltimore and Canton and Yucca Valley, and a camping trip to a beautiful site about three miles from Yosemite, and a one year wedding celebration with the mister in Mendocino, where we enjoyed another lovely stay at the Andiron Inn. All told, there was much lovely scenery, and cherished time with cherished people, sandwiched in between lots of music and work.
I've loved every moment of seeing my family and friends, near and far, but, there hasn't been much time left over to do the basic things, like... laundry and pulling weeds and just generally trying to keep the house clean and maintain some semblance of order and balance. I've never been good at balance. And today I wasn't either, but damn did it feel good to spend the better part of nine hours cooking my heart out.
Mostly I washed greens for salad and plucked and washed and dried basil and parsley and dill. It takes awhile to do all that, but once washed & dried & stored in paper towels or cloth, it all keeps for quite some time and I love having fresh herbs at the ready. I made pesto with some of the basil, and used all the herbs to make herb butter. I made a quinoa salad with roasted corn, fennel, dried cherries, olives and dill. I toasted a bunch of walnuts that I will use to top the salad with tomorrow when I eat it for lunch. And then, I made this beet salad.
The recipe was posted recently in the NYT, and was created by David Tanis. It was a lot of work, I must say. Roasting the beets and then peeling them, prepping the mint and dill, roasting and then grinding coriander and cumin seeds, making both a vinaigrette and a yogurt sauce, cleaning the greens.
But damn, it was so good. And so beautiful to look at.
Making it, and then eating it, was the perfect ending to the perfect day. The house is still a wreck and the weeds are still growing like weeds will do, but the fridge is fully stocked and the house smells good, and for now, that's good enough for me!