Saturday, July 24, 2010

Green dinners: Round 3. . . and other matters

I was going to regale you with a story about my keen food detective abilities as I attempted to recreate of my favorite restaurant salads, Roasted Corn Pasta Salad from The Elk, but as I went to fetch their URL, there the recipe was -- in broad daylight. So much for detective work.

A short aside about The Elk: For about one month in the late 1980s, The Wonderfully Patient Spouse and I were hip without even realizing it. As I seem to recall, The Elk opened in the dead of winter and the WPS and I stumbled across quite by accident. We spent many a Sunday night there with the place to ourselves, working our way through its delicious menu of soups and entrees. Ultimately, true hip young people, genetically predisposed to stay up late and drink The Elk's excellent selection of beers, gravitated to The Elk and we once again became un-hip. But that's ok. We still like The Elk, its gumbo and roasted corn pasta salad.

Summer cries out for pasta salads, but I usually find most fare pretty bland. The Elk's Roasted Corn Pasta Salad is anything but. The chipotle-mayo-cilantro dressing is simply grand in a wonderful in-your-face kind of way and who doesn't love roasted vegetables? (Well, probably someone somewhere does. My heart goes out to them.) I was feeling a little feisty this morning so I threw in some crisped-up pancetta from my favorite charcuterie, Sante, for a little additional punch. Mmmm. There's something about the flavors of salty bacon and smokey chipotle just seems right. And, oh, I had some red peppers from the garden so into the roasted mix they went as well.

Salad caveat: If you are spicy-food challenged, DO NOT use the 2 tablespoons of chipotle puree. It will have you screaming like a school girl after your first bite of salad. Just a suggestion.

And other matters

Hormone therapy works!

It does indeed.

After 10-14 days of religiously spraying Tigerella heirloom tomato blossoms with a blossom set solution, we have our first actual tiny fruit. Booyah!

There is a tomato god.

A near Comstock calamity or the perils of swimming in public

Oh my. It was hot today.

Tonight, to beat the heat, the Wonderfully Patient Spouse and I decided to take the plunge so to speak and visit the new and seriously improved Comstock Park pool to see, up close and personal, our tax payers' dollars at work. We have been rewarded.

The pool is delightful. A zero entry (visualize a wading pool/get-use-to-the-water-for-old-farts), little fountains, diving board AND a water slide.

So here's where the water wings came off.

Secretly, since watching the pool be renovated, I've been eyeballing that water slide, just itching to give it a try. So, once acclimated to the water, the WPS and I beelined it over to the slide, confirmed we met all height and weight requirements, processed the posted rules and regulations, and got into line. The WPS went first, shooting down the slide, twisting and turning, ultimately flying out into the landing pool. He popped up with a huge grin on his face.

I took off next, assuming my best luge operator/deadman pose. Little did I know that would be my first mistake. The ride was glorious, flying, faster and faster, through the slide's tight twists and turns. I simply had to laugh out loud. That was my second mistake. I hit the water in mid-guffaw in perfect luger form. Which meant I took on a mouth full of water and got "stuck" under the jet stream of water that propels sliders down the slide. I could not for the life of me turn over and pop up out of the water. I started churning like a 1950s Maytag washer.

The WPS reports he was mildly surprised when, instead seeing my head pop up out the water, he saw my chubby white legs break the surface, pedaling like mad.

The 16-year-old lifeguard was too. He was off his chair, whistle and lifeguard floaty-thing primed, ready for a "Bay Watch" rescue but the WPS beat him to it. He calmly reached under the water and turned me right side up. My hero.

I spit out about 4 gallons of pool water and sucked in the warm summer night's air, sounding strangely like our Hoover vacuum cleaner. Another gallon of water dripped from my nose.

Did I mention this all took place in about 4 feet of water? I didn't think so.

It's so hard to be glamorous.

1 comment:

  1. Mary! I'm assuming this is your blog?! I love it and will now follow religiously! (Erin Grady Oranen here :) hope you guys are doing great. We are doing swell here in Portland... Newest news is that we are expecting baby #2 in February and that spicy roasted corn pasta salad is now officially my new craving. Must make it! I have a blog too if you want to check it out :)

    Hello to Brad!!