If your regrets linger, if you cannot find
inspiration in solitude, then you still
have much to learn from the writers
and poets and the cooks on becoming
the artists of your own life…you can
never re-create the past. But you
can shape your own future. And
you can make a cake.
……or a pasta salad! When I was planning yesterday’s dinner I knew I wanted something that could be made ahead of time and be on the table, ready to eat when we sat down, not knowing exactly what time that would be. Ed was in San Francisco for the day and wasn’t going to be home till 8:00. Easy cleanup was mandatory since it would be late when we finished eating. It didn’t take me long to decide what I would make because I could visualize all the beautiful vegetables that are in the markets now. These days I love lingering in the produce department admiring all the colors, shapes, textures, and variety of fruits and vegetables that are available, and love that most of it is local. I have to rein myself in because I have a tendency to buy way more than we can eat in few days. Pasta salad is a no-brainer, you can’t possibly make a bad one! Choose your vegetables, chop them if needed, lightly steam and shock them in ice water, dice or grate some of your favorite cheese, [I used cave-aged Gruyère], tear or chop some fresh basil, throw in a few pine nuts, a few types of cooked pasta, and toss with a simple vinaigrette. I made a balsamic vinaigrette and added some pesto, that I always have on hand in the freezer. This salad is great for those nights when you want to go meatless. And you can add so many other things – you’re the artist! The good news for me is that I made so much we’re going to have it for dinner again tonight.
The preparation of good food is
merely another expression of art,
one of the joys of civilized living.
Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely
only on know-how, it comes from the heart,
makes great demands on the palate, and
needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food
to bring it to life.