|Leslie's Salad @Allison Tyler 2012|
Susie has many God-given talents, and one I am especially envious of is her ability to open the refrigerator door, take a 2-second inventory, and cook up a feast.
A number of years ago, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and weepy (also known as FINE - Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional), still avoiding a long-overdue divorce and about to move into an apartment that I realized was a mistake to have signed a lease on, via the magic of the telephone line Susie was able to help me cook my dinner from way over on the left coast, including a delicious dipping sauce for my chicken. My sobs (oh, this was an ugly cry) quieted as I followed her directions (because I couldn't have heard her otherwise) and cooked myself a meal that had already existed in parts, but that I had been unable to see to put together on my own. This is also a metaphor for how Susie has helped me straighten out my life.
It is a gift she has, and as the years go by and we continue to share what we're cooking and craving, I'm learning more and more about how to make something from what seems like nothing, because I'm learning to SEE better.
The salad above is a result of today's being able to see the sum of the parts when I cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer - half a bag of frozen corn, almost a full can of chickpeas, an over-ripe avocado, half a pint of cherry tomatoes, a bit of leftover cilantro from New Year's Eve's chicken satay, and a dressing I whipped up from the juice of a lime, olive oil, cumin, Dijon mustard, a squirt of agave and smoked salt.
I'm calling this classic combination "Leslie's Salad" from now on because the other day I was at my dear friend Leslie's apartment. She's a new mom and after watching her beautifully navigate motherhood these past few weeks, I have no idea how all you moms out there do it. Leslie was preparing a salad of chickpeas, red peppers, avocado, tomato, croutons, and I'm not sure what else was in there, maybe there was corn, too, and although she offered me some, I had just eaten and wasn't hungry. But I kept looking at her uneaten (do new moms EVER get to eat?!) salad and thinking, "That looks REALLY good. Why don't I ever think to put those things together?"
Who knew that a variation of Leslie's Salad was just waiting for me at home when I cleaned out the 'fridge?
So, thanks to Susie for the vision, and Leslie for the visual, I am about to eat a very delicious lunch. And I do believe I saw a bit of feta cheese in the refrigerator to crumble on top...
Update 1/3/12 - today I finished off the salad topped with the last of the shredded chicken I had made and seasoned to use in soft tacos. Delicious!