Sunday, June 1, 2014

Truth is stranger than fiction; salad is better with berries


I got home from my run yesterday morning just in time to go pick up my Bountiful Basket, which means I stood in line for 30 minutes, surrounded by other people, smelling really bad. 

Fortunately, my post-run aroma was not what people were talking about -- not after the police showed up.

Here's the scene: Bountiful Baskets is distributed in a park; across the street from said park are a couple of cul-de-sacs. People park in these cul-de-sacs. I've never given any thought to the legality of this parking.

Well, we all found out yesterday it was not legal, when a police officer showed up, talked to a few people and then pulled out his PA and told the 100 people in line that, if they were one of the six people parked in the cul-de-sac, move your car. Obviously we all made jokes about how dangerous a bunch of produce-eating hippies were.

But it kept. Getting. Better. A couple was outside doing yard work, and all the people around me assumed they were the ratter-outers. One woman walked up to this house and took a picture of the house -- and the woman. The woman turned around and said something to the photographer. I can only assume the conversation went something like this:

Gardener: "What are you doing? You have no evidence we called the police on you hunyaks*."

Photographer: "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little flower too!"

The photographer then walked away, and the woman walked over to her husband. I can only assume that conversation went something like this:

Gardener: "Honey, that woman is taking pictures of my award-winning flower garden. I think she's a spy."

Rake-wielding husband: "It's OK, honey. I'll protect you. And our flowers." *wields rake convincingly*

Filling in the dialogue really made the wait entertaining, being as my phone was almost completely out of juice. Lucky for me, however, it did not end there. I thought the police officer made the announcement, ensured it was followed, and then left. I assumed, when a police vehicle rolled down the street 10 minutes later, that the same guy was swinging by again to ensure the laws of cul-de-sac parking were still being followed.

NO.

This was a second police officer; the first never left. They both double-parked on the street (I feel like that's illegal) and got out of the cars and, well, I'm not sure what they did. They stood there. One of them moved his vehicle when an old couple with canes needed to get out. 

Then both the police officers walked over to the couple gardening and talked to them for several minutes. This pretty much cemented the hippy line's belief that this couple were the ratter-outers. 

Circumstantial? Perhaps. But pretty darn convincing. 

Unfortunately, that was the best part of Bountiful Baskets. Yesterday's haul was a little disappointing; I got six onions, and half my blackberries were moldy. Fortunately, local supermarkets did not disappoint; I went into Sprouts for salsa ingredients and walked out with a couple pounds of berries. Since today was fast Sunday, when we skip a couple of meals and donate that money to help those in need, I was especially hungry when dinner time came along.

Berries!

I don't really have a name for this salad yet. To sum it up, berry-cinnamon-pecan salad with creamy mango-lime dressing. Also, so delicious. It's one of the few times salad has ever filled me up.



Dressing:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice and zest of one lime
Mango

Throw it all into the blender. I used a yellow (ataulfo) mango. Bountiful Baskets recently introduced me to them, and I am a fan. Just blend it all up together and stick it in the fridge until you need it.

Cinnamon-toasted pecans
1 cup chopped up pecans
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

Put it all into a skillet on medium-low heat; stir constantly until the nuts are evenly coated. Let them cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. When they're done, let cool on a foil-covered plate or cake pan.

Salad

Wash and tear up lettuce -- romaine or red and green leaf, or spinach would be good -- wash your berries, slice up your strawberries. I made enough for one, so it was three or four lettuce leaves and about three cups of berries. Add about 1/4 cup of nuts and 1/4 cup of dressing. (The best way to toss salad: put all the ingredients into a container, put the lid on it, shake vigorously.) If you're making more servings, more lettuce, more berries, and throw all the pecans and dressing in there.

Or just make a bunch of salad and eat it all while watching a movie about a ragtag band of produce hippies trying to make it in the insane world of home ownership and laws.

* Hunyak: Randy Toth's word for bad parkers.

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