It is hot. This we all know. Some people love the heat and move languidly down the steaming sidewalks with contented smiles and tiny shorts.
This is not me. I cannot function in the heat. I start to slur my words. I basically shut down.
So actually ‘cooking’ things is sort of out of the question for me as I can’t bear the thought of using my oven or any heat-producing devices. Also, cooking is such a loose term for me to being with.
This week’s CSA share yielded a bunch of goodies that I laid out on my counter and stared at somewhat morosely while thinking of a good, long nap in front of my air conditioner.
Though it involved the stove, I had the bright idea to make potato salad. The thought of a nice chilled salad sounded extremely soothing to me, and my husband loves a good potato salad.
Not only have I never made a potato salad, I was fairly sure that I didn’t have most of the ingredients I needed. I decided to forge ahead anyway, because no way no day was I heading out into the blistering inferno to traipse to Fairway.
Parsley would work in there, I figured. Parsley seems like the Switzerland of herbs to me; it would have to get along with everything else, or at least remain neutralized and add a nice bit of greenery.
I also planned to use scallions from the share and shallots, which I love and could eat in most anything. A garlic bulb from the week or two before wouldn’t hurt, and I thought a bit of cucumber might make the salad even more refreshing, even if it was a bit unexpected.
After the potatoes had boiled to a soft-enough state, I half mashed them up before I realized that maybe I should have sliced them. Oh, well. With a shrug, I diced up the scallions, a single shallot and a clove of garlic.
I didn’t chop up the parsley at all and just kinda flung it in the bowl with the sort of reckless abandonment that has come to characterize everything I do in a kitchen setting. This was a mistake as there were rather large leaves of pretty potent parsley in the finished product, but at least I know for next time.
In went the majority of cucumber, diced. Next, I dribbled in some dill from our garden plot and a healthy dose of ground black pepper and sea salt. I plopped some low-fat (the bane of my husband) mayonnaise in and stirred things up. After an initial taste, I thought something was missing. I squeezed half a fresh lemon into the mix. That was better, but still, something was wrong. Where was the zest? With furrowed brow, I snooped around my pantry until, hello, a savior!
For some strange reason, I once purchased a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix. (Actually, I probably know the reason, and this is why I try not to go to buy groceries when I’m stoned). I liberally shook in a good 3/4s of the packet and after a good mixing, I had reached the zenith (well, for me) of potato salad. Fantastic!
I left it to chill and wandered off once the sun went down. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take any glamour shots of my finished product because, once I got back, my husband had nearly devoured the entire salad — straight from the bowl, of course. — Kitchen of a Non-Cook