Don’t Grocery Shop Stoned

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.

I had a sack of tiny red potatoes that would make a good-sized bowl of salad, so I threw them on to boil and surveyed the fruits of my half-share.

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

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