If at first you don’t succeed…
We all know how that ends, right?
Do you have those weeks? Those times when, try as you might, you just can’t seem to hit on what you’re really looking for? That was me this week. I’ve been searching for the right recipe to put up on the blog all week. I’ve made a handful of attempts and even snapped photos of a few but nothing seemed to be quite good enough. All of them were edible. Well, most all of them. The jury’s still out on my attempt for smooth peanut butter that ended up three shades too dark and tasting burnt. I even got pictures of some of them, albeit fuzzy and a little dark. But nothing, not the Teriyaki Chicken, or the hamburgers, or the apple chips, or even my favorite way of sautéing summer squash seemed like the right thing to put on the blog this week. What’s a mom to do?
Well, this mom decided to just be real. I love to cook and I try A LOT of different things. Sometimes my family loves it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I think I’m awesome and sometimes I wonder what the heck I was thinking. I have highs and lows and they are very rarely at a point of equilibrium. Mostly, graciously, the scales tip far more in my favor then I deserve.
This week, instead of painting the most rosy-cheeked portrait of myself that I could muster, I decided to share with you the ever-so-popular no-makeup selfie version. The recipe I have for you today? It’s a salad dressing. I know, SO clever. It takes the mind of a real industry professional to come up with a scheme as crazy as putting salad dressing on vegetables.
And you know what? It’s not even my very favorite salad dressing. It’s good and still worth making but, you know… So why on earth am I going to share it with you? Because, without a doubt, this was my favorite meal to prepare this week and I’ll give you a hint as to why.
I have not discovered the secret to taking pictures of my own two hands. No, those are the hands of my sweet little sous chef. He opted to stay inside and cook dinner with mom instead of going outside to play with dad and sister. He joyously pulled his chair up to our messy counter and chatted with me while we sliced the veggies and divvied them up between the salad and the pizza. He asked real questions and listened for the answers. He delighted in snatching a tomato for himself, fresh from our neighbor’s garden, and then insisted I take one too so that we could enjoy them together. Mostly, he reminded me that while what we cook is important, it’s the ones we’re feeding that are vital.
In his own little five-year-old way, he challenged me to enjoy the process of trying, and trying, and trying some more.
This week, whatever you eat, whether you gather round a table full of friendly faces or sit quietly at a place set for one, may you find food for your body and nourishment for your soul.
The Home Grown Mom’s Homemade Italian Dressing (kinda-sorta like Newman’s Own)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp. oregano
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine. Allow the flavors to settle for a few minutes before pouring over your salad.