What goes together

golden beets

Golden beets and a Granny Smith apple.

March 6: Winter Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, from Saveur

I chose this recipe because a dressing made with buttermilk and crème fraîche (a soured cream) sounded nice. The only other ingredients were mixed lettuces, walnuts, an apple and a thinly sliced beet. The golden beets caught my eye. Pretty, and different. I would plant them!

Isn’t it nice when you’re in the middle of a three-day March storm with rain and snow and high winds and coastal flooding to curl up on the couch with seed catalogs and imagine the future summer garden?


Grapeseed oil, egg yolk and buttermilk just before adding crème fraîche, shallots, lemon juice, salt and pepper. See the easy recipe.

The egg yolk acts as an emulsifier, allowing unblendable ingredients to be blended. See How to Make Better Salad Dressings, at Bon Appétit. Egg yolks…

contain lecithin that are hybrid molecules, and they have a tail that can mesh with fat and a head that can mesh with water, so they act like a bridge holding the two otherwise unmixable liquids together.

Read the whole thing! It’s really interesting, and important.

I know where my eggs come from…

chickens in coop

Here are two of my five hens, Lucy the Rhode Island Red and Grace Kelly the Buff Orpington, inside their cozy coop last night.

In the middle of dinner prep, I had gone outside to shoo the chickens into the coop for the night. And that is when I forgot I was toasting walnuts for the salad.

blackened walnuts

What a waste.

As this blog is a record of salad-related culinary failures as well as successes, I include a photo of unintentionally blackened walnuts. They filled the kitchen with an acrid stench.

I left them off the salad, of course, and just used the few walnuts left in the bag.

winter salad

Dinner for two, husband and wife. Winter salad with buttermilk-crème fraîche dressing, mixed baby lettuces, apples, beets and walnuts, served with fresh corn bread and farmers market sausages from a local farm.

We had been apart for four days (he flew back-to-back New York- Caracas trips) and he is home for three days before his next trip. Together, apart, together, apart. We had a brief, bitter argument before dinner but made peace over our meal.

To make one, there must be two. – W.H. Auden