Before I get into writing my blog, I wanted to acknowledge Cristi at Simple.Interesting for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogger Award. I will get to passing it on over the weekend, but for now wanted to give him a nod and point you in his direction and thank him for including me.
That being said, I’ve had a most interesting start to my day. Why is it days you take hours to apply makeup, fix your hair, and choose a fabulous outfit you never meet anybody you know, but the one time you leave the house looking like you’ve just exited an industrial clothes dryer you run into people you haven’t seen since high school?
This morning I was pulling together a cabbage soup recipe in my crockpot in anticipation of the rain headed our way this week. Half way through the ingredients I discovered a crucial part of my recipe, namely two leeks, had gone south overnight in my vegetable bin. One cup of coffee into my morning and no make up in place as yet, I knew that there was no choice but to run into town (that being a ten mile run one way) with no time to make myself beautiful. Normally, I would have opted for the smaller local market close by, handy for days when you need an emergency head of iceberg lettuce or an onion or two, but their grocer does not venture into the more exotic members of the vegetable set much further than an occasional artichoke or a stray exotic mushroom from time to time over the holiday season. Running a brush through my hair and one over my teeth (not the same one FYI), I surveyed my reflection in the mirror, and finding myself suitable enough not to scare young children or induce heart attacks in the elderly, I threw on a jacket and hopped in the car. On the trip down the hill, I reassured myself that at 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning the market would most likely be a graveyard except for store personnel so I could surely run in, grab two leeks, and make my escape without eliciting a second glance. Slow down Kemosabe.
Finding the parking lot more crowded then I’d expected, I located a spot five cars down on one aisle and flying low and putting on my most invisible look, I moved quickly through the store to the vegetable section. After working my way through the kale, cabbage, peppers, and broccoli, I came to the area where the leeks usually make their home. No leeks. Really? As I’ve said before, I must have been Rasputin’s henchman in a former life, because the universe really likes to twist my knickers, and I believe gets a good chuckle out of it at the end of the day. Surveying the vegetable department for the usual produce manager, a nice plumpish gentlemen in his late fifties, I found instead the only employee replenishing the celery to be a man I would guess in his mid thirties who looked a bit like Brad Pitt with a moustache. Are you kidding me? Reviewing my socks with the little blue bunnies peeking over the tops of my Nike’s and my well worn sweats, I considered throwing my recipe to the wind and going commando without the leeks, but the cook in me vetoed the woman in me and I asked wantabe Brad where I might locate a leek. From the brief perusal of my appearance before directing me to the “organic section”, I’m sure he thought I’d already located a leak and immersed myself in it prior to leaving the house.
Success close, I grabbed a yellow “organic” bag and deposited my two leeks. Heading for the checkout area I noticed the head of the Chamber of Commerce and his wife in the freezer section obviously dressed for church. Drat the luck. Not only was I not dressed for church, but looked more like I might be pending trial for stealing from the collection plate. Quickly I changed aisles and headed down the tofu and health food aisle, which in our area is certainly not the most frequented, only to find my new neighbor, a perfectly put together fitness instructor, digging in a bin of granola. OMG. Had I sent out invitations, I couldn’t have seen more familiar faces.
Dodging that bullet and the checkout aisles close at hand, I breathed a sigh of relief and pulled up behind a nice lady also in baggy sweats to wait my turn. The self check areas were open, but for some reason I seem to always set off some alarm requiring keys, extra personnel, and PA addresses, so in my state of attire I avoided it at all costs.
Sensing the end of my ordeal, walking in the front door I spotted a friend’s husband, Mickey. Of our extended group of friends and acquaintances he is the male half of probably the most superficial couple of our group. No matter what the social occasion, be it a barbecue or a holiday party, these two always manage to arrive looking as though they’d recently stepped off the runway in Caans or arrived directly from a recent photo shoot. Trying to hide, I stooped and began studying the Hot Cheeto display to my right, throwing a bag in the cart for good measure (a guilty pleasure). Still trying to make myself small, I bent further down to check out the varieties of gum available for purchase. My there is an impressive assortment to keep your dentist in business with. Letting a minute of two pass, I stood back up. Looking around I didn’t see Mickey on my radar so moved forward to purchase my leeks. Suddenly two hands grasped me by the shoulders and I had no choice but to turn around, bag of Cheetos in hand, to find Mickey grinning at me with his perfectly whitened and straight set of teeth. After memorizing my visage for recalling every detail once he arrived home, he said, “Wow, Susie, you look great”. Really? that being the case I must have been just short of the last rites last time we met. Did I mention they’re not the most sincere of my friends as well?
At any rate, I’m back home. I have cleaned up and could receive the Queen, thus guaranteeing no one will stop by today.
This slaw is so delicious. I slightly overcooked the pecans so forgive me as they were the last of the lot. We’re having the slaw with a broccoli quiche so should be appropriate for a windy night outside.
Also, I wanted to share the first of my holiday aprons. Orders start coming in early so I have dragged my trusty sewing machine out of it’s cardboard home and begun to produce my yearly quota. When I lived in West Virginia I made my living by doing art and wine shows, and craft shows in general. Always fun to meet other arty people and find a buyer for something you have created.
Fruity Fall Slaw
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 apple, diced
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained and quartered
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix well. Toss with dressing 1 hour prior to serving. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with orange slices and a handful of pecans.
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together all dressing ingredients and refrigerate until 1 hour before serving salad. Mix into salad and chill until ready to serve.