A Summer Salad

Our freezer is an utter calamity. Manic, uncomfortable chaos at best. We have an inordinately nonsensical collection of liquor filled mason jars comfortably set across three shelves. They boast a myriad of colors and flavors. In fact, some of these jars bear fruit. They only come out when we have gatherings, which are not as frequent as they once were. This means that so long as the libations linger, serious freezer real estate is monopolized. Booze aside, I am left with a small bin for cramped bags of frozen vegetables and berries as well as a lone shelf for whatever else remains. Bags of red Thai chilies, pine nuts and lemongrass are tucked in as space allows. It's a kitchen conundrum. My mother operates not one but two freezers. She makes meals in advance to pull out when someone goes on holiday. Other times goodies thaw out to give life to a meal on a rainy day. On the exterior of these containers she marks the date and their contents. For your information, food does have the tendency to change appearance when frozen. As for our situation, I see commercials touting impressive refrigerators with massive freezer drawers and I quietly turn a shade of green as steam whistles from my ears.

For whatever reason, this past week a certain someone decided to browse through my two crowded shelves and pull out containers. While dated, I neglected to mark the contents. It is a miracle that there is anything on my shelf at all. When I prepare meals, they don't often yield leftovers and if this should happen, the grub is traditionally exhausted the following day. So Matthew took one container to work and was surprised with a savory bowl of turkey bolognese. I sent him along with Ezekiel toast just in case it was soup or something heartier. Actually, I was convinced that it was my bison chili. Another mystery container yielded my homemade Jewish Penicillin with red lentil rotelli. That was yesterday's lunch, which was a stroke of luck given my schedule. After yoga in the morning, I was somewhat confined to the house save for a blitzkrieg trip to the grocer for a bag of lemons. I had an interview at noon followed by one at three and a gentleman from Terminex came over to do his thing in between. Never a dull moment in our household. In addition to the corporate front, I was very busy cooking, compiling recipes and writing. All fun stuff and I dare not complain. 

During my temporary corporate hiatus, I am taking this time to better familiarize myself with the fast changing social media landscape. There are so many platforms it is not only exciting but also a tad overwhelming. A bit behind the ace ball, I newly besotted with Twitter. It's miraculous. Correction, I have used it for some time but not to its full potential. I was just congratulated for reaching 100 followers. Pathetic but a start. All my information at the graze of a finger. My ADHD brain can whizz past headlines and tap to dive deeper as I please. I follow every news source that wets my whistle, all the magazines to which I subscribe, a pair of city's near and dear to my heart, four comedians, a small handful of celebrities, GOOP of course because I think that Gwyneth Paltrow is the business and a growing group of spectacular individuals who have a tap on the pulse of whatever they consider to be their jam. I woke up at 4.30 this morning and unable to return to sleep, I let myself slip into the vortex that is the world of Twitter. Never a dull moment and always new people and entities to follow. It is marvelously maddening. Not self serving like other forums, I want to convert the world.

At 5 something this morning I read about a fatal car crash on 77 North. God bless this individual's family. A recipe calling for black vinegar grabbed my attention. I must admit that I did not know such a thing existed. Thank you Amazon Prime. Cecil the Lion, murdered in Zimbabwe, has received a significant amount of traffic. The product of a South African mother (my parent's love story began in Africa), I am fiercely protective of the landscape as well as the wildlife of this great continent. I am appalled that these individuals thought it acceptable to lure a country's beloved lion off the sanctuary during a game hunt. I read that Cecil took 40 hours to die before he was shot and decapitated. I don't know about you but it is my hope that this dentist's business really suffers. Wouldn't it be ironic were he to find himself in such dire financial straights that he hasn't the means to travel to outside of the country to kill another animal again. In the business arena, it appears that our economy has grown by 2.3%, 777 aircraft remains have been found that might be those of the missing Malaysian flight, Whole Foods shares plummeted and Trump is up in arms about a breast pump break. I also learned that today is National Friendship Day as well as National Cheesecake Day. Send your bestie a note, grab a slice and get on with it. Growing up my mother made the most exquisite cheesecakes. Her secret was a matzah crust. Mazel tov.

While we try to keep our sanity in this dizzying world, I opt to hang out in the kitchen. The below is a marvelous salad that serves as a terrific accompaniment to just about anything. Last week we enjoyed it alongside roasted chicken salad during our picnic. It paired beautifully with a simple but dynamite kale salad born at Barbuto in NYC. The following day, we enjoyed it as a dip for our blue corn tortilla chips. The nectarine and chick pea duo adore lounging next to filet, tenderloin, thousand island burgers and pork carnitas tacos. Throw on top of arugula with a boiled egg or even fried for breakfast. Add some grilled, poached or shredded chicken. The options are truly limitless. You can supplant the nectarines with peaches, which are categorically gorgeous this time of year. Whatever you do, once made do let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving. Time helps the flavors to marry. Bon appetit

Nectarine and Chick Pea Salad

1/2 red onion - diced in Cuisinart
1 head of cilantro (no stems) - diced in Cuisinart
1 can of chick peas - drained
2 nectarines or peaches - diced in Cuisinart
3 cloves of garlic - diced in Cuisinart
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil 
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt

1. Throw everything in a bowl, stir, season to taste and put in the fridge until game time.

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