Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Better dresser

My slice last week touched on the topic of salad dressing -- specifically, one enumerated here, a delicious amalgam for drizzling on several kinds of greens. It lands at that synergistic taste intersection of tart, sweet, savory, and intriguingly spiced.

When I reused leftovers as part of dinner with family visiting from afar, my nephew repeatedly gushed about what he called "the best salad I've ever had." Those leftovers gone, we decided that we needed to make another batch. So, he and I set to work the next rainy afternoon. He read the ingredients from the recipe; I collected them from cabinets and pantry. He held the measuring spoon; I tapped seasonings into it. When my clumsy bump delivered too much cayenne to the spoon, he said, "Guess we'll just add more honey," speaking like someone who knows his way around a kitchen. Needless to say, the second-draft dressing proved to be an equally big hit.

The morning after our teamwork, I was thumbing through a book of quick writing prompts by Paula Borque, called Spark! In it, she quotes author Rachel Naomi Remen who advised: "Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways" (81). Turns out Remen's words apply to the not-necessarily-mundane world of emulsifying vinaigrette. Making that salad dressing the first time was a fine, satisfying experience; repeating the process with my nephew and seeing familiar moments anew through his sparkling eyes was memorable.


  1. So true! I grew up near Niagara Falls and HATED day trips to the falls. It wasn't until I took a group of 11 year olds from all over the world that I truly appreciated their beauty.

  2. Cooking with a young one always seems to give new eyes to things. I like your thoughts today!

  3. Isn't that the truth? Also, I need to buy Paula's book!

  4. Seeing things with new eyes, doing a routine activity in a new way--a good post going into the new year of school.