Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bad Life Choices = Tasty Results

Yesterday I made a quick run to town to do some banking, grab some groceries and do a quick load of laundry. When the clothes were about halfway through their trip through the dryer, I decided I was tired of waiting around for them, so I tossed them into the laundry bag, figuring I hang them up to air-dry once I got home. After all, it had been a sunny, balmy early June morning. But no sooner had I gotten the clothesline strung between the backyard trees, then I heard a deep rumble of thunder and spied some ominous thunderheads moving in from the west. Bad life choice!

But while the clothes sat in a damp heap near the front door and the lightning flashed sideways across the bay and rain splattered the windows, I took a moment to putter around quietly in the kitchen by myself.

We've been really trying to up our veggie consumption lately and that means a lot of salad. Which consequently means we've been going through a lot more salad dressing. And I had a homemade epiphany the other day when I was standing in front of the salad dressing aisle. Suddenly it seemed so silly that I was paying for prepaid dressings full of who-knows-what, when I had the basic ingredients for salad dressing (namely: oil and vinegar) in my pantry at all times and could probably make my salad dressings for half the cost of the pre-made guys.

So I pulled out a cookbook for one of our well-known local restaurants (one which I haven't visited since my brother broke up with the proprietor's daughter . . . oh small towns!) and whipped up two batches of salad dressings. The vinaigrette took less than five minutes to make and the creamy dressing didn't take much longer. It's nice to know exactly what's going into my salad dressing and not have weird ingredients like food dyes, xantham gums, and preservatives in the mix. In fact, in place of the weird ingredients, I was able to use some locally sourced ingredients (yay maple syrup!) and put the dressings in some upcycled containers. Success!

Maple Mustard
Bleu Cheese
Also, how cool is that handy-dandy lid for the Mason jar? It's called a ReCap  and is brand spanking new product (USA made!) from a company that actually got its start from some Kickstarter funding. Despite being a pretty prolific canner, I always have quite a few empty Mason jars rattling around the kitchen, so I'm pretty excited to have an easy way to put those unsealed jars to good use.

By the way, the sun totally came out today and while the clothes were drying merrily on the clothesline, Andy and I were doing this:
We canoed down to a hidden waterfall that's gushing with all of our recent rainfall, then paddled around, trying to locate some of the old homestead spots on the lake.
Speaking of homesteads, the gardening is 98% planted now. Pictures coming soon!

 

7 comments:

  1. honestly, what an gorgeous setting you live in!

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  2. You got a lot done and still had time for fun! That's the best! And, you get to enjoy all that beauty around you too. Thanks for sharing the outdoor photos. It makes the rest of us envious. :)

    Tina (writer and mom blogger)

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  3. Love that waterfall!

    And what a cool cap!

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  4. That is awesome! My grandma ALWAYS made her own dressings and I have never found a bottled one that tasted as good.

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  5. Yum!! Those salad dressings look amazing! I'm so jealous! I've tried to make salad dressings at home but am never happy with how they turn out! I'll have to keep looking for a different... better recipe! Your afternoon of canoeing and waterfall-ing sounds lovely!

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  6. Can you share your recipes? These sound simply delish.

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