Saturday, September 13, 2008

What summer used to be

About five years ago, I got my mother hooked on the idea that summer meant Cobb Salad. She cursed me at the end of that summer because it seems that she had put on some pounds. I attributed it to her habit of assembling a salad and then dumping salad dressing on top. In this case it was some extra thick blue cheese dressing.

Me? I like to shred the greens in the bowl and then I add the dressing -- usually about two tablespoons worth. After tossing the greens in the dressing and making sure that the leaves are lightly coated, I then added everything else on top. As I eat everything else gradually mixes in with the greens. And nowadays, I no longer use blue cheese dressing but instead use a vinaigrette and add some crumbled blue cheese on top. And this dressing? Well, instead of using oil, I used the bacon drippings from the bacon I had cooked up just for the purpose of using on the salad.

The first salad -- the one pictured -- was pretty good but subsequent salads this week were made even better by the inclusion of these. They come from a coworker's garden. I have never been much of a fan of tomatoes, but these? The first time my coworker brought in a bowl a few weeks ago, he stopped by my office to announce their presence in the kitchen. "They're like candy." I was skeptical. And then I tasted one. He was so right. I have never tasted a tomato this sweet before in all my life. I find myself eating them as snacks while at work. If my mother had served these when I was a kid, I might have a different opinion about tomatoes today. I sure do hope that he'll be bringing more in some time soon.

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