My father is the all time greatest salad maker. I know that sounds extreme, but I have never met anyone with such a talent for salad combinations. His methods may be…unorthodox (baked beans in potato salad, anyone?) but are always delicious. As a result, you will often find me hunched over the counter picking at the remains of a huge salad. It seems my inheritance is my fondness for polka ogorki… and salad.
Having said that, it’s only recently that I have started to dress my salads. I’m usually an enjoy-them-as-they-are kind of a gal, apart from a slug of olive oil and more balsamic vinegar than is truly necessary. I have now, however, really cracked a dead simple salad dressing and I thought I would share it here with you.
I love a good bit of antipasto and this is the heart of my (extremely loosely called) recipe.
You will need:
- A jar of some kind of antipasto – sundried tomatoes, or my particular favourite, chargrilled artichokes.
- Gobble up most of the artichokes in a moderately unattractive fashion, leaving a few for the salad. Reserve the oil in the jar and put to one side.
- Peel 2 garlic cloves, and gently crush using the flat of a knife. Add to the jar.
- Bruise 2 stalks of rosemary – dried or fresh, it doesn’t matter.
- Add in a few good glugs of balsamic vinegar – I like a roughly 50/50 ratio, but after a few goes, you’ll work out a combination that rocks your socks.
- Reseal the lid, shake it like a polaroid picture, and pour, trying not to let the garlic cloves or rosemary escape.
- Reseal and store in the fridge – it should last at least a week, and you can top up with olive oil, fresh garlic and balsamic vinegar as you go.
It should take you approximately 2 minutes to prepare, using mostly what I assume to be store cupboard ingredients – forgive me if not – and if you’re anything like me, this time includes the time to eat 3/4 of a jar of artichokes!
Some weeks gratitude is a little bit harder to come by than others. There appears to be no reason for me to feel like this at the moment…and yet….
I’m really pleased to say I’ve been offered a permanent contract at work, which really is wonderful, and is also something I know I am very grateful for. It has just also coincided with a spectacularly busy and changeable period at work, which has left me on the back foot, big time.
As a teacher, you’re constantly assessing. Assessing your students’ understanding, their work, your displays, your colleagues’ work and displays, your class’s behaviour. You assess so much, and so frequently that it’s virtually impossible to not be constantly comparing yourself.
And I currently am in a ‘compare thyself’ frame of mind, and frankly, I feel I’m coming up a bit short.
When I was in Primary school, my Mum, for one reason or another, was given a silver necklace with a silver circle pendant. Engraved on it was the saying ‘This too shall pass’.
“Even the good stuff, Mum? But what if you don’t want it to pass?”
Even the good stuff passes, it seems. But if the good stuff passes, then so does the bad. So I can take comfort in knowing that a spell of time at work where I’m not particularly enjoying myself will pass. And for that, I am very grateful indeed.
On Friday afternoon I skipped out the door of work and said a jaunty ‘HELLO’ to a whole week off. I say a week, but in fact today I headed back in to prepare for next term and write about 3,000 school reports. But that fact paled into insignificance in the face of what is officially known as ‘Half Term Holiday’ in the HSGS household.
Mr Hello also booked a week off, and we kicked off the break by getting into the garden. BIG TIME. I’m talking allotment, I’m talking back garden and then we headed to the Kent Garden Show to pick up a few treasures.
Over the weekend we had a few friends over who brought their little girl over. This meant a couple of hours of delicious food, great conversation and an excellent round of the game ‘Off The Pudd’, for which no-one seemed to know the rules apart from a three year old. What a delight.
Mr H and I then journeyed forth to Suffolk, to hang out with his sister and her delightful son, and the only thing to somewhat spoil the day was that our clutch failed on the motorway as we headed home, so instead of an evening on the couch we spent an evening sitting in the carpark of a motorway hotel scoffing chocolate while we waited for a tow!
With a couple of days left before TERM 6 (I repeat TERM 6) starts, I plan on pottering around the house a little bit, finishing off some report writing and faffing around with my camera settings! I’ve also got some more seeds to plant out, and am looking forward to seeing all my new plants in the garden.
How’s your week been, pals?