That’s What Friends Are For

It is often said that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes.  While those things are certain, there are others, obviously.  One of those “other” certainties are that we all eat.  Some of us are more fortunate than others and eat very well, some will say too well.  Others are lucky to get anything at all to eat with any kind of regularity.  Many prefer certain things, and others will eat anything.  And for a lot of us our “tastes” change through the years.  Better, worse, or just different.

Red meat is not bad for you.  Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!  ~Tommy Smothers

So while we all eat, it is natural that we also talk about it at times with our friends.  I am blessed with good friends.  Maybe not a lot of them, but quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to this category.  And in my case, friends are also family.  (You all know who you are)

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:  take it or leave it.  ~Buddy Hackett

Friends and family can bring a lot into one’s life. This post is about the joy that is shared through food.  Or to be more specific, exchanging recipes.  As a friend, you usually have a good idea of what each other enjoys as far as food, drinks, wine, etc…is concerned.  So it becomes natural to share recipes with each other.  And thanks to the fact that Al Gore invented the internet (I know, that one is over-used, but I could not help it…it really is funny) we are able to send via email recipes to each other much more readily than the previous generation.  This blog is a perfect example.  Blake started it for me so I could share food and drink recipes with you.  So that is what I intend to do…among other things…share another recipe with you.

Cooking is like love.  It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne

Over the years I have received some great recipes from friends and family.  Chris.  Sue.  Nick. Peter.  Blake. Drew. Lynn. Tyler.  Marie.  A few years ago I received some recipes from Charlene via email.  There were several very good ones, from different sources.  One of the sources was from Food and Wine Magazine, the September 2008 issue. (If you can get your hands on this one, you will find it to be just slightly above remarkable!) This issue had several of their “Best Of” recipes.  So it was a challenge to figure out which one to focus on first…a challenge that is never a bad one when it comes to preparing a good meal!

A cook who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.  ~James Beard


Problem was quickly resolved when I saw the heading 30 Best Fast Recipes, and Charlene had circled it.  While Fast isn’t always good, sometimes it is necessary.  And as long as the words Fast and Food are not side by side as in fast food, I am willing to give it a go.  A few of my previous posts have been about certain types of recipes involving limes, watermelon and basil, so I chose to share the following recipe, which we tried almost immediately after receiving it.  It combines some wonderful ingredients, which most of us might not think to put together…combining the sweet with the salty, the hot with the cool.  But as we know, if you take that first adventurous step in cooking, the end result can be a great experience.  Sometimes it is just that first step…

Watermelon Salad with Feta

1/4 extra virgin olive oil                                                                      1  1/2 Tb fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp hot sauce                                                                                       1 1/2 lbs watermelon (seeded and rind removed, cut in small pieces, or however you would like…small slices, chunks, melon balls…) 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced                                             1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley 1/4 cup pitted oil cured black olives, chopped or halved 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and hot sauce in a small bowl. 2. Season with salt and pepper.  3. Place rest of the ingredients into a bowl (or individual plates) and drizzle dressing over the top.

NOTE:  While there are numerous flavors going on here, and they are just wonderful (plus we already said fast and easy), an option here is to add 1/4 cup of chopped mint leaves to this.  I know it adds another dimension of flavor, but it does seem to compliment the hot sauce and olives.

And of course a nice drink to accompany the salad would be a cold refreshing one, providing flavor that can stand on it’s own.  A gin and tonic would be good.  So would a nice glass of Rose wine.  But I will present to you something slightly different.  Something that combines a few favorites and creates a refreshing summer drink that is similar to another favorite, but different.  As Yogi Berra would say,”The differences are similar.”  In appreciation of one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs, I present the “Rosalita”:05 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (click link )

Rosalita

1 oz rosemary infused simple syrup (recipe in previous post)1.5 oz fresh lime juice                                                                             1/2  Gran Marnier                                                                                            3 oz good quality blanco tequila                                                1 rosemary sprigs

Muddle the rosemary sprig with the simple syrup in a mixing glass.  Combine the rest of the ingredients.  Add ice and mix well.  Serve with lime or rosemary sprig for a garnish.

So I leave you with yet a few more reasons and ways to enjoy life.  Friends.  Food.  Drink.

Finding good Food and Drink is easy.  Finding good friends is a blessing.  Finding good friends with recipes, now that is just a bonus worth writing about.

I leave you with the words of two philosophers about food and drink:

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song more than we valued gold, it would be a merrier world.”…J.R.R.Tolkien

“Mas Tequila”…Sammy Hagar

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Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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