I have a page torn from the October 2010 issue of Cooking Light that has been in and around various rooms in our house. I see it most when I’m not interested in it, wedged between food magazines stacked at the end of the sofa, sticking out from between the pages of one of the cookbooks I’ve been leafing through, or inserted next to the telephone with take-out menus and reminders of dentist appointments. The now wrinkled page is from The Hungry Traveler section and sports a recipe on each of its sides, but I have paid little attention to one of them because the salad is what originally caught my eye. It had all the right flavors in it for what I thought was a special occasion salad — one served on a holiday. I suppose it caught my eye because I’d been making a salad somewhat like it for years, but there was a bit of a different spin on this one, and so I tore it out before tossing the magazine in one of my manic magazine thinning moments.
I’ve never been able to completely understand how this happens. So many bits and pieces of our lives are tucked here and there — or not — and are so much more important, yet are lost. We took the time to put them in a special pile of special things so we could put a finger on them in a second when needed, priding ourselves for our organizational skills. But when we need them, we can’t find them. Clearly, a file folder isn’t our idea of being organized. Perhaps I should rethink the entire thing, allowing the important things to also slip between magazines or beneath the sofa, trusting that when needed, they’d miraculously appear.
So why this salad?
I think it was the dressing. I’m always ready to try something light and flavorful, but different than our usual citrus vinaigrette — if you can call it that. We squeeze citrus over our salads before drizzling extra virgin olive oil and call it dressing. But once in a while, I do enjoy actually making dressing and this one included dried apricots. When I first read it, I thought the apricots were mixed into the salad because that’s what I’ve done over the years — their bit of sweetness mixed with the other ingredients is wonderful. I was wrong, and when I finally looked carefully realized the apricots are blended in.
What a delicious difference.
I suppose I should be thankful the torn page has not been lost or I’d have never realized my mistake. And I’d throw it in the trash at this point, but the recipe on the other side has finally gotten my attention, so I know I’ll have to make that soon to relieve the poor page from its duty.