I used to attend after-school curriculum meetings at my friend Kate's house. They were held in her hot tub: Sparkel Springs. (Pronounced spar-kelle)
We would sip carbonated beverages under her Camellia tree and discuss fiction-reading strategies and our real-life woes. (By the way, this is the first and only time I will voluntarily post a picture of myself in a bathing suit, but doesn’t that tree make for a peaceful setting!) Kate would nosh on some peach Hi-Chews and I would peck at Chex Mix.
(Most public hot tubs seem to have pretty strict rules about no eating or drinking, but that feels like it defeats the purpose of a one-stop-shop relaxation destination. One time I ordered a pizza from my hot tub and told the delivery guy the address but asked if he “could just come on through the side gate and deliver it to the hot tub so we don’t have to get out.” He obliged.)
In addition to our backyard hot tubs, Kate and I have a few other things in common: our dogs are litter mates, we love Anthropologie, and she randomly went to high school with a guy I randomly went to college with. In some ways, there our similarities end and so begins her love of all things Taylor Swift and geometric and my preference for Pottery Barn and
Puff Daddy P.Diddy Diddy Puff Daddy (I know he told you that he won’t stop, but come on!).
We also differ in our love of cooking.
In a whirlwind catch-up recently, Kate told me she was sorry but she didn’t read my blog; she doesn't read any food blogs because she doesn't cook. Out of my mouth came the words “Oh, that's fine. I understand” while in my head the narrative ran something more along the lines of “Challenge. Accepted.”
I’m guessing there are quite a few people out there like this, and I want to offer up ideas for the occasional chef in addition to the already converted foodies looking to spice up their repertoire. Mostly I just love to cook so much that I think everyone else should give it a try.
This one’s for you, Kate.
(To be made when you really can’t be bothered to cook but can’t face another round of take out)
- Pre-washed greens (or local farmer’s market greens that you rinse ahead of time)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Crumbled feta
- Sunflower seeds
- Torn strips of prosciutto (optional: I remembered that Kate is a most-of-the-time vegetarian) Tip: Go to the meat counter and ask the butcher to slice prosciutto for you. The cost is about half of buying it in those prepackaged clamshells ($14/pound to $28/pound at my local store).
- Annie’s Raspberry vinaigrette dressing (or the dressing from this salad would also be pretty tasty here)
1. Dump everything in a bowl
2. Pour dressing over the top
3. Eat (while sitting in a hot tub or your own preferred relaxation spot)
Note: This is a good salad for salt lovers, as the feta, prosciutto and sun seeds are all salty. Keep this in mind, too, when choosing a dressing and maybe opt for something on the sweet or acidic side. Alternatively, you could swap out the feta for some miniature mozzarella balls.