"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, February 13, 2011


     Tonight, we'll be having dinner at a friends house.  At first, I was planning to make dessert.  Some sort of  heart shaped cake for Valentines day.  But then I was asked to make a salad.  Just my luck, that as my thumb is healing, we're using the mandoline again.  The first time this happened I sliced a chunk off my thumb, the second time I gave the kitchen a wide berth and the third time is today.  The salad is fairly heavy on roots with a fennel bulb and a celery root, but what is probably the strangest is the five bunches of parsley.  Three flat-leaf, two curly.  This should be interesting.

     After meticulously ripping the fronds from fennel bulbs stalks, there just happens to be exactly enough for the cup-and-a-half called for, I had to quarter the fennel bulb.  Which seems like a bad idea when one is preparing to take a mandoline to it.  Dad is slicing the quartered fennel  bulb on the mandoline, so far, one bulb down, we are incident free.  There must be a better way to slice stuff paper thin.  Quartering the fennel bulb seems less insane now. The fact that the bulb is quartered means that you can use the guard successfully almost immediately.  Sometimes, when you try to use the guard, it actually makes you more likely to get hurt.  But when one quarters the fennel bulb it makes it much safer.  The salad is finished, not yet tossed and we are en route to the Stalnecker's house where we'll be having dinner.

     The salad was excellent.  The dressing added a bit of tang and acidity and the meticulously shredded bits of frond, celery root and the fennel bulb mixed well with the ringlets of shallot and the parsley.  The parsley itself was just vaguely salty, and these separate parts came together quite well to create a fluffy salad that tickled the roof of your mouth and then bit back.  The main course of the night was a beef stew made by Chris, and for dessert Maryanne made us a pair of pies, apple and blackberry which were quite good.

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