Monday, August 16, 2010


When it’s hot and humid I don’t willingly turn on the oven. Our kitchen is hotter these days what with the boulevard trees gone. Makes my sweat glands spurt just to walk in there. Still, friends and visitors gather – we need one another in the midst of celebrations, collapses or just in the ordinary waves of heat. So we planned a simple, cool menu. Anita helped execute – not the same as killed. This freed me up to go to my office to lick ice cubes and google the latest pandemic. Sorry no photos.

The chicken rice salad we made looks gorgeous when mounded on a platter and garnished liberally with alternating slices of tomato, avocado and lemon wedges around the edge. People love it. Nothing more needed than a nice bread. Rounded out with Margie’s pretty low-class sangria: red wine, frozen cranberry juice concentrate, sliced limes and Ginger Ale. (Amounts are dump as you go and taste liberally to adjust flavor.) Dessert: fresh blueberries and limoncello (gift from Peggy who made it) spooned over vanilla ice cream.

Dinner was ready when everyone arrived. It’s been awhile since we saw Ann, who is fond of surprise visits, dropping in from wherever the State Dept. posts her and her husband, Rusty. Latest is Amman, Jordan. She used to be on our board of directors, but we had to kick her off because she was always off to Turkey or Cuba. This time I knew she was coming.

She walked in, arms loaded, not wasting a moment, began with, “And I brought some fresh peaches picked just yesterday in Michigan. I’ll just slice some into wine glasses here and then we’ll pour this great white wine over them. And here’s some mango peach chutney I made, we can eat that now with this brie (she pulls a large round of it out of the bag, rummages in my drawers for plate and knife) and some crackers!” She quickly loads one dripping with cheese and chutney and thrusts it in my mouth. I’m laughing because WHO does that unless you’re just SO comfortable with yourself and so assured people will love what you love as much as you do? And we hadn’t seen her for two years? Her aplomb is delicious.

Chicken Rice Salad

1 c. diced or pulled chicken (if really lazy or hot buy a rotisserie chicken at market)
3 c. cooked rice
¼ c. sliced celery
¼ c. sliced stuffed olives
¼ c. chopped green pepper
¼ c. chopped pimento or red pepper
¼ minced onion
¼ t. salt, pepper.
½ c. mayonnaise
Mix. Chill. To serve mound on a platter and surround with garnish of sliced avacado, lemon wedges and tomato. Serves 3. (Easy to ramp up amounts for more servings. This is great leftover the next day, too.)

1 comment:

Greg said...

"Her aplomb is delicious."

Her food isn't bad either.

Hi, Ann!