Do you ever take a look at your surroundings, reflect a bit, and think “yep, this is me,” and you’re completely okay with that?
I hope so. It’s a good feeling.
This doesn’t happen all the time for me. But sometimes, in the morning, I wake up, throw my hair into a top-knot, put my pot of oats on the stove, survey my (almost always) messy kitchen with the ugly pale blue laminate countertops* and the dark gray Seattle sky peeking through my tiny kitchen window. And I’m cool with all of it.
Because I see juicy tomatoes stacked tall on the windowsill, ripening in the sun. A jar of water holding green onions that just, keep, growing back. Three mini-cacti and some jade potted in ceramic pots I made earlier this year. A pothos that’s slowly taking over the little corner behind my sink. A dish of water that holds some root-side ends of veg I am trying to regrow. And a jar of fermented cashew cheese (my newest experiment) bubbling up nice and tall.
We’ll be taste-testing the “cheese” this afternoon, since it’s been sitting out for nearly 72 hours, and I am so excited. It smells like cheese. It will be cheese, and I will have made it myself! From cashews. Dang, that’s cool.
Those who DIY and those who don’t
I know not everyone is a DIYer, or an experimenter, or what have you, but I so am. That’s why I’m here writing this blog and you’re here reading it (I think, anyway). You’re waiting for me to get to the good stuff. The revelations, the results. And I will, all in good time, my friend.
Besides the cashew “cheese” experiment, I’ve decided to finally grow some things on my front porch. I’ve got a pot and some soil and I’m ready to go. Yeehaw!
But I couldn’t just buy some seeds and pop them into the dirt and be good to go. No, that’s not my style. I had to try to regrow plants from kitchen scraps, in water. The key is to grow them in a bit in water until they’re big enough and ready to transport to soil. Kinda like I did with the green onions.
So far, I’ve got the end of a purple cabbage, the end of a yellow onion and the end of a head of romaine all chilling in some tap water on my ‘sill. We’ll see if new life grows from them. To be continued.
In the meantime, we can enjoy this delish tomato white bean salad. It uses some of my favorite simple ingredients. It gets better as it sits. All good things in my book.
White Bean Salad Recipe
- Israeli couscous – 1 cup cooked to al dente
- Cherry tomatoes – 1 pint
- Kohlrabi – 1-2 small kohlrabi, diced small (optional, for crunch)
- Garlic – 1 clove, minced
- Green onions – sliced thin
- Basil – topping, torn not chopped
- White beans – 1 cup, rinsed and drained
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:
- Lemon juice – from half of a lemon (+ more as needed)
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
- Balsamic vinegar – ¼ cup
- Dijon mustard – 1-2 tsp
- Dried sumac – ¼ tsp
- Pepper & Salt – to taste
- Make the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Taste test and adjust seasoning and ingredient ratios as desired. (If it’s too bland, add salt and lemon juice. If it’s too creamy, add lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.)
- Cook the couscous. Israeli couscous cooks like regular pasta, boiled in water until al dente (about 10 mins). Drain and set aside to cool.
- While the couscous is cooking, add the rest of the ingredients (except the basil) into the bowl with the dressing. Let marinate until the couscous has cooled a bit.
- Toss the couscous into the bowl (a little at a time) and mix thoroughly until you’ve got a consistency you like. Save any extra couscous for another recipe.
- Taste test, adjust seasoning again. Top with basil just before serving.
*By the way, this photo was taken with my ugly blue countertops as the background and I’m very not sorry about it. 😉