If you read my Blog, it’s a given that I have great friends and a spectacular daughter. You already understand that. What you may not know is that as far as relationships with me, it’s usually Go or No. Meaning, I’m the kind of woman you either flat-out like or flat-out don’t like. Nothing middle-of-the-road. Pretty clear-cut.
Let’s just admit that if it’s a popularity contest, I won’t win. However, credit me with being solid, fiercely loyal, unwavering and (fun)/ny. Always got your back. If you need to laugh, I’m your girl! Promise always to make you smile.
That’s why this week’s FFWD recipe choice, Minted Zucchini Tagliatelle with Cucumbers and Lemon, almost sent me kicking the can down the road. Touch-and-Go. First, with a friend. Then, with a daughter.
I’d not seen my friend, Linda, who lives part-time in Aspen, for two years. Since she’d be heading South soon after my arrival back in Colorado, we needed to make a lunch date.“Why don’t you come to my condo for lunch,” I asked, during our first telephone conversation. “I’ll do the salad we’re making this week for French Fridays with Dorie.”
“Oh, that might be fine,” she replied, cautiously. “What is it?”
I explained that we were making a zucchini, onion and cucumber salad with pistachio oil dressing and mint flavoring. “That sounds interesting,” she said, sounding optimistic.
Then, I mentioned, “It will be the first time I’ve ever used a mandoline.”
“No,” she stated emphatically. “Let’s go out.”
Normally, Linda, a former Miss Savannah, is gracious, diplomatic and kind. However, hidden behind every Georgia Peach is an Iron Magnolia. Right? “No” meant “No”. As much as she wanted to support my blogging adventures, she did not trust me with my mandoline. I realized visions of all things unappetizing must have danced through her head. In the end, we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at “Above the Salt” in downtown Aspen.
Soon after that, my daughter, Melissa, called. During our conversation she asked what I was cooking this week. Without thinking I described the salad, telling her I was using a mandoline for the first time. Five seconds of silence. Then, “Mom, don’t you have a potato peeler?”
Our conversation deteriorated quickly. Me, laughing, hysterically, insisting I’d be careful. Melissa, not laughing at all, insisting “my” careful might not be careful enough. “Mom, seriously, those blades are dangerous. You’re a writer. You need all your fingers.”
“Mom, I am not kidding, you’re still scattered these days and shouldn’t be using a sharp instrument.”
And then, the shot through my heart, “Well, I think you know, Mother, I won’t sleep a wink tonight.”
In the end, I used the mandoline to make beautiful 1/8th-inch-thick zucchini tagliatelle slices. I was very, very, very careful. Still, except for very, very, very special occasions, I will not be using my mandoline again. For the amateur cook, caution is prudent.
After all the drama, I didn’t enjoy this salad, finding the zucchini, cucumber, onion combo rather pugnacious, battling each other for the primary taste position. The pistachio oil/lemon juice/salt dressing didn’t blend the veggies strong flavors together. Surprisingly, the mint seemed to grab the salad and play a more important role than was ever intended. Although handsome in appearance, this wasn’t a palate-pleaser for me.