Salad, Dressing, Healthy, Food, Green
I remember the salad dressing that my mother usually made for the family. It was very straightforward. The new cold pressed virgin olive oil from Lebanon, a squeeze of fresh half a lemon, a pinch of fresh mint, salt and pepper and there it was. And our salads at the moment, it seems like a lifetime ago, consisted of fresh crunchy green salad, yummy fresh tomatoes and crunchy modest cucumbers, and spring onions! Preparing salad was quick, easy, tasty, fresh and super healthy. Fresh salad was a part of our everyday diet. My most favorite as a child was a sandwich of feta cheese with pitta bread and a cucumber.
Years later in the western world, I discovered all of the prepared salad sauces, in England it was Heinz salad that was a thick mayonaisy creamy texture and I developed a taste for this for a while. In Switzerland I developed a taste for the creamy thick salad sauce they love to serve heretoday. Italians love the vinegar instead of lemon particularly the balsamico. Today when I go shopping to the supermarket, it’s mind boggling for me to see the variety of pre-prepared salad dressings available and I wonder how healthy that is, considering that in order to stay fresh for so long at the jar on the shelf, a lot of additives have to be added.
I have an Australian friend who prepares his salad sauce in quantity and stores it in his fridge for the week. The ingredients are olive oil, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, dry herbs, pepper, salt and crème! It tastes good I have to admit and I tried that for a few weeks but I gave it up because I could not stand eating the identical salad sauce the entire week through! A French girlfriend would put her salad leaves in a cloth bag and shake it so all the water would drop out of the salad leaves, which wind up dry limp and not so crispy! My daughter who’s married to a French Swiss, has a small plastic container where she places the salad and pulls a cord to strain out the water from the salad. The salad leaves don’t suffer as much, so that is OK if you worry about a few drops of water on your salad. I couldn’t be bothered frankly.
When she saw me preparing the salad sauce she was horrified, she refused to eat it saying that her mom made one kind of salad sauce only, always the same and she can’t eat anything else. Some folks attempt to experiment with various kinds of salad sauces. I belong to this class. I love variety in life. So sometimes it’s with mustard, sometimes perhaps with mayonnaise, other times with crème, occasionally with apple vinegar, which I’m told is very healthy, occasionally with balsamico which tastes delicious, but most of the time with fresh lemons. I like to add many different nuts, occasionally even raisins or cranberries. If the sauce is too thick and I don’t wish to add oil or lemon or vinegar, I add a little apple cider or perhaps a teaspoon of water. I feel guilty when I do this, a flash goes through my mind of my friends who go to so much trouble to strain the water out of the salad leaves.
My cakes are becoming more creative and rich since I eat a good deal of fresh vegis, so really speaking my salad plate today contains raw vegis too, like avocado, broccholi, courgette, celery, fennel, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, beans and any green vegis that I can get fresh and crispy with plenty of nuts. Sometimes I add fruits such as grapes, apples or pineapple. The mixture always depends on what I have in the fridge and what’s available of this season. Now and again when I have a freshly cooked warm meal, mostly roasted or broiled vegis or fish, I return to the first salad that I love best, like my mom made it, fast and simple.
Variety is the spice of life and the Creator loves variety. Is your life filled with variety? It would be interesting for you to know about what you’re eating, what sort of salad sauce and what’s really in the components. Ask yourself how conscious are you of what you’re eating. That would be a good start to become aware of your eating habits.
She loves to experiment and she loves variety, always easy, uncomplicated, fresh and fast is her motto. She likes to gather straightforward and fast menus such as Jamie Oliver, the young and famous English cook that tried to change food habits in the schools of America! So far as I can remember he neglected because hamburgers, french fries and pasta reappeared on the menu to the school children by popular demand, soon after he left. The very things he wanted to banish, unhealthy foods!
I am obviously feeling nostalgic. I feel guilty because I recall in a clearing out frenzy several years back throwing away my cook book, hand written in Arabic, within the span of 20 years, with recipes from my mother’s kitchen. I used to call her on the telephone, she lived in London and I in Zurich, and she would give me the recipe on the phone and directions on how to do what. My young husband used to be horrified at the telephone bills! There was no internet back then, no I telephones no sms, nothing, nada! How ever did we manage? So I think of food, the way my mom cooked a dish, and I remember throwing away that treasure book of mine, and I feel guilty every time, as if I had betrayed my mother, and angry at myself for being so revolutionary about getting rid of old stuff. I don’t believe I was aware of what I was doing in that moment. A big mistake I can not rectify.
How Do You Like Your Salad Dressing?

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