Wednesday, March 17, 2010


OK John, Ya wanna talk Cats?

My cat Kitty Hawk, came from a house much like Johns. This house also had an attached room for the cats, from which they could watch the world and be safe inside. Kitty Hawk, the low cat on the totem pole, was rescued from the tribe. I'm not sure she was rescued soon enough. She's been part of my family for 10 years, with little competition, yet when we have guests she usually makes herself scarce.

When she arrived, she found herself most comfortable UNDER something. Throw a towel over the couch seat for her to rest on, she'd be under the towel. Look for her in the bedroom, she'd be under the covers. So I built her a tent under the table I use as my office desk and she is content there 80% of the time.

She is free to explore the great outdoors. We had a little meeting when she arrived. House cat or indoor/outdoor cat? We decided she was too skittish to worry about her outside. Her survival mode is to run at the slightest noise or unexpected movement. She is therefore a rotten mouser. She could earn her keep here if she would catch a gopher now and then.

At lunch, a bit of salad dropped from my fork onto the floor. Kitty Hawk was right there. Sniff. Sniff. She walked away as if to say, "I'm an omnivore and that is not EVEN a consideration. I'd rather eat the same old same old than rice salad."

What to call it?
Brown Rice and Bean Salad? Citrus and Apple? The Pantry Salad?
How about Warm Day Cold Salad?

70 degrees in So Cal. The wind has calmed down. The sky a powder blue. The yard is calling me. What to have for lunch?

Many are the days that I have substituted brown rice for noodles in a salad. It seems like a great place to start today. When I'm inventing a salad I usually start pulling things out of the 'frig and lining them up on the counter. Is it colorful is one of the first considerations. Right after flavorful. And then, who will eat it? That's the part that usually keeps me from throwing everything into the salad. That's what makes the serving plate look like a salad bar. It works.

No thanks, I don't like asparagus. You know I don't like nuts in things. What dressing is on this? The salad bar serving plate eliminates all of those individual concerns.

The dressing: 1/3 lemon, 2/3 oil, salt, pepper, sugar, mustard - vinaigrette -

The salad: 2 cups brown rice
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small apple, chopped
1/2 cup black beans

On the side:
sliced avocado
slivered almonds
clementine slices
asparagus, steamed until almost tender, then plunged into ice water to stop the cooking
herbed lettuce mix - mine had a little dill in it - nice touch

Mix together the rice and vegetables with a little vinaigrette. Arrange on a platter with the Sides and serve cold.

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