AUGUST 2, 2012–CAPRESE SALAD
I will try to stay on focus today.
I will try not to get off on a tangent–like plungers or Maillard reactions.
I will try to just write a post about cooking–or in today’s recipe just slicing and drizzling.
I won’t give you the history of Caprese Salads or write Basil 101.
I will stay focused. I will stay on subject. I will only write about cooking.
I will also try to act my age.
And not mention words like “plunger”.
This focused post will begin now.
CAPRESE SALAD can be found in Pioneer Woman’s cookbook on page 98 – 99.
1. Begin by reducing 2 cups of balsamic vinegar over a low heat for 15 minutes.
The reduced balsamic vinegar should be thick, but pourable.
2. Slice 12 oz. of fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices.
3. Slice 3 ripe tomatoes.
4. Is anybody bored yet?
5. I am.
6. I digress.
9. Let me add just one little comment. Reducing vinegar really stinks. The whole kitchen is so thick in vinegar that it clears out all your nasal passages. THIS IS NOT A RECIPE TO COOK ON A FIRST DATE. Or with company you want to impress, unless you cook up the vinegar reduction days ahead.
8. I skipped number 8.
10. Speaking of dates. . .Did I ever tell you about the guy in college who asked me out? His name was Kraum. Pronounced k-room. I know because he manned the Yugoslavia booth at the International Bazaar, and after I visited a bit he said his name was, “Kraum. It rhymes with room.” Anybody who asks you out on a date like that should be avoided.
Or you could ward them off by reducing Balsamic vinegar.
11. Did I also ever tell you that I backpacked around Europe for a month during college? One of my backpacking buddies was from England, and she said that, “garlic from the continent tastes better.” So after we crossed the English channel, she bought fresh garlic, and we carried it around with us for a month. We got so immune to the smell that we had no idea how garlicky we stunk until we arrived home. My backpack still has a lingering garlic aroma. I am sure we warded off many men with our Continental Garlic. If your daughter should ever want to backpack around Europe in college, tell her that you would like some 4 week old garlic from the continent. It will ward off many monsters.
12. Alternate the sliced mozzarella with the sliced tomatoes, and insert fresh basil leaves.
13. We have monsters in our house.
14. They live outside Little Man’s window, so he has to shoot them all with his finger gun before he can go to sleep at night.
15. They also live on our frig.
16. The frig stickers sometimes match my moods.
17. I bought these stickers to give away as a prize at our VBS, but then decided perhaps it wasn’t the best gift for VBS.
18. Salt and pepper the Caprese Salad and drizzle on some olive oil.
19. Add a sprig of parsley is you want to be fancy.
20. We have 6 inches of snow on the ground, and our neighbor just put some excercise equipment on the edge of the road for a Dumpster Diver to take. If you don’t know the rules to Dumpster Diving, you should check here.
21. I just got the mail and there was a flyer in the mail for “FREE spay or neuter your pit bull.”
22. Drizzled the reduced Balsamic vinegar over your Caprese Salad.
23. “Caprese” means “in the style of Capri, which is an island off the coast of Italy.
24. I sometimes wonder about the safety of our neighborhood when flyers need to be sent out about the over population of pit bulls.
25. My next-door neighbor has two Rottweilers. The daddy (Zeus) Rottweiler killed two of his puppies by. . . (too gory to tell)
26. Presto! You have a Caprese salad.
27. The daddy (Zeus) Rottweiler broke his hip. He had to have some very expensive surgery to fix it. His hip was broken by my diagonal-backyard-neighbor beating him with a metal pipe.
28. My next door neighbor knows this because after Zeus’s expensive surgery, he caught his back-fence neighbor beating Zeus with a metal pipe while holding his collar again.
29. Serve your Caprese Salad with easy pita-crust pizzas.
30. The two neighbors got in a fight and a shot was fired, and the police were called.
31. I would LOVE to visit the island of Capri.
32. I am not afraid of monster, but I am afraid of snakes. Therefore, even if the weather is really, really, really, hot, I never dangle my arm over the edge of my bed because I am afraid that a snake might crawl up it.
33. The island of Capri is famous for the “Blue Grotto” (blue cave) which we read about in our homeschooling in the book Red Sails to Capri. The cave is described like this, “Blue was no longer a color. It was something to touch, to smell, to taste, to hear. Even the air they breathed was blue. And their bodies, filled with it, felt light and buoyant.” Here are some of my favorite quotes from that book.
- “You can sail faster with red sails.”
- “Michele felt as if he had been chasing tomorrows all his life, and now he was about to catch one.”
- “They stood huddled together in their little yard, looking the way donkeys always look on Sunday, bewildered by so much leisure time.”
- “There was nothing to say. All the talking was over, only the doing remained.”
- “All silence is not good,” said Herre Nordstrom, “just as all noise is not bad.”
- “Men dream, and then they run to catch up with their dream. That is progress, Angelo. We need both kinds of men–the dreamers and those who try to make the dreams come true. And the rowers–we need the rowers too, eh Herre Nordstrom? We could not go far without the rowers.”
34. I am not afraid of monsters
35. or neighbors
36. but, I wish I had red sails.
P.S. Here is a You tube link to the Blue Grotto on Capri.
P.S.S. Even if you have parental blockers on your web browser. These filters do not apply to You Tube. You Tube can bring up distasteful “related” videos regardless of your search. There are ways to filter and block certain material. Here is a link that gives a couple of options. http://myfox8.com/2012/04/16/mommy-matters-youtube-parental-controls-and-more/