Hello! I am so glad to be back; I have really missed being here, chatting with you. Both of my surgeries went well and I’m about five or six weeks in to physical therapy. The hip arthroscopy, which I expected to be shattering, was actually the easiest in terms of the surgery itself and the initial home recovery. My biggest concern was getting home and up the stairs on crutches after being released (hip arthroscopy is a same day surgery around here). That concern was seriously heightened by the trip home following the ovarian surgery. I won’t be graphic but. . .so sick, so. many. stairs. However, amazingly, for the first time ever, I wasn’t even the slightest bit nauseated following the hip surgery!! That really does deserve gratuitous use of exclamation marks. The long term lack of mobility and general inability to do for myself have gotten me down a bit at times, but overall it has been so much easier than anticipated. The last three months have also allowed me to see, yet again, how amazing my family is. I feel absolutely soaked in love and uncomplaining care.
To celebrate being back on my wobbly pins, and to kick off our twelfth wedding anniversary weekend, I thought I would throw together a Friday night picnic. We were both going a bit stir crazy being trapped inside all day, so an evening in the out-o-doors sounded just right. Things didn’t turn out exactly as planned, as you will see, but it was a pretty great night nonetheless. Scroll down past the video to find links to the inspiration recipes, as well as to see the changes I made. If you would like to see how the rest of the night went, click over to Jason’s video.
Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
Changes I made: zest of 1 lemon added to dressing
Changes I would make next time: the only kale I could find at the shop this time was red kale. Next time I would definitely hold out for lacinato kale, or switch to spinach or arugula. I did not have three hours to massage the red kale into submission (the ten minutes I did put in just didn’t cut it)!
Farmer’s Market Cornbread
Sean Brock’s Cornbread Recipe
and, my version. . .
5 Tbs melted, unsalted butter
2 cups of medium grind cornmeal (I used this)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C goat’s milk yogurt
1 C almond milk
1 tsp vinegar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C corn kernels
1/4-1/3 C grated cheese (I used a firm sheep’s milk cheese whose name I do not know, but you could use just about anything you find tasty)
1 pint (more or less) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, sliced
basil, chiffonade (fancy way of cutting up; do what you want)
crumbling cheese (I used some cojita that was hanging out in the fridge)
- heat cast iron skillet in 450 degree oven while preparing ingredients
- combine dry “base” ingredients in medium bowl
- combine wet “base” ingredients, stir into dry mix
- add shredded cheese and corn kernels, stir until evenly distributed
- removed skillet from oven, place on burner over medium heat (you will definitely want to turn on your fan)
- pour base batter into pan, sprinkle with toppings
- turn off burner
- return skillet to oven, cook for 20 minutes
- check for color (you are looking for a golden brown; the edges of your cheese will be picking up some color as well.
- eat lots!