I am a member of two book groups (if I don't include online book groups like bookcrossing.com and Goodreads.com). The first one is library-based and anyone is welcome, and the other is by-invitation-only. I must have passed their scrutiny at the meeting I attended because after a vote was taken at the following September meeting, I was invited to join the group thereafter (about two years ago).
This meant that I missed the critical September meeting the previous year, and didn't realize the format of the meeting was different than all the others I previously attended. So when September of last year rolled around, I discovered, at the last minute, that I needed to bring some sort of salad. Not being much of a gourmet cook and also running out of time, I fell back on one of my family's favorites: pistachio salad.
Arriving there I noticed that my salad was not as gourmet as all the rest, and was basically ignored. Okay, not a problem except my husband and I had to eat pistachio salad for a week afterwards. We like it, but not that much.
Fast-forward to this September's meeting. I had recently found a salad recipe I wanted to try. Surprisingly enough, it came with a 5/3 Bank mailing. I kept putting off trying the recipe. The time never seemed right for it.
The rule of thumb (ROT) is never test a new recipe out on guests without making it first yourself. At least that was what I had been taught in Home-EC. However, despite the ROT, I decided to make it for the September luncheon meeting. Waiting until the last minute to prepare this could be my recipe for disaster.
On Monday, I purchased the ingredients for the Chicken and Blueberry Pasta Salad. For this recipe, I needed fresh blueberries, cooked chicken, a shallot, fresh thyme, whole-wheat fusilli or radiatore pasta, chicken stock, extra virgin olive oil, feta cheese, salt, lime juice and lime zest. Unfortunately, the store didn't stock radiatore pasta, whole-wheat or otherwise, and the fusilli wasn't whole-wheat either, but I improvised with another whole-wheat pasta and the fusilli I found and purchased both and mixed them.
Tuesday morning I was up early and making this salad by squeezing limes, shaving the zest, chopping the thyme, boiling and draining the pasta, frying up the shallot, mixing the other necessary ingredients together to form the dressing, and tossing the chicken and blueberries together with the dressing. I completed it minutes before I was to leave for the meeting. Rob taste-tested it and declared it good. My recipe for disaster survived the first test, at least. I have to admit that as I was grabbing my serving dish out of the refrigerator, I managed to dump the extra blueberries all over the refrigerator shelf. Oops, a mini-disaster as my ride was waiting! Rob, fortunately, cleaned up the blueberries as I rushed out the door. Thanks, Honey!
Needless to say, all the salads were delightful and enjoyed by all. The desserts were too, and the book, Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick, reviewed for the meeting is one that I will probably read in the future. It is the story of Daphne's life in Kenya and her love for her husband and abandoned elephants.
As for my procrastination habit, next year I hope to do better!
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association