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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

spring green & a tanka

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It might be the middle of winter and we've been dumped with a lot of snow in the last 24 hours, but a fresh green salad just lifts the spirits. I've always loved the simple salad with ginger dressing served at Japanese restaurants just before the miso soup, and finally I googled and found a recipe for it at allrecipes.com. The salad is just torn Boston bibb lettuce (also called butterhead, buttercrunch and Tom Thumb) and this light, fresh dressing.



Japanese Restaurant-Style Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a blender, combine the minced onion, peanut oil, rice vinegar, water, ginger, celery, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper . Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds or until all of the ingredients are well-pureed.


Tanka

(a form of Japanese verse in five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllables
which is older than haiku;
below is my first and not very lyrical attempt;
find more samples by clicking on the word "Tanka" above,
and here for a little history of tanka)


green salad so cold -
winter should not be the time
to lay you on my
tongue; but spring, on vacation,
convinced me: 'wish you were here'


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On the drive home yesterday it took an hour instead of 30 minutes. These photos are from the first few minutes leaving campus, when I was stopped more than I was moving (um, I would never take pictures while driving).
After a while my windshield wipers got crusted with ice, and there was no place to stop and snap them clean as the pavement got thicker with snow and we all crawled along at 30 mph.









The farm this morning:

Neighbor Bill plows our drive before also going to the University, like me.



The sunflowers might give Jean Paul Gaultier fashion headgear inspiration?




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72 comments:

Anet said...

Yay! A snow day for teachers:)

shicat said...

Ha, I'm the first to comment! Snow day hooray!. One sad thing,with the new snow, no more backless shoes. Pictures are great I love winter, most of the time. So funny,your comment about the sunflower:) Salad yum!

Susan said...

Learned something new...tanka! I love it and love your very good attempt, IMHO! I want to go out and buy some Boston bibb just to try out that dressing...now if I can just get out of the driveway! I don't have a Bob, only a Dave, and he's out of town. ;)

I can't wait to try the dressing on some of my own lettuce. Yummm!

I see Ms. Sunflower is also carrying a matching bag! :)

Shattered said...

There is a Japanese restaurant around the corner from my office... they have this same fabulous dressing. I think you have helped me make my lunch plans for today. :)

I love the pictures of the snow. We are supposed to get some here tomorrow which will make things a mess for us Texas drivers...

Bella Rum said...

Oh, my gosh. I have so much to say about this post, Ruth.

First of all, those sunflowers are positively whimsical. In fact, they would surely win any whimsical photo contest.

Secondly, I love the second and third photos. They personify winter in general and this winter in particular. They would surely win any relentless- never-ending-winter photo contest.

Lastly, thank you for the clever tanka and the refreshing salad recipe. That salad looks really good and we love such things around here. I know my husband will want me to make this.

Happy winter to you, Ruth, and may the long awaited spring and the deep warmth of summer bring many sunflowers your way.

ds said...

Oh, that ginger dressing is a favorite around here, so yummy!
As is your tanka.Everything so polished and perfect, Ruth. We finally have snow here, so unlike everyone else, I am revelling...

amuse me said...

The snow has been gorgeous, but darn, it delayed plans to head to Georgia. Maybe tomorrow! Love the sunflower picture. :) M

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Jeepers. That looks cold.
I shall not complain about my weather today.
At all.

Shari Sunday said...

Beautiful pictures. I can SEE the wind. Bone chilling. I spent a year in Pennsylvania when I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband was gone a lot for work and I was driving around in the snow for the first time with a young son and a pregnant belly. These pictures bring back a lot of vivid and tender memories. (I had a Pinto. We had to put big bags of mulch in the trunk to keep it from swerving all over the road.) Bless you for having to get up and go to work in that weather. Keeps you hearty and strong and slender, I'm thinking. Stay warm.

Together We Save said...

Wow... that is alot of snow!

Barry said...

I have a hard time eating salads in the cold of winter.

Not that we are experiencing much in the way of cold, or winter, here in Toronto this year; but you know what I mean.

Stiggy said...

Nice to see the snow is getting around to visiting everyone...

... wonderful photos as always Ruth!

X

C.M. Jackson said...

ruth--thanks for the salad recipe and spring thoughts--a wonderful alternative to the wintery weather we are getting right now

freefalling said...

That's it.
Today, I am going to go out and find a photo especially for you of hot, dry and crunchy.

Sidney said...

Drive safely!
That is indeed a snow storm!
Beautiful but not so nice when you need to go to work everyday !

Pat said...

I was surprised to find ketchup in the dressing. The other ingredients seem to mesh, but ketchup? Hmmmm....

Your pictures show a cold, wintery scene. Glad I'm in AZ, even if it is colder than usual - in the 60's!

CottageGirl said...

Your salad looks so fresh and warm weatherish! I'll be making it soon!
Your photos are so realistic ... I feel as if I'm driving with you trying to get off campus! Glad you made it home ok! The thing about a good snow is that it brings everyone together ...
... us against the snow!

Stay warm!

Babs-beetle said...

The salad looks mouth watering! We were saying yesterday that we must eat salad, and not wait for the warmer weather.

It is very cold here again, but your weather looks bitter cold. Lovely winter photos :)

The Bug said...

I take photos all the time while I'm driving. I'm a menace! But at least I'm not texting...

LOVE the poem!

gemma said...

Tanks for the tanka
More syllables than haiku
Must try to blog one
Perhaps next post I'll tanka
Either that or it'll tank eh.
:-)

Nancy said...

So beautiful. I just loved the sunflowers trying so hard to hold their hats up. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that salad dressing recipe! I love those salads.

Gwei Mui said...

Oh boy does that food sound delicious! It's only 09:00 here in cold but not so snowy London. At college but I'm now feeling soooo hungry.
GM:)

Annie said...

Wonderful pictures. I love winter but it's a bit difficult to go out with the double stroller at the moment. I also published some photos of cemeteries in winter. It was so beautiful there but unfortunately the pictures are never so good as the real thing. My husband promised to buy me a better camera though.

Susan said...

Now damn it, Ruth, it's just breakfast time here. What have you done? My mouth wants that salad!
It's always been one of my favorites, too.
Love the photos...that's real winter!

dutchbaby said...

Mmmm, I can eat buckets of Japanese salad. I was reading through the ingredients list and bumped into the ketchup. Whaa? But of course that's what gives it the color. I wouldn't be able to resist adding a little miso to this recipe, just because I happen to have some in the fridge.

Thanka for the Tanka!I love learning new things.

Loring Wirbel said...

Yay! I always wanted that recipe.

Our last three "storms" have been duds. Colorado is fairly dry this winter. I see all the photos from the East Coast and Michigan and get sympathetic sore arm muscles.

shoreacres said...

The effect of the green lettuce in the midst of so much snow is wonderful - we should have spring rolls, too ;-)

There are people who practice twaiku - surely twanka would work, too. And your Tanka is only 135 characters, including spaces. It qualifies!

By the way - I know a lettuce-eating cat who lives in Florida. I've seen photos of her, munching away at the leaves in her bowl. I suspect she'd like your lettuce, if not the dressing.

Helena said...

Just wanted to let you know that I moved in case you're still interested. I did change my style quite a bit...

♥ Kathy said...

It's starting to look like that here..it's been snowing all day!

I just love a salad too. We had nothing but salad for supper last night..granted they were LARGE salads but that was our supper :)

rauf said...

its like you get very thirsty watching Lawrence of Arabia Ruth, i feel chill going uppee my spinee.
esssssssssssssss.

Many Japanese living here on deputation as there are many jap collaborations here. i don't know what they eat, i have not seen any Japanese restaurants around here or in Bangalore, Many Chinese though. Quite a few Japanese permanently staying here watching organic produce they buy. Rich Indian farmers can cheat easily and pass non organic as organic. So the Japs sit and watch.

Ruth said...

Anet, I was jealous! And then a long mid-winter 4-day weekend!

Ruth said...

Cathy, thanks for the smile. Now that the snow has been shoveled, we can go back to no boots. It has felt almost balmy, you know? The wind was pretty cold yesterday though. Students came in quite chilled. But our old university building is heated with steam, and it can't be easily adjusted. I was overdressed and got SO hot yesterday. Bleh.

Ruth said...

Susie Q, Bibbs, Bobs and Bills - and Daves and Dons - what would we do without 'em?

You really got socked down there in the South with your snow, hehe. Not that it was funny, that was quite an ordeal. Hearing the news of Washington DC and environs spending all their snow removal money and dipping into other budgets makes me realize what a task that is. I wonder where they took it all?

I'm tickled to introduce you to a recipe you don't know!

Ruth said...

Jennifer, between our Indian restaurant Sindu and our Japanese restaurant Omi, I get equally excited to go to lunch. I must say I tried tofu steak at Omi recently and I think I can safely say I have never tasted anything more delicious in my entire life. Who knew tofu could be heavenly?

Yes, I feel sorry for all of you in the country and the world who have gotten snow dumped on you when you're not used to it, and it's costing a fortune for snow removal.

Ruth said...

Hello and happy winter, Bella. Your comment was just lovely and full of good cheer and appreciation. It made me so happy.

I am a winter lover, I think you know. So for spring to send me a postcard saying "wish you were here" I have to say it was only mildly tempting to leave for a warmer place, and I was glad to taste spring in a fresh green salad.

Oh, it's snowing right now on this Saturday morning. So pretty.

Ruth said...

DS, it sure took me long enough to finally make this dressing at home.

I'm happy for your snowfall, and the beautiful way you experience it. I would love to walk quietly with you in it. It's snowing right now, that pretty wandering snow you described when the "mind melts." So lovely.

Ruth said...

M., oh I hope you can take your trip, maybe you were able to leave. It's incredible what this has done to DC and Maryland, wow. A whole week off work for federal employees! At least I think they were off Friday too.

Ruth said...

Pamela, today it's better, and calmer, almost feels balmy to me.

Ruth said...

Shari, I still get sore front teeth when we're driving in snow because I as in an auto accident in snow when I was in college and bumped and chipped my front teeth (I have caps now).

Wow, a Pinto, now that does bring back memories. We had a Dodge Omni, not that different.

Ruth said...

Hi and welcome, Together We Save. Yep.

Ruth said...

Barry, I haven't been eating much that's cold this winter. But suddenly this salad sounded irresistible.

Ruth said...

Yes, Stiggy, and some it makes happy, and some it doesn't.

Hi to you, Jo and Kane!

Ruth said...

C.M., you are welcome. Enjoy, and have a warm Valentine's Day with Mr. Jackson.

Ruth said...

I'm waiting eagerly, Letty.

Ruth said...

Sidney, I don't mind the snow, the cold, or even the driving. But after a while I get tired of putting on all the gear: coat, boots, scarf.

Ruth said...

Pat, I know, ketchup is so . . . pedestrian. But it really does make certain recipes good. I make my own cocktail sauce with ketchup and horseradish. Poor maligned ketchup.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, you know, I don't think my fingers have warmed up for weeks, whether I'm indoors or out. It's a wonder this salad sounded so good!

We just had some and used up the last of the dressing. Gotta make some more.

Ruth said...

Babs, it's relative isn't it? It's all what you're used to. Today feels downright balmy because it inched up above freezing. This is about the time students put on shorts and t-shirts, no kidding.

Ruth said...

Oh dear, Dana, please don't take pictures unless you're driving under 5mph!

Ruth said...

Gemma sweetie, I was hoping someone would join in (without my asking). You're the best! And you even posted your sweet Valentanka to your bloggie friends, so wonderful.

Ruth said...

You're welcome, Nancy, I wonder why it took me so long to look for the recipe.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, oh, London in snow sounds beautiful. But I understand getting tired of it, especially if you're not used to it. Stay warm.

Ruth said...

Annie, I think cemeteries are very photogenic and want to stop when I drive by ours often. It's exciting to get a new camera - there are some wonderful point-and-shoot models with the same technology as the SLRs.

Ruth said...

Hi, Susan, sorry about that! I'm happy though to have this salad at home now. Now I just need to make miso soup.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, would you please move to Michigan? I want to sit and talk to you on a regular basis. Like, what do you make with miso? I almost bought some at the Asian market yesterday after your comment, but the line was so long I put everything back. And they didn't have seitan - a new ingredient I'm looking for!

Ruth said...

Loring, I sense a little disappointment in your dud storms, even though you can save your arms.

Ruth said...

Linda, I hadn't heard the term twaiku, poetry seems to be everywhere. Why not Twitter? I always liked writing formal poems. There's something enjoyable about being constrained by the structure and limitations, finding the right number of syllables, beats, and especially to find the image in nature that pulls it together.

A lettuce-eating cat? Bishop won't even eat fish!

Ruth said...

Helena, thank you for the heads up!

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, I am stunned at how much snow you got in South Georgia - it looked like maybe 4 inches? My sister Ginnie would be jealous, now that she has moved away from Atlanta.

Ruth said...

I apologize rauf, I knew this would chill your bones.

Oh rauf, Don and I started watching The Story of India last night and loved it. We just had the first DVD, we'll get the next one when we send this one back. I was surprised to see Michael Wood wearing a jacket. But it was during the monsoons. Such a beautiful documentary, we just love the history and are amazed at how ancient India is.

Ginnie said...

A bowl of salad right now sounds really good, Ruth! We had snertmiddag (afternoon pea soup) today for Valentine's here at our senior complex. I feel so full I can hardly move, even after a brisk walk. But salad...I could eat that right now! :)

dutchbaby said...

I would dearly love to talk to you on a regular basis but I checked your weather map and ours here. May I suggest you move to California? We have wonderful universities here (like UC Berkeley and Stanford) and Don could grow grapes and open a boutique winery. What a lovely daydream...

Ah yes, back to the miso. I would melt a tablespoon or two into the recipe you have there (or substitute half the ketchup). You may have to add a tiny bit more water if it becomes too thick. Let me know if you like the flavor. You can also make miso soup from miso paste. There are many different kinds of miso; the grocer can help you select the right kind. Bon Appetit!

Keanda said...

I love the pictures - I really like taking pictures of random scenery outside when I'm in the car on a rainy day.

Really jealous of your weather; it's never below 30 Celsius here. NEVER.

~ Keanda
http://thecarbonatom.blogspot.com

Jeanie said...

Those sunflowers rock beyond belief. I thought of folks heading home with some distance to go, as you had. It was pretty grim. We had a station event that night -- about 50 percent of those registered showed up, which we thought was terrific, as we wouldn't have if it was an option! (Never take pix driving? Hmmm. I don't know if I believe that or not!)

Montag said...

Beautiful, beautfiul, beautiful...o, muse of winter and genius of snow!

Ruth said...

Boots, now what do you suppose they call morning pea soup, or evening pea soup? And are they different?

;-D

I love me some pea soup.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, well I was hoping you'd say that. The Bay area is one of the places I've thought I could live, after living in Ashland, Oregon one semester. Imagine having 5 acres in northern California!

I browsed the misos at the Asian market (before your comeback comment) and I was a little overwhelmed with the choices, I must say. I don't think I'll ask the people there though, they didn't know what seitan was when I asked for it. I think I might have to order seitan online.

I'm gonna go over to your place and see if buy it . . .

Ruth said...

Keanda, hello and welcome. I hope you are exaggerating about the 30°C! So, the Philippines, or Africa, or . . where?

You don't have to tell me.

Wow, I really like the Carbon Atom. I only wish you allowed comments. But of course that is your prerogative. Your writing is diary-like, and reminds me of Anäis Nin, whose early diaries I am reading now. I'm following you, a stranger-friend as you put it.

Ruth said...

So Jeanie, you didn't cancel your event and half the registrants still showed up, that's pretty unusual. I'm afraid I'm always happy to just go home and get cozy. I've had too many evening meetings the last few week. Done this week though!

No, I really really don't take pictures while I'm driving. Except these were at about 2mph I think. :)

Ruth said...

Gracias, merci, obrigada, Montag.

deb said...

Ruth ~ I'm just perusing through your archives a bit.
Your pictures, mind, and soul are stunning.

I could learn and languish and live right here inside this world you are sharing. Wow.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Deb, that's wonderful of you to say.