A salad for autumn

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Viji

As a kid, I never thought I would get into cooking. Not that I hated it, but it was just that there were so many things I felt very passionate about doing, and cooking was just not one of them. Also, I always enjoyed(I still do) eating all sorts of fresh fruits so much that I used to think there was no need to cook to live.

Everyday, before I came back from school, my mom would have gone for a round in our own yard and collected the fruits that were ripe for the day – the papayas, pineapples, mangoes, jackfruits, bananas, guavas and many more. I remember, carefully pulling the delicate string, to which all the seeds are attached, from the inside of the papaya while talking to my mom about everything that happened in the school that day. This would go on for an hour or even more…

The day came when I started working and had to stay away from my mom, and that was when I started cooking. A group of friends, we cooked and ate together – it was so much fun! Then the marriage; getting married to Manoj was like getting married to cooking! His love for cooking and food made me enjoy cooking much more; there definitely is a nice feeling when you cook for someone you love. Now with Maanas and Navya enjoying home cooked meals so much, cooking has become a part of me – an inseparable part!

And all those passions I had as a kid – water color painting, gardening, flower arrangement; though I didn’t master any one of these, I see myself enjoying them all now, in my kitchen. The medium may be different, but I am practicing them every single day. Growing vegetables reminds me that I am a gardener. I normally keep all the vegetables and herbs I need for a dish or a for a meal together and take a few seconds to arrange them in a way that looks beautiful and cheerful. The cutting board becomes a blank canvas and at the end of the cutting, there is a colorful picture painted on it. In fact I have many more shades of color than I could imagine and all non-toxic too! My love for pottery gets materialized when I find the right bowl or plate to serve the dishes. And, the lens of the camera has opened up a whole new way of looking at everything – from vegetables, fruits, herbs, dishes, and so much more. I never feel I had to sacrifice any of my passions; in fact, I think cooking added a few more to the list.

But nothing is complete with out an exception, I guess. My passion for physics and math; dream to become a NASA scientist and fly to the moon, never got materialized(yet). It might just be that I am better off being ‘down to earth’!!!

Looks like I was too caught up in these thoughts, never realizing that the leaves outside are turning into all sorts of colors. The watermelons and the berries have given away their space on the countertop to apples, pears, figs, and pomegranates, with such beautiful colors inside and out. Once again, I am so curious to see the picture these fruits can paint along with some fresh greens!

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Honey and key lime dressing

  • 1 tablespoon fresh key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a few finely chopped chives (optional)

 Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Adjust everything to taste.

 Salad

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 or 2 figs
  • a few greens

Wash and slice the apple, pear and fig or cut them into thin and small pieces. No need to peel. Take the seeds out of the pomegranate. Place them all in a bowl. Add the greens. Add enough dressing and toss it until everything is moist and shiny. Serve at once.

Or like how I did – arrange a few slices of fruits and leaves on a plate. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the dressing over…

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