A week of cocktails with this view:
And meals with this view:
Meant we really didn’t care that all our food came off this truck:
But when we came home, we were certainly craving something simple and fresh like this:
Welcome Home Carrot Salad
This is less a recipe than a reminder: sometimes giving an old familiar ingredient a different treatment makes it fresh. And if you’re feeling veg-deprived, this is an easy way to eat a lot of carrots.
One pound of carrots
1/4 – 1/3 cup (to taste) of your favorite vinaigrette (we like this with a particularly lemony dressing)
fresh parsley, to taste
Shred the carrots with a box grater or in a food processor. Toss with the dressing and parsley and serve.
As I write this post, my husband is strapping four bikes to the top and back of our station wagon, and the kids are getting in their last LEGO fix before we drive up to San Francisco’s family camp outside Yosemite. We went for the first time last year, and we were a bit uncertain — curious about the meals, mostly, and wondering if there’d be good choices for our vegetarian family (and my choosy boys).
And we loved it.
When we started talking about our plans for this summer, Camp Mather was at the top of both kids’ lists. “What do you look forward to most?” I asked them.
“The food!” they both answered.
Ben loves to hack the salad bar and Eli loves cocoa at every meal. And while I still wouldn’t put the actual food at the top of my list of Top Ten Reasons to Love Camp Mather, I do put the experience of eating there at the top of my list. I find I can’t wait for my twenty-one meals at camp, and I will report back (with pictures!) next week.
“Mama,” he said quietly, sneaking up behind me, “I want to make a recipe.”
I looked around the kitchen. My dad was messily stirring together a batch of carrot muffins, while Tony was assembling a marinade for the mushrooms we were taking to a barbecue later that day. I had an apricot-upside down cake in the oven and two lined strainers — one of ricotta cheese, one of vanilla ice cream — dripping into bowls. I pictured pouring the whey into the ice cream machine, the unhappy grimaces at sour ice cream, and made a mental note to try not to confuse them.
Grow up picking berries: blueberries in New Jersey with one grandfather, raspberries in Connecticut with another grandfather, blackberries at the end of the driveway at home. Eat them fresh all summer, cooked into jams by your grandmothers, baked into pies by your mother.
Take this all for granted.
By now, I’ve told the story of Eli’s Super Cake at over a dozen events, and hundreds of readers have eaten the cake themselves. More importantly, I have learned that when Eli has a recipe idea, I should just stand back and let him create. He does not approach his baking with the scientific precision of Lisa’s daughter, he just goes for it. And when the batter came together so beautifully, he looked up at me and smiled: “I think I have a knack for this.” I think he really does.