My grandmother, who is nearing the century mark, lives full time in Sunriver, a resort that is close to Bend, Oregon. This summer we had the opportunity to visit for the day. There were many highlights in that visit; meeting my cousin’s cool kids, quality time with my father and visiting with the family.
The main attraction, however, started at noon when my uncle started covering the table with newspaper. They still exist – newspapers, that is. And they still have many uses beyond reading them. I miss the abundance of extra newspaper. I know we are saving trees (though we could have been growing and using hemp all this time instead of cutting down trees, but that’s another post) and part of me is very nostalgic for the past. Anyway, getting back to my story. Once the newspapers were set on the table – out on the deck which looked out onto the bike path and big spruce trees and the occasional deer walking by – he brought out some crabs. Beautiful crabs for us to crack.
What an enjoyable activity and a great way to pitch in and help my uncle prepare the meal! There is something about a group of people sitting around a table sharing in an activity that sparks conversation. It could be that there is a slight distraction and we do not feel so vulnerable to start chatting about our worlds and to probe into others’ worlds for that moment. Once the crabs were cracked, we cleaned the table where my uncle then brought out individual plates of salad. All we had to do was add the crab to the salad. We all felt that we contributed to the meal and felt even more satisfied eating it. We did not want to leave that table. We talked and philosophized and just plain enjoyed each other’s company (we also enjoyed a French Chablis; Chablis may be considered cheap mediocre wine here in the U.S., but it is not in France!). That is what a meal is all about, sitting around enjoying the flavors of the plate that is set in front of you and feeling the love and the connection to the people around that table.
This is my intention in writing this blog; to make meal time less stressful and intimidating so that there are more times that you sit at the table instead of choosing a restaurant.
What is your favorite summer meal memory this year?
Uncle TIm’s Crab Louie
This salad could be also titled, I leave Sunriver tomorrow and I need to use up all the vegetables I bought at Costco salad. Shrimp would be a great substitute. The secret to his salad was that he layered it on the plate. Lettuce, some veggies and a sprinkling of lettuce and more veggies. It felt like every bite was a discovery of a different vegetable. Add a zippy white wine, hot bread and voila you have an abundant feast. Don’t forget the Thousand Island Dressing.
Today’s recipe is more of an idea of ingredients to combine. Below is a rough quantity estimate for 1 serving. While putting vegetables on each plate just eye if you have enough of one vegetable.
1/2 Crab or 1/4 pound, if not shelling it yourself
1/4 pound Romaine Lettuce
1 Boiled Egg -sliced
1/4 cup Zucchini -diced
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes -Whole
1/ 2 cup Snap Peas
1/2 cup Broccoli
1/2 cup Bell Peppers
1/4 cup Black Olives-sliced
1. Boil the eggs. Put eggs in a pot and water until the eggs are covered. Set the burner to high and boil. Once the water is boiling cover the pot and remove it from the hot burner. Set the timer for 6 minutes. Crack the eggs and then put in ice water bath for a minute. Peel and slice. Here is a tutorial for boiling eggs.
2. Wash the lettuce and shake it dry.
3.Cut the lettuce with a knife.
4. Place the lettuce on each plate, a large handful.
5. Cut the vegetables and arrange on each plate.
6. Place another light layer of lettuce, the rest of the veggies.
7. Place the hard boiled egg slice around the edge of the plate.
8. Add crab on top.
9. Serve and put out the Thousand Island Dressing
10. Dig In!