Monday, January 17, 2011

Day Seventeen: Dill-icious

First, let me say that I do like dill. I love dill, actually. I love dill, tarragon, fennel--all those herbs that people seem to be hot or cold on, the grassy, licoricey ones. In fact, I like black licorice. I am the smug happy one who gets all those black jelly beans at Halloweentime when everybody else passes them up. My dad probably laments this fact. When I was small, he got all the black jelly beans to himself.

I'm saying this because I've been focusing so much on the foods I don't like, I don't want you to think I'm a food hater or the pickiest person in the world. And I put dill in the title, because I think I'm punny. Jeffrey Steingarten, who inspired me to start on this journey, didn't used to like dill, but I always have. I put dill in the title because I had it two ways tonight: on my salmon burger and in my potato salad.

You might remember that I had a salmon burger on the second day of this journey, and it was a little tough for me to swallow. You might also remember, from my tuna salad entry, that I am no fan of cold, mayonnaisey salads. In fact, I'm not much of a cold food fan in general--with the exception of my mom's crazy, Catalina-dressing-soaked taco salad, which is amazingly awesome. But every rule has its exceptions.

So. Tonight. I ate my salmon burger much more quickly than the first time, with some dill sauce (left over from the potato salad--I'll get to that) and some dijon mustard (how I ever used to hate dijon, I don't know--I could eat barrels of it now). I'm still not drooling over fish but I'm making baby steps, even if they are of the shaky, fall-on-your-diapered-butt-every-two-seconds variety. Also on the menu was a red potato salad with dill, which I reconstructed from my husband's memory.

The sauce must be white, he said. There's sour cream in it, he said. There's red potatoes, he said.

So I boiled a five-pound bag of red potatoes in fairly big chunks (the hubby likes his leftovers), mixed together about a cup of heart smart mayo, a cup of light sour cream, some salt, pepper, and about a quarter cup of dill, plus about a tablespoon of dried chives, which we had in the cupboard. Once the potatoes were cooled, I splashed them with about a quarter cup of white wine vinegar and then added the sauce (there was extra sauce--thus using it on the burgers). And all it needed to be what the hubby had hoped for was a little more salt. Hurrah!

I tasted the sauce and the potatoes and even the finished salad--a good chef tastes each step of the way--and yet somehow I liked each tasting better than I liked the salad when it had been sitting in the fridge for a while. I think I just like my food hot, or at the very coolest, room temperature. I had the same problem with hard boiled eggs. I wonder if it's any better in hot weather, but then again, I've had potato salad at picnics and not been interested.

But I can change that. I will change it.

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