Spring in New England is a fleeting, fragile thing. Some years, we really don't even get a spring to speak of; the last frost date is followed almost immediately by big heat. But this year we are wallowing in a real, live spring.
I was thinking the other day that I'd be happy forever if it could always be like this. Barely hitting 70 f., a light breeze, big fat clouds lolling around a brilliant sky. Heaven. And I laughed at myself and wondered: how long would it take before heaven became monotonous? How long would it take me to be wishing for a rainy day, for snow, for real heat, for change? How long would perfect really seem perfect? A month? Six months? A year, maybe? And would that rush of happiness, of just pure joy to be alive on a beautiful day, would that last?
Well, I don't know. I'll never know. So instead, fruit salad. To hell with local -- well, what I really mean is, here's to farmer's markets and supporting local businesses and to the realities of a global economy. Our world population is distributed such that locavorious is just ridiculous if it's taken to an extreme -- that's where all my puzzling has led me. The genie is already out of the bottle. Blame the railroads. And see? Mango!
Fruit Salad with Vanilla Dressing (with thanks to Alton Brown and Food Network)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teasp. lemon juice
1 teasp. honey
1 teasp. vanilla
1/4 teasp. kosher salt (optional)
black pepper (optional)
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced (or substitute extra apple)
10 to 12 medium strawberries, halved
1 mango, peeled and diced (or just add more strawberries and grapes)
1 banana, sliced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (I tossed them with a little butter, brown sugar, and salt after toasting -- I made extra and ate them all week long)
In a small mixing bowl, whisk all the wet and spice ingredients. Place all fruit in a bowl and gently toss after pouring sauce over. Sprinkle with nuts.
I'm not one to make fruit salads usually, but a neighbor asked me to bring one to a luncheon recently and this one was loved by all.