Friday, May 23, 2008

Heaven on a stick

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.


Bitterbetty said...

it would be hard to say no to an endless spring... but that first rain fall after a heat wave when the smell is so fresh and wet and the first day you need a sweater when summer is finally tired of being so hot.

yum to fruit salad.

Lesley said...

May I mention autumn for a moment? When would be the absolutely best time to visit New England to see the fall colours?
I'm so intrigued by tis fruit salad recipe! Mayo, salt and pepper? I'll have to try it now!

Anonymous said...

this sounds sooo yum Jen! I would wish for endless autumn I think. Still warm (VERY warm this autumn) but getting chilly at night and in the mornings! just lovely. Thank you for your warm wishes about mum. It's been a worrying couple of weeks but things seem fine for now. I need to get back into stuff now xoxox