Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rain, rain, go away...

This is not the fantastic California weather that I am accustomed to. Here it is, the last day of May; it is raining and the skies refuse to show even a wisp of blue. Now, I know I’ve professed my love of the rain in the past, but (at the risk of sounding spoiled) this is just too much. We’ve been almost entirely cheated out of spring and summer is just around the corner. I am ready for sunshine, icy blended beverages and flip flop tan lines on my feet, damn it!

I can’t help but think that this gloomy weather is taking its toll on me. Today seems to have brought with it quite a down-in-the-dumps feeling. Something that I’ve always loved doing is watching the rainfall, but sitting here on the couch in front of the biggest rain-viewing window in the house, with both cats and the dog snuggled against me, I wonder if doing this doesn’t perpetuate my melancholy mood just a little. Getting up and doing something, anything, would probably boost my spirits, but I’m transfixed. Through the slightly open window I can hear the rain falling and I get lost in thought, watching the trees blow in the breeze and the garden getting soaked. Is it productive thought? Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking about. Perhaps “lost in thought” doesn’t describe it accurately…it’s more like “in a trance”.

I snap out of it and take a sip of my coffee. Having just opened a new bag the flavor cannot be beat. Fresh, robust and rich…it’s the perfect cup. I sit here and notice just how ridiculously cute this pile of animals is, huddled together for extra warmth, completely nonplussed by my mood or the weather, breathing the even and slow breaths that come with deep sleep. I see our tiny herb and vegetable garden that is thriving, promising a bounty of juicy tomatoes and spicy peppers. I think about how lucky we are that my complaints are of these late-season showers and not of the tornadoes that have wreaked havoc across the country. Then I get a call from Andy who has me laughing by the time I get off the phone, and smiling long after I’ve hung up.

So because of these reasons, and countless others, this mood cannot be here to stay. All I need to do is remember that.

In a nod to the (hopefully) warm and sunshiny days ahead, this salad salutes summer and the fresh produce that goes with it.

These radishes come from my dad’s garden…they popped up quickly, showing off their bright green tops and deep red bulbs in spite of all this dreary gray weather, insisting on flourishing anyway. While I can’t take credit for the peas or corn, I am proud to say that the herbs come from our very own backyard. After several years of talking about it, we finally planted a small edible garden. I really couldn’t be happier with it (and I may even say hi to each plant in an annoying baby voice when I go outside to fawn over them). Plug your ears if you’re a neighbor.

Corn, Radish and Pea Salad with Basil-Mint Vinaigrette

2 cups fresh raw corn (from 3 ears)
1 cup fresh shelled peas
8 radishes, sliced
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped mint
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine corn, peas, radishes and scallions in a large bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together herbs, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss.

Simple, fresh and flavorful, this salad is a perfect complement to barbecue dishes and would be most welcome at any picnic. It’s a snap to throw together, especially if you can step outside and pick your ingredients from your own garden. And speaking of, I have to sing the praises of these radishes. I have never tasted a radish as tender as these that we pulled from the dirt, rinsed off and ate immediately. There is definitely something to be said for homegrown vegetables.

Well, I guess all I had to do was remind myself of a few good things and talk about my garden to get myself out of my gloomy mood. I’m feeling much better, and it looks like the rain may have stopped for now. But it’s still looking like a chicken soup kind of night…

As always, thanks for listening.


  1. Gorgeous photos darling...wow. I honestly love all of them!

  2. Love the ingredients. Simple and delicious. Just got fresh radishes from farm and put them in a normal salad but yours is a lot more inspiring. I should try tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Dear Karen
    How are you? While you are tired of rain, we are eagerly waiting for the rain at 110 deg F.
    I like this recipe and can get all the ingredients here. Your photographs are a real treat, as usual.
    Have a nice week ( rest of it) with blue sky

  4. I, too, am tired of the rain and cold weather. I feel like we missed spring altogether. And who knows if we'll have summer??! I'm ready for shorts and the barbecue. Bring on the summer weather and food.

  5. I don't remember the last time I bought radishes. They're always so cheap too...

  6. You are so lucky to enjoy fresh vegetables from the garden! Nire recipe and pictures!! I am following you now!

  7. Sorry, please read "nire" as "nice".

  8. How gorgeous is this! I am a huge fan of radishes and these from your father's garden make me envy you!!! Love the picts! Beautiful!

  9. Love the color Love the ingredients & loving it low in fat! Yummy!

  10. Beautiful plate of salad! Love corns in salads, they provide the sweet juicy crunch! Homegrown radish, how lucky! envy, envy! :)

  11. Looks like a lovely, light summer salad. I love fresh peas this time of year. Beautiful photos too!

  12. Looks delish! Love the photos!

  13. Ficou ótimo.Tenha um feliz dia. Um abraço, Marta.

  14. Who needs great weather with this salad! Looks amazing! Your pictures are stunning!

  15. So fresh! I know... I'm really hoping that this cold and rain would go away soon. We scheduled a cherry picking this Saturday but looks like we have to postpone it too. Your salad brightened my day though. :-) The picture of peas is so cute!

  16. What a fresh and beautiful dish!!! Your photos are amazing as well!

  17. We've jumped from weeks of rain to HOT August like temps...think we've been cheated, too! But thank goodness for lovely spring salads...a delicious reminder of the season~

  18. Radishes are so very, very awesome. Give me one raw with a little salt and I'm in heaven. Even though I love peas and corn, I know I'd pick out and eat the radish first.

    I agree that those of us that weren't in the wake of Tuscaloosa, Minneapolis, Joplin or Springfield (and so many other places) are very, very fortunate and we shouldn't bemoan cold or heat (as our 82 degrees at 9pm usually give me cause).

  19. This salad certainly brings our the spring and summer in my mind. I love the colors (and personally an excuse to use radishes).

  20. Oh that salad looks fantastic!! It screams summer, hot, beach - it's telling me that I need to eat it if I want to get into that bathing suit! ;-) It's beautiful!

  21. Its so easy to get in a funk when the weather is gloomy. The dish looks so bright and shiny...those radishes simply glowing with yumminess. Seems like a pretty good way to chase away the storm clouds to me :) Thanks for sharing!

  22. Salad looks so colorful. Lovely clicks.
    First time here..
    Happy to follow u..
    Do stop by mine when time permits..

  23. Your photos are amazing; what a tempting original salad.

  24. This was absolutely delicious, I had 3 servings! It was perfect for yesterday's weather. Amazing pictures!

  25. that picture of the peas is gorgeous!!!