Friday, August 8, 2014

Panzanella Salad and Post Scripts

Way, way back when people use to write pen and paper letters, they'd often include a postscript (aka p.s.). And sometimes, if they'd forgotten enough things in the letter, they'd include multiple p.s.'s. If you consider my earlier posts this week my letter to you, you can consider this my postscript for the week...

P.S.-My three youngest were supposed to attend VBS this week. And I was supposed to bike with my oldest every morning while they were gone. Operative words...supposed to. Well, Meres decided on Monday morning that she was not going to VBS. And she has a way of digging in her heels-that one. I think she gets it from her dad. (sigh...) She is a very independent little booger, but she is going through a clingy stage. I take that back. She is a very independent little booger, but she has always been my most needy child. It's weird. I don't do needy very well. Regardless, I was not happy with the needy child, but I managed to adjust (mostly) my attitude and my plans. (who is the adult here?) (I just couldn't see making her the problem of a stranger who had about 10 other 3 year olds to deal with.) So, no bike rides with the oldest. We spent our mornings running errands instead. It was good (enough).
this girl...sigh

P.P.S.-In my choose gratitude post (here) earlier this week I said I was grateful for my bicycle repair guys. And I am. But, our relationship...Oh brother. I bring in both of our bikes to get repaired, which puts me in the repair shop about every other week. They actually gave me a freebie two visits ago on Mr. Hippie's tire repair. Something about holding the title for the most flats fixed in a season. Well, I got into a nice bike crash on Saturday which messed up my odometer (and gave me some rainbow bruises on my knees and other parts that never see the sun) so I took my bike in. On Monday. In was an in-and-out affair. No charge. But, Tuesday, as I was off on another bike ride, I blew my tire. (the bff came to the rescue, and brought me and my bike to the repair shop, and me home. Thank you BFF!) So, I had to sheepishly enter the repair shop AGAIN. The owner and his bro gave me guff about it. They asked for my number to call when my bike was ready. I told them that they should just put it on speed dial or have it memorized. Oh, and the bff suggested that I buy stock in the company if they ever go public because then my repairs would actually be an investment. Which the repair guys thought was a  brilliant idea. (snort) Thankfully I made it out of there with a good overhaul-new tube, tightened brakes, more tape. I should (theoretically) be good for a while. 

P.P.P.S.-I started on a project this week. I took last year's time line down and patched the wall it was taped to. Next week I will sand the patches and put a fresh coat of paint down there. And we will be all set for another school year and its timeline.

P.P.P.P.S.-Our school books arrived this week. Which is exciting. The kids were all almost as excited as Christmas morning. I should have recorded the moment to replay for them in another 8 weeks or so, when the books aren't nearly as copacetic a situation. With the books' arrival I realized that I have some more prep to do-especially in the science department. It is a huge textbook with thorough student notebooks. I have to decide just what we are going to cover and when.

P.P.P.P.P.S.-(the final postscript, in case you were wondering how many I could stretch it out to.) Panzanella Salad....

Look at the photo, and need I say more?

Essentially, panzanella is a bread salad. Which is a great idea-for anyone who loves bread and isn't on a gluten-free kick. I love bread, and I love salad. It is practically a match made in heaven.

So, grilled bread. Grilled red onion. Garden fresh tomatoes and basil. A grilled chicken breast or two, to make in a main dish affair. Feta cheese and kalamata olives just because...


It is healthy. And colorful. And delicious.

Though it actually isn't my kids' favorite. Which is okay. I'd say this is a great recipe for adults. 

Panzanella Salad
5 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4” rounds
6 (1” thick) slices Italian bread
5 ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
3/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
4-1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup (2 oz) feta cheese
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise

-Preheat grill to medium-high.
-Mince garlic. Combine the oil and garlic in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave until fragrant and bubbly, about 1 minute.
-Brush the chicken breasts with 1-1/2 Tbsp oil mixture. Grill over medium high, turning once, until cooked through and the juices run clear. Remove from grill and let stand.
-Brush onion slices with 1-1/2 Tbsp of the oil mixture and grill over a hot fire until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl.
-Brush bread with 1-1/2 Tbsp of the oil mixture and grill until crisp and golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board.
-Chop tomatoes. Add to onions in the large bowl. Add basil, vinegar and remaining oil to the bowl and toss to combine.
-Slice chicken into 1/4” thick slices. Add with olives and feta cheese to the tomatoes.
-Cut bread into 3/4” chunks then fold into the tomato mixture.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S.- We are participating in our 2nd "race" triathlon (of the season) this weekend. What are you up to?