On the 4th of July I took a fall and broke my hip and wrist. An unfortunate accident but aren’t they all. After a partial hip replacement and a pretty pink wrist cast, I’m home, getting stronger every day.
Zoë was in California on a mountain bike trip with friends when I fell. On her return, she moved into high gear, cooking and helping Bud at the house. They brought me lots of treats at the rehab center from granola and yogurt to lovely dinner salads, saving me from the dire menus offered to patients. My sister Susan visited with veggies and fruit and – Cheetos. I feel fortunate to have wonderful support from my family.
And from our friends. We have enjoyed dinner from Walt and Sheila – gazpacho, crab cakes and corn bread – and the pleasure of their company at dinner on the porch.
Sherry is a pal, making a meal each week. Poached salmon and a zucchini gratin, baked herby chicken, cornbread and salad with goat cheese and peaches. She and Jamie joined us last week for grilled salmon skewers (in a green sauce marinade), sauteed summer squash, and salad, with Colorado peaches and ice cream for dessert. I wish I had photographed these delicious meals.
Ana Maria cheered me up with her positive attitude and velvety cold cucumber soup, a leek tart and a loaf of spinach and feta bread.
Sandra came for a visit with a ready-to-bake lasagne from Moxie Bakery in hand. Better yet, we had a wonderful conversation about books, art and life.
Peter and Denise brought dinner and stayed for a lovely evening on the porch eating a delicious Salade Niçoise and catching up on our lives.
Roseanne helps me make lunch and picks up groceries on her way to Shark’s Ink.
Zoë visits each weekend loaded with produce from the farmer’s market. She also brings the fruits of her cooking – jars of gazpacho, grain and lentil salads, a pan of terrific chilaquiles, and always, cookies.
Wow. Writing this makes me grateful again for these dear ones. Not to mention Bud, my rock through all this. He has taken over the chores I am unable to do such as laundry, cleaning, and helping me shower. He picks up things I drop and cheerfully ties my sneakers for walks in Apple Valley.
Thanks too to sisters Mimi and Susan for the phone talks that help me keep everything in perspective. I’ll be out of my cast soon and by the end of August, over the hip restrictions.
I am cooking some, using leftovers from the meals friends have provided and the bounty of the season. One of the first dishes I have made is adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.
Roasted eggplant salad
Cut two long eggplants into ¾ inch slices, crosswise. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush or rub with plenty of olive oil, up to ¼ cup. As the eggplant absorbs the oil, add a bit more. Roast at 375° for 35 minutes until very tender. I used my toaster oven for this. No sense heating the house by using the big oven.
Meanwhile, cut a sweet red or yellow pepper into dice. Combine with 12 halved or quartered cherry tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil, a big pinch of salt. (Ottolenghi calls for 3 tablespoons of capers and some of their brine. I didn’t have any so added the salt.) Let sit for at least 30 minutes – or overnight in the fridge.
Arrange the cooled eggplant slices on a platter, slightly overlapping. Top with the pepper salsa, 2-4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, and a big handful of chopped cilantro. (The original recipe calls for torn fresh mozzarella.)