Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Salad Days


This morning, as I was making celery seed dressing for tonight’s salad, it occurred to me that writing is a lot like salad. You can serve a good salad with no dressing at all. The unadulterated ingredients taste good all in their own right. But a little dressing can bring the whole thing together and make the dish shine.

This is the dilemma I’ve been facing with my Flash 40 contest entry. “Mirror, Mirror” was a departure for me because I wrote it without my usual bag of tricks. I tend to use setting as a character in my stories. In this case, the setting was barely addressed. It felt a lot like that undressed salad and I wondered if the story suffered without it. But, after a lot of thought, I wanted the story as bare bones as possible, feeling it was a better match for my narrator’s overwhelmed state of mind.

Since the ranking process began, I’ve been keeping close tabs on my entry. So far, “Mirror, Mirror” is faring well. I’m neck in neck with good friends, all of whom I’d be proud to lose to. It appears my gamble paid off.

As for the salad, I’m going to share the recipe. This one’s a summer favorite here. For the salad itself, use leafy greens of your choice. Something tender is usually best. Top them with sliced nectarines and blueberries or strawberries. A little thinly sliced red onion adds a pleasant punch.

Celery Seed Dressing

Whisk together in a microwave safe bowl:

1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1-1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp finely grated onion
1/2 tsp celery seed
generous pinch of salt

Cook on high for 1-1/2 mins.

Whisk in:

1/3 cup canola oil

Chill until serving. Served with greens and fruit.


Linda said...

Thanks first for the dressing recipe - sounds unique and delish. I am quite enjoying your double-dipping into food and writing, two of my favorite 'sports'.

I loved your ED Flash. Yes, it is different from your usual pieces, but just as super. I hope you continue to fare well, friend. Peace, Linda

Greta said...

Linda, cooking as a sport? We're kindred spirits. Cooking/baking are my favorite ways to destress. Sooooo explains my waistline :)

J.C. Towler said...

I hope the board trolls don't target your Flash40 as they seem to have done with some of the other deserving top stories. I really liked your tale and it deserves to be up there in the ratings.

I think the open contest was a tremendous idea, risky in some ways, but paying off in some that were unanticipated.


Greta said...

John, thanks for being such a supportive friend. But you don't have to worry about me. I don't let ANYBODY steal my sunshine :)

Stephen said...

"I’m neck in neck with good friends, all of whom I’d be proud to lose to. It appears my gamble paid off."

It did pay off. And I'm proud to be losing to you as well as others whose stories are far better than mine. The contest has given me much to consider and learn from.