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.
1/3 cup canola oil
Chill until serving. Served with greens and fruit.
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