Everyday Gourmet (5/7/09)

All a-Twitter on Mother’s Day

May 7, 2009

By Kim Dannies

My darling daughters won’t be home for Mother’s Day, so I’m planning an “ambient awareness” holiday. I’ll send Twitter updates hourly, just so they’ll know my every move, all day long (nothing like a little mother-daughter bonding between Vermont, Egypt and Oregon.) Then, I’ll add to my status on Facebook with photos of me gardening. At the appointed hour we’ll share some face time via Skype and I can tell them all about my sore back and how the pugs peed on the new carpet. Later, we can exchange some random voicemails, and I’ll even text a photo or two of our garage clean-up project. This should keep us all in the family loop — a fascinating day of breaking news.

If I could actually see the tiny keypad on my cell phone I would text the girls our menu for tonight: A chopped spring salad, herbed rice pilaf, juicy grilled steak and shrimp kabobs, and individual trifle puddings. (Oops, I forgot! They can see it on my Web site).

Frankly, I would happily trade all the world’s modern satellite capability to have my daughters seated around the dinner table sharing some real-time bickering and hugs. If you’re lucky enough to have loved ones joining you for Mother’s Day, hold them close and then head for the kitchen — everyone can pitch in to make this easy, excellent feast. It will be ready in under an hour (especially if you limit the Twitter updates).

Kendra’s Spring Chopped Salad

Fry 4 ounces of cubed pancetta and reserve. Chop 1 head each of endive, radicchio and Boston Bibb lettuce. Chop up a bulb of fresh fennel. Snap the base off of a bundle of asparagus spears and rough chop the stalks. Thinly slice a small red onion. Mix pancetta together with veggies in a salad bowl. In a small, covered jar combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup best quality balsamic vinegar, a pinch of ginger, dry mustard, kosher salt and fresh pepper; shake vigorously. Lightly dress salad with clean hands. Crumble 4 ounces of bleu cheese over the salad. Serves 4, doubles easily.

Strawberry Mini-Trifles

In a bowl, whisk 16 ounces of Fage Greek 0 percent fat yogurt, with 1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip, and 1 tablespoon each of vanilla and sugar. In 4 festive wine or parfait glasses, alternately layer sliced strawberries, crumbled chocolate covered macaroons (store-bought) with the yogurt mixture to make 4 desserts. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Doubles easily.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.