So did everyone over the pond enjoy thanksgiving? I think we were the only UK family who actually celebrated it, even though us Brits don’t have a historical link with thanksgiving. But it was so nice to take an evening to sit down, eat tasty food, (thanks to Mrs. G) have a few drinks and give thanks and that was that. There was no hoard of christmas cards making you feel bad about binning them, no decorations to take down, and no food and drink hangover that lasts until new years eve, which in turn, urges you to take up dieting again. Let’s be frank, that’s what the meaning of christmas is all about now isn’t it?
Christmas is a jumble of presents, food, TV and keeping everyone happy. There’s so much build up (for about two months if the shops have anything to do with it) for this one day of exploding with exhaustion, excitement and bloatedness, and I hate that we do that. I hate that people trawl the shops every available minute looking for “The perfect gift”. I hate that presents are the main focus of this holiday and I just wish people would treat christmas like thanksgiving and stay inside with friends and family, have a nice meal and appreciate what you have. Am I sounding like an old fashioned cliche yet? Sorry to be a bore, but is anyone else out there tiresome of this two month holiday?
Don’t get me wrong, I love that christmassy feeling, and hell I would stay in the kitchen cooking up treats all day long if I could, but I don’t want to be greedy, and there is a fine line. My advice to you all is to soak up any sort of real life, depressing documentary/film/article/real life situation possible and allow yourself to feel down about it. I hear this alot, “I don’t want to watch the news, it just depresses me,” well it is depressing but there is no greater way to make you appreciate your own lives, than observing the less fortunate ones that are out there. Make yourself aware of this and maybe you will stop for that monk in the street trying to raise money for the homeless, or even better, buy a cup of tea for that dude on the corner freezing his socks off.
If I’m sounding preachy, I’m not sorry. And to make this rant even more glorious, I’m giving you all a salad to look at. I just heard the sound of at least ten followers clicking the “unfollow” button, “What happened to all the cheese and butter?!” Haha! But seriously, it’s a tasty salad, it may stretch the purse strings a little more than you’re average lettuce and tomato, but it’s these good quality ingredients that makes it interesting.
So shall we?
Teared up prosciutto or parma ham, I had to stop myself from nibbling
Serves 2 as a light lunch
(adapted from “Homemade Winter” Yvette Van Boven)
- 140g salad leaves (rocket, spinach, mint leaves, watercress)
- about 4/5 kalamata figs in syrup or fresh figs, quartered
- 100g parma ham or bresaola (if you’re budget can stretch)
- a handful of hazelnuts/walnuts, chopped
For the dressing
- 125ml goats milk yoghurt
-1-2 tbsp honey
- juice of a lemon
- 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
- feta cheese for crumbling on top
- crusty bread for croutons
Assemble the salad leaves in a large bowl, toss in the hazelnuts and a little hazelnut oil. Place slices of ham/bresaola in and around the leaves along with the figs. Whisk the yoghurt, honey and lemon juice in a bowl and add salt & pepper to taste. Then whisk in the oil. Drizzle over and serve with toasted croutons (cube crusty bread, drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for five/ten minutes) or/and crumble some feta cheese over the top for that sweet/salty combination.