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Bread bowl salad part of great meal

November 19, 2018

I spent a couple of days this week with my parents. We went to lunch together on Veteran’s day. I was never more proud to walk in with my daddy. He was wearing his hat that boldly displayed his service in the army along with every medal he received while serving his country.

He smiled each time someone thanked him for his service. I was impressed by the many strangers coming up to him, welcoming him, and thanking him for his sacrifice.

Call me sappy but the entire scene from that day played over and over in my mind lifting my spirits. The sentiment of gratitude resonated in their smiles and I know my dad felt honored as he and others like him so greatly deserve. Both my parents talked about their father’s experience in the previous wars and how their lives were impacted and subsequently changed from all the unpleasantries no doubt war brings. I listened intently, holding on to every word in an attempt to somehow throw myself into one more moment with my grandparents.

My mind wandered for a second when I heard my voice say, ” I wish I could talk to Papa one more time.” Looking at my dad, I said, “I bet you do too!” Without allowing the moment to become too deep and painful, I quickly changed the subject. But something inside of me kept saying,

“Whatever conversations you wish you could have with your grandparents, you’ll wish you could have with your parents one day.”

As if to blink that thought away, I quickly turned to mommy letting her know a few things that happened over the weekend she hadn’t heard. We never run out of things to talk about; we are like two peas in a pod. The chatter, back and forth, went on and on between us when I noticed daddy had gotten quiet. I wondered if he was thinking about his time during the war or if he was missing his daddy for a moment.

I asked him if Papa served too and he said, “Yes.” Mom said, “Ralph was a prisoner of war.” Daddy shook his head and quietly mumbled, “No, he guarded prisoners of war.” If he was reminiscing when he was quiet, it wasn’t too compelling as he turned the conversation without hesitation and commented on how unusually big his steak at Texas Roadhouse was the day before. And here we are having some of life’s best heart felt moments over dinner. It’s why I spend my time cooking and trying new recipes. Food connects and creates the atmosphere where exchanges, glances and memories will last forever.

My weekend wasn’t especially monumental as I stayed in most of the time. The cold sent me searching for my winter coat which I couldn’t find so I grabbed this ugly red and black plaid jacket, clearly a man’s jacket, an old discarded thick wool coat my son left at the house. I know that it was ugly because Joe asked not once, but twice if I was going to wear that thing when we did venture out into the frigid air. So what do I do when I’m forced to stay in?

Cook, of course. I made this bread bowl salad and it was excitingly delicious, fresh and different. Those are roasted red peppers with arugula you see poking out from the top of the bowl. Pesto was the secret sauce that set the whole mood of this delightfully light and filling (if you eat the bread) salad. I made deviled eggs as a side dish since we were given this cool little food steamer that made the most perfect eggs with shells that were, for once, simple to peel.

Ideas like this make weekends that are spent indoors not just tolerable but fun. We both agreed we will eat this again and again.

BREAD BOWL SALAD

1 bread bowl hollowed out

1 pkg. arugula

1/2 sliced red onion

1 jar roasted red peppers

1 cucumber sliced

3 T. Crumbled blue cheese

1 jar prepared pesto sauce

Boiled eggs sliced (optional)

3 Sliced of cooked bacon

Layer all the ingredients in the bread bowl. Servewith a vinaigrette or without.

Janet McCormick is the owner of Let’s Eat Cafe in downtown Huntington. More of her recipes can be found at http://www.10-minutemeals.com.

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