Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's on Your Desk?

Since this blog is about enthusiasms of all kinds, there will be a recipe at the end for the Grilled Peach Salad in the photo, but the meme I tagged some other blogger for led me to Peabody's blog, where she charmingly described items on her desk. That led me to wonder what people have on their desks. This will not be an official meme, just informal. If you want to post what is on your desk and link here, then e-mail me that you have done so, I might attempt to do a round up, say next weekend. If no one e-mails, I'll have less to do *grin*.

So my desk is, first of all, not very neat.
I have stacks of cookbooks (what a surprise!) and some printed out recipes,
cards because I use snail mail to send birthday cards, being a lover of all things birthday,
a stack of CDs which I use to download some of my photo files since they seem to multiply at an alarming rate,
old ZIP disks with older photo and graphics files (someday these need to be transferred to another storage medium - UGGHH - but for now they are a cheerful mix of gold, red, green, black and blue.
The usual office supplies are there, too, plus a spool of gold and silver ribbon...no idea why that ended up on the desk :)


I have a hand thrown and glazed pottery cup to hold pencils, pens, markers and a boning tool,
a couple of watercolor paintings I have done recently leaning up against the wall,
a photo of my daughter,
cheery magenta fake daisy like flowers in a pottery vase,
two printers (I own and use three...another enthusiasm obviously)
and my Dammit Doll.

On the wall, a poster that says, "Misery is Optional",
one that says, "We come from the earth, we return to the earth, and in between we garden",
a framed needlepoint of the serenity prayer,
and a framed specimen sheet of Caslon type from Williamsburg.
Hanging from the window trim are a red dragonfly
and a green good luck elf.

So, what's on YOUR desk?

On to the salad. I'm certain that this is not an original idea, but earlier in the week I had a few ripe, perfect white peaches. I cut them in half, removed the pit (they were freestone peaches which makes it easy), sprinkled a bit of brown sugar on the cut sides, then grated a tiny bit of nutmeg on top of the brown sugar, then had Sweetie grill them briefly, just enough to carmelize the sugar and heat them through. When peeled, sliced, and added to the salad, they were such a treat. The grilling changes the flavor in much the same way that baking peaches in a pie does. I like fresh, uncooked peaches, too, but baked or grilled peaches have such a mellow juiciness.


Grilled Peach Salad
4 cups or more mixed field greens or mesclun or mixed salad greens of your choice
two ripe peaches - freestone variety preferred (I used white, but yellow peaches would also be good in this salad)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, freshly ground if possible
1/4 cup toasted pecans, broken into pieces
Balsamic Vinaigrette to taste (I added too much for my taste (about 1/2 cup) and will use about 1/4 cup next time. (see below)

Place field green or salad green, washed and dried, into a salad bowl. Set aside.
Cut peaches in half. Remove pits. On each cut face, sprinkle with the brown sugar and nutmeg, dividing among the 4 pieces. Grill cut face down 2-3 minutes or until sugar is carmelized and peaches are just heated through. Place peaches on a cutting board, peel off the skin, and slice each half into 4 or 5 slices, then cut crosswise into chunks. Drizzle peach chunks with 2 teaspoons of the vinaigrette. Add cut, dressed chunks to salad bowl.
Sprinkle top of salad with the nuts, then with the dressing. Grind a few grinds of fresh pepper over the salad. Toss to coat the lettuce leaves with the dressing and mix the fruit and nuts into the salad. Serve with more dressing on the side if desired. Serve cold.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
Combine the vinegar, salt and thyme in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Whisk in the water and keep whisking until fully emulsified.

14 comments:

Peabody said...

I'm so glad that my childish junk on my desk could be inspiring :)
Oh I am loving the grilled peach salad though...looks refreshing(which I will be needing since we are heating up again).

Elle said...

We find inspiration in surprising places, right? Glad the peach salad appeals & very sorry about the heat. It's been in mid-80's around here but I was in Sacramento yesterday where it was even hotter. Autumn can come any time now.

Cheryl said...

I love the desk idea. I will have to get my camera back from my brother and click away. Love the salad.

Lizzie said...

My desk isn't worth a click but your own photographs are terrific and as a bit of a foodie, I love your recipes. I have just stumbled upon your blog. Will be back..

breadchick said...

Elle (and Peabody), you would pick today to do this because I said to myself as I came to work this AM, "I won't need my digital camera at work". So, tomorrow, I will be taking pictures of my very childish office (I was a corporate middle manager after all!) The peach salad looks so delicious.

veron said...

I had a peach salad not too long ago but yours definitely looks more appetizing! Thanks for the peek on what's on your desk :)

Tartelette said...

Great desk items! We are currently at 100 degrees, everyday! I am wilting faster than salad! I love yours and would only add some blue cheese. I love grilled peaches and blue cheese together. Thansk for sharing!

Elle said...

Cheryl, let me know if you do the desk thing.

Lizzie, Welcome, glad you found me and I like your blog, too.

Mary,Look forward to the childish office photos. Thanks about the salad.

Veron, You're welcome. This peach salad was new to me.

Helen, I know...it was way over 90 at work today. Thank heaven for fans. I like the idea of the blue cheese in the salad. Thanks!

breadchick said...

Ok, Elle, you asked for it and here it is.... a peak into a demented mind who is stuck in a corner office: http://breadchick.com/?p=237

I am making your peach salad tonight for my dinner!

marymaryquitecontrary said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and for you caring comments.
I love your recipe for grilled peaches and will have a go ' when we get back from holiday.

Kelly-Jane said...

We are just starting to think about peaches here :)

I love your dragonfly and dragonfly picture too, really my kind of things!

Kristen said...

This looks like a wonderful dessert.

My desk is on the island bar of my kitchen, so I don't get to have anything on it except pens and a couple of cooking magazines. We will be finishing our basement soon and then I will get a desk. Someday!

Amrita said...

Looks so fresh! Its really difficult to get any decent looking greens over here!

Valli said...

I love the peach salad recipe!!! I am off to the farmer's market this morning so will have to pick some up. That's the one thing I do miss about my house is my peach trees and my gardens...flower and otherwise. My desk here at home is not particularly exciting but I have a few cherished items on it.
-I use a cup that my daughter made in an art class when she was 7 to hold my pens and pencils.
In there is a happy face paddle and ball in case I get bored on the net...I never use it
-I have a Y2K bug looking at me, plus a bead maze that is again in case I get bored. These things were actually given to me by my friends at work when I broke my leg and was off of work for 3 months. I was bored then.
-Pictures of my daughter..many many pictures of my daughter-plus a photo of my co-workers when we were up at the "Hills" which is a spa/ranch we go to each year
-a little stuffed lion that my dad gave me when I was 2 from Niagara Falls...that would make him almost an antique....the stuffed animal and my dad...wink..wink...
-a table fungus with a painting of a mill in Cambridge that my sister gave me
-a plaster rendition of an Aztec once again that my daughter made when she was 15
I love to have things surrounding me that remind me of all the things I love!!!!!