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.
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.