Howdy, Folks–I’m back! I opted to be prudent and not announce online that I was heading up to Idaho to visit family for a week or so; I meant to write an appropriately vague post on ‘taking time off to be with family,’ but we had a crazy week or two, and that didn’t happen. I’m sure my legions of faithful readers were desperately wondering where I was…
Anyway. Since my parents had come into town for our daughter’s baby blessing (sort of like a christening), the kids and I drove back to Idaho with them. My hubby drove up by himself several days later, since he could only take a couple of days off of work; in the meantime, however, my sister and two of her kids joined us at my parents’ house, making for a full house. (As in, every bed was taken, and people were sleeping in more than one room on mattresses. When my two-year-old woke up before everyone else, I settled him in the kitchen with our portable DVD player and a blanket. He spent at least a half an hour watching Curious George at a barely-there decibel.)
Here’s the thing–if I do say so myself, we’re actually a pretty nice family. Outspoken, yes, but we didn’t squabble, no one used all of the hot water, and we all pitched in (although my mother always works the longest hours, while my sister and I wonder how she stays on her feet). Among other things, we managed to make three batches of our family’s favorite summer salad (which we devoured with a single-mindedness that probably terrified the in-laws). It was eaten for breakfast, for lunch, and for late-night (and not-so-late-night) snacks. If you’re not a fan of bright lemon, fresh parsley, and earthy cumin, stop now; if the combination appeals, keep reading. You’ll thank me for it.
Guatemala–or Garbanzo Bean–Salad
2 cans Garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained, and shelled (if you haven’t the time to shell them, it’s still good, though)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3/4 C minced fresh parsley
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 C cubed cheddar cheese (medium or sharp, if you’re me)
Zest of a good-sized lemon
2/3 C fresh lemon juice (juice the lemon you zest, certainly, but you can top it off with the bottled stuff)
1/3 C olive oil
1/3 t pepper
2/3 t cumin
1/2 t salt
Optional–1 can of black olives, sliced (I generally leave them out, but I will happily eat it with them in.)
The directions are not complicated; you combine the ingredients and refrigerate for at LEAST two hours before serving. (It will smell amazing instantly, but don’t be fooled. You MUST wait.) My sister can eat it for breakfast–she’s lactose intolerant and loves savory leftovers in the morning–but I have a harder time with the acidity first thing. For lunch, though…mmmm. (And for dinner, if you can swing it. Serve it up with cornbread for a fabulous summer evening meal.) It was a delight to be with like-minded people for a while, since only my oldest enjoys it with me at my house.
I came home tired–my baby has stopped sleeping through the night, which is less than ideal–but it was worth the time. Nothing in this world is more important than family, and few things say family to me more than cooking and eating together.
I hope you get the chance to make–and eat–this with some of the important people in your life.