She and I are in similar circumstances: our kids are the same age, and neither of our husbands is often around during the dinner hour. We are also both, at the moment, living without air conditioning; and it has been very, very hot and humid in our city these past couple of weeks.
We were discussing the indignity of having to get dinner on the table when it’s 30 degrees both inside and out and you’re outnumbered by your children, and our conversation went something like this:
Me: You know, I am so tired and hungry by that point in the day that I can’t cope with making a salad. And I refuse to turn on the stove. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many nights we’ve had the cereal supper in our house this past week alone.
My Friend: I know, it’s too much. Although I will eat a salad, as long as it has lots of cheese in it.
Me: Oh, I love cheese in a salad. And croutons.
My Friend: And nuts.
Me: And a side of sausage.
As grateful as I was to learn that I am not the only one who struggles with the dinner hour these days, I do recognize that, heat wave or no, the cereal supper is not something every mother would like to commit to on a long-term basis.
(I’d like to mention at this point that I used to love hot weather, and I have not had air conditioning my entire adult life. Hot weather, for me, used to mean cold bubble baths and dinners that consisted of drinks on ice.
Since having my children, though, I find that when the heat is on, nobody in our house sleeps well through the night; we move through the days with our energy sapped; and we find excuses to spend time in our climate-controlled car.
In fact, these days, I find that too much hot weather makes me a little angry.)
However, I think I may have come up with a reasonable alternative. Since discovering this recipe (thank you, Sara!), I have made it three times, varying it a little each time. The one you see here is my favourite so far – side of sausage optional.
Adapted from Culinerapy
1/2c red wine vinegar
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
1c roasted walnuts, chopped
1 1/2c crumbled feta
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and salt & pepper. Chop asparagus crosswise, and add to bowl along with walnuts and feta.
Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.