Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Potlucking It

One of my favorite dishes to make for potlucks during the spring and summer is my mom's 7 layer salad. The original is served in a large see-through bowl (I use a punch bowl) and has the following layers:
1 head of lettuce (or 2 1/2 romaine hearts) chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large bag of frozen peas
2 cans of sliced chestnuts
4-5 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 small bunch of chopped green onions
Spread a large jar of mayonnaise on top (like frosting)
and finally, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top
You need to wait a couple of hours before eating for the peas to defrost. They keep the mayo cold so you don't need to worry about it staying out. As the peas defrost and people dig into the salad, the mayo thins out and makes an amazing dressing.
Since people seem to enjoy the 7 layer salad I thought it might be worth trying a vegan version. I have several vegan friends and thought that they might like to enjoy all the yummy goodness.
I decided to make it red, white, and green. Here is what I came up with:
1 head of lettuce chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large bag frozen peas
2 cans sliced chestnuts
2 chopped red peppers
1 container of grape tomatoes - cut in half
Almonnaise* spread over the top like frosting
small batch of green onions, chopped and sprinkled over the top
*I made a double batch of the almonnaise the night before and used apple cider vinegar. I found the vinegar taste to be a bit overpowering and will try reducing the vinegar by one tablespoon. The mixture was very loose at first, but it thickened up nicely overnight in the fridge.
I think that the original is the best, but the vegan salad came out pretty good. It just needs a little tweaking. If anyone has a good vegan mayo recipe, please let me know.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Day is Dying in the West

While my pastor and his family were on vacation I offered to help out facilitating their Sabbath evening Bible study (5p-7p). I was looking forward to it since I've never really lead out in a guided Bible study like this. Unfortunately, none of the members of the study showed up on either of the two weeks that I was supposed to fill in. I found this disappointing. Each week I waited an hour before I decided it was time to head home. But this week I was feeling a bit restless, so I took to the road and went exploring. I'm not usually one to just drive aimlessly around so it was an adventure for me. I ended up following Macon all the way to Fisherville, TN. What a beautiful little drive. It just so happened that the sun was setting as I was heading back. I don't remember the last time I was able to just sit and watch the sunset. In the winter I'm stuck at work and the rest of the time I'm usually too busy with grocery shopping, watching TV, or any other number of activities. It was the upside down cross pattern in the clouds that grabbed my attention. I'm fairly certain it wasn't an airplane trail due to the angles and thickness of the clouds, but even if it was it was a great end to the Sabbath. Luckily I had my camera in my purse. Here are a couple shots for your viewing pleasure.