Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Porch Life

I bought something (a rare occurrence)--a patio table and two chairs, just two, though there are three people in my family, because I rationed that when Mark is at home, he can carry a dining chair out there. No joke.
It was a great purchase, as we have eaten 9 out of 10 meals out there since we hauled the thing home. And somehow those meals are lovelier, tastier, happier (more filling?!) for occurring on the back porch, in view of the garden--the smell of honeysuckle, the hum of bees, an occasional butterfly visit. Sweet.
And though this isn't a food blog by any means, this salad was so delicious, I thought I'd tell you how to make it. The salad part is local boston lettuce, cucumber, bright-orange grape tomatoes, apple, carrot shavings, and sunflower seeds. I made the tangy dressing by mixing about four tablespoons of olive oil (normally I'd use flaxseed oil, but I was out), two tablespoons of cider vinegar (lemon juice works, too), a tablespoon or so of maple syrup, half a teaspoon of salt, some black pepper, and some finely chopped fresh garlic. Wisky-wisky and you're done!
(This dog had nothing to do with the salad, much to her grumpiness, but she looooves the garden.)

To make the crispy maple-soy tofu for the top, I drained and pressed about 1/2 block of firm tofu, sliced it into thin strips (larger than what you see in the finished photo), and pan fried them in a tiny bit of olive oil, on both sides, till they got golden. Then I mixed probably two tablespoons of soy sauce with a tablespoon of maple syrup and some garlic granules and poured that right on top in the pan. I let that stuff work its darkening magic on both sides of the tofu, and then I removed it to a napkin to drain off the extra moisture and cool. I chopped it up and tossed in on--it was fairly heavenly. Perfect for my new porch life.

15 comments:

Dotty said...

Sounds and looks delicious-I think being out in the garden on a sunny day makes everything lovelier! Sadly, we don't eat outside much because by the time we've lugged table and 5 chairs out of the shed it is usually raining LOL!
Your dog is very sweet!

Kimberly said...

Great post... we LOVE enjoying our deck(s) in the summer! Just this weekend, hubby power washed everything and *sob* it's raining today so we can't even celebrate with dinner outside! Our big deck is what sold us on our house and just last year we rebuilt the smaller part into a bigger deck/pool patio. Just a costco pool but we're blissfully happy when it's hot out!

Elissa said...

that salad looks SOOO good. outside eating is the best. everything even tastes better. great purchase dear!

Jenna said...

The food looks delish!
Adorable Boston! (I'm a Boston Mom too :))

Tara said...

We have a car port, kind of like a raised porch, coming off our second story. I also bought a little table and chairs for it and it is now my favourite room of the house. Here are a few pictures if you want to take a peek.
http://restingonabranch.blogspot.com/2011/05/if-you-cant-find-me.html

Thanks for the salad recipe. I'm always excited to learn a new way to cook tofu.

Anil Rajanala said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michele said...

Looks delicious. Will have to try it out. I love the idea of eating outdoors, but it seems if I am out there too long the mosquitos eat me for dinner.
- Michele
SeeDollyRun

Melissa Crowe said...

Oh, my, yes, Michelle. I know that pain. I am actually allergic to mosquitos. I'm trying a citronella candle right now--we'll see how that goes.

Orla said...

Just had this for dinner tonight! I didn't have maple syrup though so used honey instead. It was Delicious!
Thanks for posting. Please feel free to post more recipes. As for eating outside, I don't think we'd fit on our balcony.

Melissa Crowe said...

Orla--hooray! I'm so glad to hear you liked the salad. If I have anymore food brainstorms, I promise to post 'em!

jen j-m said...

damn, that sounds delicious. my dinner plans just got solidified! thanks!

Melissa Crowe said...

You're welcome, my dear. :-)

bicocacolors said...

yummy!!!
looks like delicious, perfect for now!!

jen j-m said...

do you have any idea how many times i have googled and cooked this deliciousness? it makes me feel closer to you crowes. plus, yum. miss you and hope you are well down there.

Melissa Crowe said...

Well, I'm thrilled! We miss you--maybe when we make our way back to Maine in the fall, we'll manage to see you. (You'd love it here, btw.)