42 pounds, a broccoli salad “to die for”

42 pounds gone this morning. Never mind that it’s cold and rainy — this is sunshine and a tropical zephyr.

Soak garden broccoli in salt water to discourage bugs in search of a warm winter home.

I feel so pleased with myself (isn’t that why social media exist?) because I made my inner slug walk 20 brisk minutes before I went to work yesterday and then another 40 between work and a church concert. At which concert there were nibbles afterward and I ate only one bite of persimmon pudding and one exquisite little pumpkin cheesecake bar.

In the truck on the way home I was alone in the cab for 35 minutes with a plateful of goodies for He Who Considers Sweets a Valid Food Group. I tidied up only the candy corn crumbs,  wrapped up the goodies, ate my popcorn supper and went to bed with those brownies shrieking  like banshees. Oddly, though, I couldn’t hear them upstairs, tucked in bed with The Voice, James Kaplan’s extraordinary Sinatra bio.

This must be the start of something I’ve heard from successful “losers” Eleanor, Catherine and Sally: Nothing tastes as good as being smaller feels. Imagine. Even if being smaller means sitting apart from others at the concert because you got so sweaty on your walk! (And, it must be noted, I do still like Eleanor’s son’s variation, which is “Nothing feels as good as bacon tastes.”)

Wednesday night at choir practice someone said, “I hardly recognize you anymore,” and I realized I feel the same way. These physical changes are almost as unsettling as adolescence, only in reverse. And don’t tell me that I’m not going through hormonal changes because I’m losing a bigbigbig producer of estrogen – blubber. (I think this is at least part of the reason for all the crying on “The Biggest Loser.”  Men and women alike, they’re all slamming  through a kind of menopause.)

And like adolescence — which I do not wish to relive — this period of my

Freeze big stalks and stems for broccoli soup or vegetable stock.

life holds promise. Not the untold promises of youth, but promises accompanied by some perspective and experience and, best of all, family and friends who have stuck with me through thick (literally) and thin (not yet). I’m liking it.

Oh, the broccoli salad came from a funeral lunch. The minister, Jamie, and I love to cook and eat and when she got the recipe, we said it was the start of a cookbook, “Food to Die For.” Someone else has used that, but the recipe remains, and it’s easy, seasonal and relatively healthy, once I took it to the newsroom and graphics editor Chin Wang cut the sugar in half and added grated carrots. For 1 head broccoli, I usually combine one-half cup mayonnaise, vinegar, etc. To two heads, 1 cup, etc.

 

So good my sweetie ate it for dessert!

Broccoli salad to die for

1 head broccoli, florets and tender stems chopped finely enough to eat as salad

Equal amounts chopped peanuts, raisins, reduced-fat mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, grated carrots (see above)

To one-half cup peanuts, etc. I added 1/4 cup sugar, which was a gracious plenty

Toss all ingredients gently, cover, refrigerate and let the vinegar’s sharpness mellow for at least a few hours. Good luck not eating the entire salad at one sitting.

Cosmos refuse to go gentle into that good winter.

 

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