When You Try, But Only a Little

Dorothy Cannell: Last Saturday evening my husband, Julian, and I attended our Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.13.11 AMneighborhood’s monthly pot luck.  The host provides the entrée and everyone else brings a side dish.  Usually I feel morally obliged to put my best foot forward with a salad (Julian always votes for Waldorf), vegie casserole, or fancy dessert. But this time I was spending the day with my granddaughter, Hope – a few hours of cleaning the house followed by an outing to Dairy Queen, and so decided to half-inch that foot forward.  A few moments of reflection brought to mind a recipe, if you can elevate it that high, given to me at another potluck several years ago.  Its virtue is that even given my hopscotch memory I didn’t have to write it down.

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.10.32 AMTake one jar of salsa, combine with one can drained and rinsed black beans, add chopped herbs – basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, or whatever strikes your fancy in whatever amounts appeal.  Chill if you have time.  Serve in a dish surrounded by corn chips and pat yourself on the back.  At potlucks few people know what you brought anyway, but this turned out to be a hit as it had been when I first tasted it.

Julian, my personal grocery shopper, said he had bought one of the better brands of Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.11.45 AMsalsa; from the hesitancy of his manner I think he risked being slapped on the hand for extravagance.  I was however, moved to give the nod of approval.   For those who have not read Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book and its Appendix you have missed a treat.  Her premise is that whatever you cook or prepare should look and taste as though you have tried harder than you really have.  That more expensive Salsa gave me a virtuous feeling that set me up for the whole evening, as if spending four hours on a seventeen-layer French torte from one of the footstool-sized cook books would have done.

Happy reading


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2 Responses to When You Try, But Only a Little

  1. Dorothy, will the culinary gods strike me down if I add a can of corn? Or a wee bit of chopped avocado? Perhaps some tiny shrimp?

  2. Dorothy says:

    No, sounds delightful.

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