Tuesday, September 8, 2009

27.0 Orzo It Seems

Starring Erin & Mike
Filmed on Location in Beautiful Downtown Sellwood
Soundtrack: Shaving Cream by Benny Bell

"Shave everyday and you’ll always look keen"

Just had a haircut and a shave in the bathroom (I’m my own tonsore). Now, in the air-conditioned bedroom, I’m a little chilly. Complaints, complaints. Erin’s scrapbooking (yet another talent) at her desk. And I’m typing in bed. Like Joyce! No, not Joyce. Maybe Saroyan. Probably not Mailer. I’ve got it! Fitzgerald! With his soft hands and all…

Me: Hey, Zelda, can I get you a mint julep?

Erin: (Pause) What?

Me: Oh, nothing.

We didn’t have one of our usual Sellwood Kitchen dinners with the gang tonight. Haven’t in a while. It’s been a busy summer, and, like I said last time (did you read my last article? It was fantastic!), Erin’s been catering her friends’ weddings, so soirees have been put on the backburner until September cools off (both literally and figuratively).

Because the sun looks down on us (not literally) and guffaws hot hales of dry white laughter (figuratively).

Because the sun is a bum what oughta be socked inna nose for getting too close this summer!

Who cares! We’re hungry, whether you dopes eat a big meal or not. What is this – At the Sellwood Borefest or In the Sellwood Kitchen? Give us a recipe!

All right, I’ll get you a recipe.

Me: Hon, do you have a recipe?

Erin: Why mint julep?

Me: Huh?

Erin: Mint julep. Why would I want mint julep?

Me: No, I was saying like if I was F. Scott Fitzgerald, then you’d be Zelda, his wife, and maybe you’d want a mint julep, even though his character, Daisy Buchanan, drank them in “The Great Gatsby” and not his wife…

Erin: (Pause) Orzo.

Me: Ouzo? Ugh, I hate licorice. I’d rather have a mint julep.

Erin: No, write about the orzo salad. God!

I start thinking about too many things at once and don’t pay attention to what’s happening outside my head. The orzo salad. My favorite salad! So cool and refreshing! Perfect for these deep summer days.

Erin created what seemed like gallons of this good stuff for one of the recent matrimonial events. So there were leftovers for me! A side dish, I suppose, but I eat it like a meal. I’d market it as such: Orzo Salad – Eat it Like a Meal!

I wonder if Fitzgerald ever had orzo…

Erin: What?

Me: (Did I say that out loud?) Oh, nothing, I’m just yammering to myself.

You’re telling us! Why don’t you go sort through those two dozen dusty LPs you dragged home from your precious Antique Mall so we can listen to Erin?

Hey, that’s not a bad idea! You see, they closed most of the booths there, so the records were going for cheap! Hmm, should I listen to The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper or Invitation to Yiddish?


Erin’s Intro: The Sellwood Kitchen has been completely taken over by giant trays, chafing dishes, and other oversized food serving paraphernalia. August is wedding season. Granted, I don't have a catering "business", I just seem to enjoy giving up my kitchen, my refrigerator, and 3 days of my life to feed friends of friends at weddings. Why did everyone decide to get married at the coast this year? Oh well, an excuse for a road trip. By the way, a shout out to everyone I know for loaning me coolers this summer. I couldn't have done it without you. The little Disney embellished cooler from our honeymoon isn't up to the task. So, this month, the Sellwood Kitchen hasn't been the usual place to gather with friends to eat and drink wine (we still drink wine though), I don't even remember the last time I cooked a meal for anyone living here... But, it has been a great experience to cook food for 35 to 100 people and walk into a room full of them eating it, and liking it. So, here is one recipe that I used this summer. And don't worry, it's not for 100 servings, but you can always multiply it by 10 if you feel the need...

1 box orzo pasta
1 medium red onion, diced
1 container grape tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on the desired size
1 container feta cheese
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 bottle roasted red pepper vinaigrette
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Cook Orzo until al dente, strain, and rinse with cold water. Toss with a little EVOO and put in a large bowl. To pasta, add the red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese. Mix together, toss with the vinaigrette. Season with fresh cracked pepper to taste. Let chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.

The “In the Sellwood Kitchen” cast and crew can be contacted at: erinandmike@sellwoodkitchen.com


Star Char said...

I just love keeping up with your blog! This salad sounds absolutely divine!

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