Something wonderful this way comes. That just popped into my head when I sat down to write up this post…and it’s so true. Though long a fan of a potato salad I’ve made for many years with sour cream and bacon (and no pickle relish please); this one is probably my favorite for a barbecue. Not just because it is so filled with fresh herbs and simply dressed but because it doesn’t come attendant with a requirement to keep it cool…how perfect is that for summer outings?
Just one of hundreds of recipes from my old site that I’m going to recreate and post here as I can…it is quite simply too good to be lost in the transition. I was thinking the other day about the hundreds and hundreds of recipes I have with no attribution though. No one claiming ownership, no links to another blog. Years ago, before the Internet and the business of food blogging, people loved to share what they had made; readily giving their friends, neighbors and guests a recipe to use with no regard as to whether someone else would claim it; no small print advising that they had better tell everyone who enjoyed it who had actually come up with the dish. It was expected that we would all put our own spin on it and if someone came to my home and I served a dish as a result of them sharing a recipe…they did not stand up in the room and announce to everyone present that it was really their recipe. They might be tickled pink that I had been serious about enjoying something they had made but that was about it. It was that history of sharing that saw recipes traverse this country, get revised by thousands and end up on kitchen tables from NYC to LA; all becoming a part of a thousand different family traditions.
It seems to me though that the whole notion of sharing a meal and food and the camaraderie that goes with it has been bastardized by this culture of ‘food blogging.’ Food and the preparation surrounding it embody nurturing; both with family and friends. It is meant to be shared and in that sharing you would think there would be a real sense of community. Community now seems to be taking a back seat though to the REAL value of sharing a recipe and that is the money that can be made. If I recall correctly, blog hits do not build community nor do books or movies or giant egos nor do they correlate the real value of any given blog. Like many of you, I’ve read the wrapups from BlogHer Food in Atlanta (and I want to make it clear this is not a condemnation of any conference; simply the culture that seems rampant when large numbers congregate) and I’m not just discouraged but disgusted. The egos, the outright rude behavior that I’ve heard of…both personally from several friends and on other blog wrapups. I simply don’t get it.
I’m weary of hearing that it must be shyness that lends itself to ‘appearing’ to be rude. I know the difference between a shy person and a rude person. A shy person does not walk away when you introduce yourself. A shy person does not turn their back on you to converse with those they deem ‘more worthy’ – so forgive me if I don’t buy it. If you’re shy…go out of you way to show how friendly you are because believe me, you do not want yourself to be included in the cult of the rude and hurtful.
And I have to say…who is that crowd, the new ‘Mean Girls?’ Who in this arena has decided that it’s OK to create a caste system with the haves and have nots? People lament the high school behavior which is so unbecoming so I would lament this. STOP. Because I will guarantee you this. Popularity only lasts for so long. Eventually the true character of people become known and their popularity starts to diminish. Two guys named Tiger and Arnold come to mind. My high school reunion comes to mind. The shortest, nastiest girl in the glass who thrilled at taunting me because I was so tall? Twenty five years later, my height was an asset and she was a short, hot mess…what good did popular do for her then? She had no friends because we had all grown up emotionally and few had kind memories. Is that your legacy?
The facade will eventually become reality and if your reality is that you feel comfortable being rude to other people…it is a good thing I did not make it. My mother was an alcoholic and my husband an abusive cheat. I’ve
survived thrived despite some terrible years. I raised two children completely by myself while running my own business and as a result have a strong sense of self confidence that is not dependent on my blog and Heaven help me…I’m just a bit fearless. I know I would not have gone skulking away quietly. I’m sure I would have called out anyone who tried that crap with me or my friends. I don’t live for conflict, quite the opposite, but I’ve been my girls champion for so long I know what that takes. And it takes SOMEONE standing up against the inequity and rude behavior. Not just behind closed doors, not just in DM’s on Twitter, but out loud, taking a risk.
I’ve had multiple reasons for not being able to attend a conference. This time last year I was almost bereft at not being able to meet ‘friends’ I had made on Twitter. This year I even bought a ticket. While I publicly blamed an injury that does impact my mobility, the truth is…I lost all desire. Do you know how many people have told me how lucky I was to save the money? How much I would have hated the event? While I’ve heard comments about content and speakers that BlogHer does need to address; those are growing pains and to be expected of anything that has had a quick growth spurt. No..it is the body of people that attend that need to address this issue. Remind themselves of synergy and sharing and yes, caring about each other. Let’s face it…this group is primarily women…let’s show everyone what we are truly made of; that inner strength, that kindness and compassion that is at the core of our gender. Because when I hear of women being petty and unkind to each other, I cringe. Let’s revive the sisterhood (and include guys because their way was NOT better, right?) and stop the terrible reputation that is being built by those seeking only fame, fortune and attention. How about instead we all remember to nurture and help those who need it? In that synergy, everyone wins.
Something wonderful this way comes…or so I am fervently hoping.
A light potato salad made with olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar and herbs.
- 2 lbs small red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
- 1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
- 1Tbsp minced fresh oregano
- Place potatoes, 6 cups cold water and salt in large pan, bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium.
- Put peeled garlic into simmering water and partially blanch, about 45 seconds.
- Immediately run garlic under cold tap water to stop cooking and set aside.
- Continue to simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender but still firm (thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with no resistance), about 5 minutes.
- Drain potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Put hot potatoes back into the pot they were cooked in.
- Press garlic through garlic press or mince by hand.
- Whisk garlic, reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, mustard, oil, lemon juice and pepper in small bowl until combined. Drizzle dressing evenly over warm potatoes and gently mix; let stand 10 minutes.
- Toss shallots and herbs in small bowl. Transfer potatoes to large serving bowl; add shallot/herb mixture and mix gently with rubber spatula to combine. Serve immediately.
- For best flavor, serve the salad warm or at room temperature. To make ahead, follow the recipe through step 7 and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving, bring the salad to room temperature, then add the shallots and herbs and toss gently to combine.
The original recipe called for a Tbsp of Chervil, something I don't have in my herb garden, so I substituted oregano. I've also used thyme and lemon thyme is especially good.