You’ve just spent hours browsing Pinterest, and you’ve finally bookmarked a great salad to make for dinner. It’s Saturday, the one day a week you really have to put together something you can feel good about. The rest of the week is harried, you’re running from work to the gym, grabbing cold pizza for lunch, and by the time dinner comes, you’re bloated, and lucky if anyone but the cat shows up at the table. But at least tonight, you can put together a beautiful, vibrant salad with all the fixings. So you run to the store and get all the missing ingredients for your upcoming work of art.
As I have mentioned in the past, family dinners in my house were not always fun. Oftentimes, as the members of different generations coalesced around a table, ready to break bread with each other, the fights would be so loud that you couldn’t escape them even if you went to your room, closed door, and put a pillow over your head (believe me, I tried). Other times, all you could hear about the thundering silence was the noise of cutlery scraping the plate, trying uselessly to cut away the various scar tissue left behind by another careless, hurtful remark. Truly, some of these family dinners were the stuff of nightmares.
During the months preceding my family’s recent trip to Canada, my father wouldn’t stop talking about going mushroom picking. He was planning out routes, bookmarking sites detailing edible Quebec mushrooms, and talking incessantly about the best times to go out into the woods. He even made me get in touch with a Quebec-based club of mushroom aficionados, who did not take kindly to my lack of spoken French. My recipe booklet ballooned to enormous sizes due to an ever-growing collection of mushroom recipes, while my browsing history was starting to paint a startling picture of me as no less of a mushroom-fanatic than the members of that Francophone club.
Reader, as I browse through all of your pictures on Instagram and the blogosphere, I wish I could tell you I had a lovely labour day weekend. But instead, I passed most of the weekend in bed under a large blanket, holding onto a warm cup of tea and trying to pour out my own body weight in sweat (to those who are worried, spoiler alert: I’m better now!).
I will be the first to admit it: purple (or red) cabbage is not my favourite vegetable. Though its colour is enchanting, I find that it is often too dry and lacking in taste compared to its paler compatriot, the humble white cabbage. Though I have used purple cabbage in the past – in my Russian sauerkraut, and then in these vegan tofu tacos – it was mainly there to provide a visual contrast, a punch of colour in places where none exists (alongside white cabbage, tofu, or rice).
As you make your way through an Israeli supermarket, your eyes are assaulted by colourful sales signs, gigantic tubs of pickles by-the-weight, and racks of fresh, fragrant spices. The colour scheme is akin to that of IKEA – a lot of white and yellow, with splashes of strategically-placed green, red and blue. Whether due to smart government legislation, or mere chance, produce is laid out in the front of the store, though the wares are often pricier and far less fresh than those at the souk.