Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer salad and friendships...

My friend Ruth emailed me a handful of her favourite new recipes...
we chat a lot!
The conversation revolves around recipes, cooking, novels that we are reading, have read and want to read, hosting family dinners, lunch places in town and tea rooms when we walk along the seafront.
If you see us we are so absorbed in our conversation that we might not even see you.
We walked right by her husband as he passed us on the other side of Moss Street one afternoon.

Here is a salad that is fresh from the garden and as colourful and appetizing as one could wish for..
Perfectly portable for a picnic or a buffet, particularly nice if you have a bumper crop of zucchini.
Tasty, low calorie, a great compliment to a summertime BBQ dinner.

Ruth's Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Sweet Corn and Avocado

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

2 each medium green and yellow zucchini
2 ears fresh cooked sweet corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 red onion diced
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled pitted and sliced
1/2 cup queso fresco (Mexican) cheese or substitute feta cheese

In a large bowl whisk the olive oil and the lime juice together, season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Trim ends off the zucchini and using a vegetable peeler shave lengthwise into long strips. 
When you get to the seeds turn and shave other sides until you get to the center again.

Put the zucchini ribbons in a large bowl.
Cut the corn off the cooked and cooled cobs, add cilantro, red onion, and avocado to the ribbons.
Pour dressing over top and toss.

Crumble the cheese on top.
Serve chilled.

~ ~ ~

I've been thinking about friendships...
how important they are and how fragile and fleeting some can be.

Women friends are an important and vital part of my well being.
Nurturing, encouraging, supportive...
spending time together sharing life's ups and downs.

Spending time together
sipping a cup of tea 
chatting on the phone
all help to fan the friendship fire
and keep it aglow.

I have had a few friendships fizzle out over the years...
 we moved in different directions or to different parts of the country and lost touch.
 I wonder, looking back, if we grew apart as our lifestyles were so opposite or if we both just stopped "trying."

 I love hosting a ladies afternoon tea...must get organized and plan another soon.

Keeping in contact is often a challenge.
 We lead busy lives and we must make our friends a priority if we want to continue to nurture the relationships.

I feel so blessed that my BFF and I have a rich long time friendship
we chat on the phone and text when we cannot visit
and can pick up where we left off if we are busy elsewhere.

 In the next few days a few friends will get together
spend some fun girl time on a lovely island 
in the waterfront home of a friend
another girlfriend 
who moved off island years ago who lives on the mainland.

I'm really looking forward to our visit.

I have packed some bubbly
facial and hand masks.

 We will laze around in our pj's sipping our morning coffee
we'll walk along the quiet roads
 eat simple meals
watch a chick flick
 chat about our families
play cribbage
re-charge the bonds of friendship
working to keep the lines of communication going
despite the fact that oceans separate us
we are reconnecting to keep that spark of friendship aglow.

"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Have a wonderful weekend.



  1. How wonderful. I'm still in the busy busy of fairly young children and that, coupled with a recent move, has limited my girl time. I miss it so thank you for reminding me that it's important to invest.

  2. Lovely post. I have lunch every Wednesday with one of my closest friends. We decided it was important to set a time and day so that we would be sure to see each other every week.

  3. Beautiful post . . .
    Perfect thoughts from the humble hostess . . .

  4. Friends are so important! Throughout my life I have enjoyed the friendship of women. Walking and talking makes the daily exercise fun. I am planning a get-together for a good friend's 60th. You are right that it does take time to nurture friendships and some fizzle through time because our lives change. On the other hand, I have known one dear friend for 47 years! It sounds like you will have a lovely time with your friends. Thank you for the recipe and the beautiful reminder.

    1. Mt BFF and I have been friends since we were in grade 3 so if my calculations are correct that would make our friendship 51 years strong.

  5. "A masterpiece of nature," indeed.

  6. So true that friendships need to be nurtured. I've had many friendships fizzle out, mostly because of work location changes, and then a move to a new town away from my roots. I'm happy that I do have a small group of friends from elementary school, and we make an effort to get together once a year (we all live a fair distance apart). As we get older, I've suggested that we should increase the number of times we meet, but it hasn't taken hold yet. The salad looks delicious btw. Wendy x

    1. Travelling to meet up is more of a challenge and I applaud your efforts to keep the annual event alive.

  7. Some friends are worth the effort to keep, but I believe it's important to make new acquaintances, develop new friendships and learn new things - that's how we grow.. It is too much attachment to maintaining the status quo that makes the world seem cold and unfriendly when things aren't going the way we wish they would; when in reality there are many new possibilities to explore. Sometimes I learn the most unexpected things from the most unexpected person! Most people naturally stay cliquish though, unfortunately! :-) Emily

    1. Emily,
      Meeting new people is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. I have met a fabulous group of like minded women through the French lessons. If we are closed off to new adventures and experiences we might as well stay in bed!

  8. I treasure my women friends too, and wish we all had more time to spend together. That salad looks delicious, will have to try it!

  9. A happy post, enjoyable and beautifull photos to enjoy. Thank you.

  10. Are those garden sculptures yours? Beautiful. You're so right about making the time to nurture friendships - it seems we're all so busy now, and it's so easy to interact over the computer, that it often replaces lunches, walks, etc. Thanks for this post.

    1. Oh I wish they were mine!
      They are located at the Royal Roads University campus in the historic gardens.

  11. What a nice post, with beautiful pictures and a lovely atmosphere. I'm sure your friends must adore you. xx

  12. Just picked up those ingredients and looking forward to that salad for dinner -- thank you!

  13. The recipe sounds delicious, and your tea must have been fun.
    My BFF moved to the US twelve years ago due to her husbands job. Luckily we see each other several times a year. It kills me that she would only live a 13 minute drive from me if she had remained here. She could have kept her horse (which I bred, and trailered down to NH for her) at our farm, and we could have ridden together every day.

  14. Leslie, your tea table is beautiful! So delicious looking! Wish I could travel up there and join you. Love the feminine statuary too. Some friends are "Little While Friendships". Some are life-long....Donna