I just got home from the pediatrician’s office where I learned my child, my will-play- baseball-every-day-of-his-ten-year-old-life-son, does not have a hernia (which I feared) but has a pulled groin from, you guessed it, playing baseball this past weekend.
Before checking him over, the young, female doctor describes to my fourth grader how she is going to perform a procedure on him wherein she will be feeling his testicles and scrotum for a hernia.
“Do you know what I’m talking about?” she asks him. And when he gives her a look of complete ignorance, she looks at me and says, “Okay if I use lay terms?”
“Sure,” I say, shrinking in my seat, feeling terrible that I neglected to teach my middle child the basic terms related to his body.
“Balls.” she says quite clinically, “I’m going to be checking your balls.” To which my son cracks up. “And then I’ll have to feel around your ballsack while asking you to cough.”
On the drive home he says, “I knew what those words were, I just wanted to hear her say ‘balls’.”
This was my morning, and I had a completely different story in mind to share with you. A much more appropriate segue into the simple salad I’ve been enjoying the past few days.
But at this stage in my life, enjoying a salad, made with the young, tender greens that showed up in last week’s farm basket (CSA) somehow coincides with balls. So be it.
I dressed our salad so simply using the Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette recipe that I found online at The New York Times Cooking section. I lightly poured it over the greens and then mixed it gently with my hands (ala April Bloomfield), ensuring every leaf got its fair share.
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 heaping teaspoons Dijon mustard ( I feel two regular teaspoons are more than enough.)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, more to taste
My tip is to combine these ingredients in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add the shallot, vinegar and salt first — the vinegar will help dissolve the salt. Then proceed with the remaining ingredients. Pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and then give a shake over the sink (I like to play it safe — I do not want to have to clean up olive oil off the tile floor.)
One other note is that, as I also mentioned a while back, I once had the pleasure to sit in on a news conference with Alice Waters of California’s Chez Panisse restaurant https://thelittleblueapron.com/2014/03/31/the-pleasure-of-work-what-i-learned-from-alice-waters and learned that after washing and carefully drying her lettuces she spreads them out on a sheet pan and chills them in the refrigerator before dressing them.