Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In which I make a salad and replenish the ozone layer

Step 1. Puree a shoal of tiny fish and a head of elephant garlic in 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice.

The blades of my food processor whirled, caught a piece of anchovy, and whirled on, fanning the fish and garlic beneath them.

I used the pulse feature. The blades caught two pieces of anchovy and a fragment of garlic.

I picked up the running machine and tilted it to throw fish and garlic into its blades. I smelled ozone and felt the warming motor inside its plastic case.

I scraped the walls of the bowl, pulsed, and tilted some more.

I switched to the other blade.

How about labeling these things? I suggest, “Pacifist blade, to avoid harming fish or garlic,” and “Paleo blade, to go mano a mano with the flesh you’ll devour.”

The anchovies were turning to soup, but the garlic stayed stubbornly solid. I mashed fragrant fragments on the floor of the bowl with my porcelain pestle.

I smelled ozone. The sun didn't seem quite as bright as it had been.

Step 2. With food processor running, add a liter of olive oil, drop by drop, to fish and garlic mixture.

Let's see; there are 20 drops in a milliliter and 1,000 ml in a liter. If I drop one drop per second, that's 60 drops per minute, there are 4 pecks in a bushel, Peter Piper divided by the number of elephants in a garlic field and there once was a girl from Nantucket who multiplied by the number of anchovies in a shoal.

By the time I'd run my food processor that long, I wouldn't need sunscreen.

I poured in the oil and moved on.

Step 3. Massage the kale with salt, as you would rub someone’s shoulders, until limp.

The kale bled chlorophyll tears before the tension had left my shoulders.

I assembled my salad and applied sunscreen.


  1. Whew! What a lotta work just to eat some kale! So how was the salad? I have tried various kale treatments. My own never seem as good as what restaurants do with the stuff. This is a great post. I love your humor.

  2. Rangewriter,

    Yes, it was the most labor intensive salad I'd ever made. It was good, but the flavor-to-time ratio was quite low.