Spinach Salad and Summer Sunning

Finally, a completely beautiful weekend–all weekend–in the Northwest. The first one that’s been truly, luxuriously warm in 2017. It’s very difficult for me to live in the Northwest, despite it’s incomparable beauty, varied landscape, proximity to the ocean, and rich blue skies on sunny days. It’s the rain. In fact, my doctor just said to me the other day that Washington state residents have some of the highest rates of vitamin D deficiency in the country, and Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a higher risk of some cancers. Along with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it’s a whopper of a reason to get away to Palm Springs a couple of times a winter. But when Palm Springs isn’t in the plans, I desperately await summer sun. This year, we’ve had a record-amount of rain in the entire history that rainfall statistics have been recorded in Washington State. Seriously, it’s been bad.

This is why during the most fantastic Memorial Day weekend in years, I couldn’t resist my good friend’s invitation to “come hang out with me at my pool, ANY TIME” despite the length of my list. Anytime we go there, they always cook for us. This time, I wanted to cook for them exactly what a sunny summer extra-day-off mandates: grilled meat and a salad.

AGAIN with the Spiceologist’s Pink Peppercorn Lemon Thyme mix as a dry-rub on flank steak. (Oh, and there were plenty of jokes made about rubbing meat.) And AGAIN with a spinach salad, but I’m finally getting a bit bored with the Strawberry Spinach Salad I’ve been eating at least once a week for the last month. This time, I stumbled across Alton Brown’s Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing, and lo and behold, it was perfect, especially since I had just cooked a pound of bacon the day prior and had fresh drippings in a can under the sink! By the way, who keeps their drippings in a can under the sink? Am I weird?

My friend and her husband loved it, we loved it, their 5-year-old son loved it. And the flavors of the salad complemented the medium-grilled flank steak oh. so. well. We ended the evening with a little more beer, a lesson on how to do a flip turn under water, and the sun setting on a perfect and perfectly-unplanned Memorial Day.



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