Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poppy Seed Dressing (Page 175)


  • Date: Friday, October 10, 2008 -- 10pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Recipe Rating: C+

I chose this recipe to make last week because it met the criterion for the week: an Active Time of less than or equal to 15 minutes (in the case of this recipe: 10 minutes). I have a friend who is strongly opposed to sweet and savory combinations. In general I think he is wrong: Nutella on pretzels? Caramels with a touch of sea salt? Candied roasted and salted pecans? Yum, yum, and yum! But the example he always gives of the kind of thing he hates most is sweet salad dressing. I'm pretty neutral on that front. I don't dislike all sweet dressings, but I would certainly always pick oil and vinegar over that bottled sugar-laden French dressing. This dressing, too, was much too sweet. It had 1/4 cup of sugar to 1/2 cup white wine vinegar and 1 cup of oil. That's a lot of sugar, but I didn't imagine that even that much sugar would make the dressing as sweet as it was. The other ingredients: dry mustard, water, garlic, poppy seeds, celery seeds, salt, and pepper. The Book makes many serving suggestions for this dressing; one suggestion was serving it on iceberg or romaine (which both seem like terrible suggestions to me -- the dressing was much too sweet for that). Another suggestion was serving it on melon -- The Book claimed it would take the melon "in a savory direction." So I tried it on some cantaloupe. The dressing didn't taste terrible on the melon, but the melon was better without it. I would recommend passing on this recipe unless you like really sweet dressings. Even then, I would probably pass -- it was extremely oily, even for salad dressing, and it didn't emulsify well which made it rather unappealing.

This recipe isn't online.

I am back in Bloomington this evening after my trip to the Chicago area. I gave my seminar at Northwestern yesterday, which went just fine, and it was fun to talk to the people in the department there. This morning I went to Vigleik's place to meet Henrik, Vigleik and Shihchi's baby! He's super cute, and it was great to see the new parents too. While the baby slept V and I did some work. It was a fun morning. I drove back to Bloomington this afternoon, and I seriously struggled during the drive. I was so tired I was worried I was going to fall asleep behind the wheel. I resorted to a desperate measure and drank some Diet Coke. I am usually caffeine-free but I figured the caffeine was justifiable, since if I dozed off while driving that could have disastrous consequences. I was so exhausted though that even the Diet Coke couldn't keep me awake. Finally I pulled over and took a nap in a McDonald's parking lot. When I woke up I bought myself a vanilla milkshake. I don't know if it was the nap or the milkshake, but I was much more alert after that!

In any event I am happy to be home for a few nights before I head up to Michigan this coming weekend. I think I am going to get pretty exhausted of driving by the time this month is over!

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