January 30, 2010

A New Taste

Well hello 2010! Did you ever sneak up on us quickly? Like the need for an umbrella in these fickle days of Seattle winter. As for you, dear reader - pull up a spot, we'll pour you a glass of champagne. We're not big drinkers, so we've still got some in the fridge. At the time of posting, we just finished it with dinner. I'd offer you some caviar, since we're being fancy and all, but that was gone in no time. It barely saw the light of day.

(Yes, I know those aren't real champagne flutes, not even white wine glasses- but we're working with what we've got, along with that measly string of lights in the back that we called our Christmas decor. Take it as a Christmas or birthday gift idea!)

The New Year found us at 'New Year's at the Needle' - Seattle's annual celebration. Boy, was she a stunner. A real crowd pleaser. Plus, there was no snow! But parking, that's another story altogether. Bringing in a new decade wasn't the only thing that I was celebrating. New Year's Eve marked the one-year anniversary of the first time I visited the Emerald City.

One day here solidified the deal. I've harped enough about the joys of living on the West Coast, but I can't stop gushing. Ethnic grocery stores where old Russian ladies take your spot in line, people growing cabbage in their gardens for decoration, Mount Rainer - the silent giant overlooking Seattle's commotion, Irish Pubs with lagers and stews, grocery store workers who cut open oranges for you to taste and find just the one you're looking for .... now you see why I can't stop.

To say the least, 2009 was a whirlwind of change. It started out in Seattle, eventually back in St. Paul to finish my last semester of college, graduating, taking the 3-day interstate drive back to Seattle. A few part-time jobs followed, along with meeting a very special person almost immediately. Getting my first salaried job amped up the scene, leaving it did so even more. Eventually, I secured one more suitable for me. (More about that later.)

Whew. A girl needs a break once in a while. That's why she's got this guy (above) to help her along, making special Russian 'New Year' salads while she's deep in the trenches of job hunting. We'd like to share a favorite, below. Introducing Corny Crab Salad... or Crabby Corn Salad - whatever you'd like to call it. 4 basic ingredients are involved: crab, corn, rice, and mayonnaise. This one is quick, cheap (we used crab sticks), and lip-smackingly good. The sweet crab is so tender, the even sweeter corn crunches perfectly, and the rice is adequately substantial and ever-so-smooth. The mayo, especially a nice lemony one, adds a slight acidic note and makes it pleasantly spoonable.

More simplicity, less fuss - that's my motto for a new taste for the year. It makes more sense and feels much better.

Play with the ratios as you'd like. Maybe a little more crab, maybe a little more corn, maybe not so much mayo - it's really up to you. But here's a guesstimate to launch from:

Crab Corn Salad
(or any funny combination of the two, see above)

6 crab sticks, cut into small pieces
1 can corn
2 cups uncooked white rice
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook rice as directed on box, bag, or in your head. Let cool to room temperature. Combine crab, corn, and mayonnaise. Add rice gradually until thoroughly incorporated. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Don't stir the mixture too much as rice may become mushy. (That would make it a crabby corn salad! I just had to.) We prefer a non-globby salad and went really light on the mayo, just adding enough to make it 'stick'. But, again, adjust according to your personal taste.