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Sandra and Kathy sharing real estate

Though still a bit frazzled having arrived just over a week ago, I’m back in California for an extended visit (sissy getting married!) and finding myself assuredly falling back into old habits. The commute to work first veers towards grabbing a convenient cup of coffee for the drive; gym clothes, work shoes, and all other essentials now reside in my (borrowed) car; and I thoroughly enjoy being able to order things such as soy lattes or buckwheat organic spinach crepes at the farmers’ market.

Memorial Day weekend brought about a mini reunion – old friends, new friends, crisscrossing circles, kiddies, babies, and adults alike. Best of all, Sandra and Lolo made the drive up to Norcal to partake in the weekend festivities.

We first drew ambitious plans of cooking up a storm at a friend’s backyard BBQ. However, as the weekend and time quickly passed us by, Sandra and I settled to raid the Campbell Farmers’ Market for the freshest of veggies and the sweetest of fruits in order to toss together a few simple but tasty salads for our party contribution.

Cherries in season at the Campbell’s Farmers Market

I defaulted to creating a super-sized version of kohlrabi slaw, but substituted sesame seed oil and a touch of olive oil for the fish sauce to accommodate the vegans, and added just a splash of rice wine vinegar (3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar). Of course, some extra found goodies were also added: chopped green onion, cilantro, rainbow carrots, cucumber, and pickled ginger/beets (found at a kraut stand that additionally offered kimchi and pickled jalapenos). The ginger/beets painted my originally color diversified salad with a uniform shade of magenta, but nonetheless added great crunch with just a hint of “sauer.”

Kohlrabi slaw bathed in magenta.

Sandra and Lolo endeavored together on a beautiful chopped veggie salad and an additional fruit salad. The chopped salad, lightly tossed in a lemon and olive oil, with a pinch of salt and pepper included a variety of mixed greens, cherry heirloom tomatoes, oven roasted baby beets, half a pound worth of shaved parmesan, and a Sandra-requirement… two jumbo Haas avocados. We desperately searched the market for perfectly ripened avocados, and next a Trader Joe’s, but finally sped into trusty Whole Foods as the last resort. Not the first time a Whole Foods has saved the day!

The fruit salad nicely balanced out our array. The farmers market yielded wonderfully sweet and seasonal fruits that filled two big bowls with strawberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and juicy white and yellow peaches (plus a squeeze of lime juice to macerate everything).

lovely fruit salad

Asparagus waiting to go on the grill

Yes, we know – it’s been a while since Sandra and I have made a squeak in the blog-o-sphere. But hopefully the days of being MIA are behind us as the fantastic weekend together brought about a few new ideas and delicious inspirations… stay tuned!