Pardon my boldness, but there’s something I need to say: Vacation is just grand.
It’s true; I’m just a big, big fan. (And again, I’m sorry for the audacity, but this is something I feel very strongly about.)
It’s difficult to pick my favorite thing about vacation (the not working, the extra sleep, the gluttony, the swim trunks and flippy floppies), for it’s all so darn super-duper. But if I had to choose just one — like if Anton Chigurh had a nail gun to the back of my head — I’d probably say, “on vacation, everything just tastes better.” And then, “Please don’t kill me. I’ll do anything. ANYTHING.”
For example, a few weeks ago I was in California on vacation (which, to reiterate, I find to be a pleasing activity) and stumbled across this delightful summer squash salad, composed of paper-thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash, shaved Parmigiano, toasted sunflower seeds, and lemon vinaigrette. It was sublime — perfectly balanced and refreshing. But if the restaurant, Bar Bocce in Sausalito, California, hadn’t been on the water, with pitchers of Racer 5 IPA, and a regulation bocce ball court, would I have been so enamored? If it hadn’t been the first day of vacation, would I have moaned audibly with each bite?
I headed to the feed me kc test kitchen to recreate the dish and find out if I could recreate the magic.
I shaved a yellow squash and zucchini on the thinnest setting of my mandolin, tossing them with a lemon vinaigrette (garlic, shallot, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper) and topping liberally with Grana Padano and toasted pumpkin seeds. Served with straight-from-the-oven focaccia, it was delightful — a great summer salad.
But it was Tuesday night, and even with a frosty Boulevard Wheat and robust game of Hungry Hungry Hippos, it just wasn’t the same. You know why? Because vacation is just first-rate, a real top-notch thing.