One of the fourteen complete meals Dale has prepared for our book Inspired to Cook is a meal from the Great Southwest.
It includes Fruit Salad with Avocado, Steak with Compound Butter, Refried Beans, Calabacitas and Frozen Lemon Cream Cheese Pie. We’ve already posted the calabacitas and the pie, and today we’re offering the first course—Strawberry, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.
People in the Southwest are know for their siestas, a kind of Sabbath each afternoon. So today we’re going to concoct a zesty salad and then talk about God’s gracious provision of rest for his weary people.
Strawberry, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
The ruby red grapefruit from Texas are some of the best you can find. Did you ever wonder how they got their name? They are bigger than any grape I’ve ever seen, and they certainly don’t taste like grapes. Grapefruit originated in the West Indies. What the early European explorers saw were large clusters of these growing on trees like giant grapes. Few are grown there today. Most of the world’s crop is grown in the Southwestern part of the U.S. now. Grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin A,B, C, and potassium.
2 Ruby Red Grapefruits 12 Strawberries
2 firm but ripe Avocados 1/3 head of Iceberg Lettuce
1. Peel two ruby red grapefruit. Start by cutting a slice of peel off the top and bottom of the fruit. Cut down to the red fruit. Then cut strips of peel off the sides; again cut all the way down to the red fruit. Trim off any of the white part of the peel that remains. Next, cut between each membrane and lift out the sections of fruit. This we call a supreme. (See Terms and Techniques). Over a bowl, squeeze the membranes and capture the juices for the salad dressing.
2. Wash twelve strawberries and cut off green tops. Then cut them in quarters top to bottom.
3. Cut one avocado in half, top to bottom. Twist the two halves to separate them. Remove the seed. Cut each half in half again making four pieces. Now you can easily strip off the peel. Cut each of these peeled pieces into four chunks. Do the second avocado the same way.
4. Place all the fruits in a bowl.
5. Shred lettuce and divide between four salad plates.
The Salad Dressing
Juice from 2 Grapefruits 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp. Salt 2 Tbsp. Walnut Oil
2 Tbsp. Honey 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
2. Pour the dressing over the fruit and mix gently.
3. Divide the fruits among the four prepared salad plates
Siesta and the Sabbath
Today many people in the Southwest still take siestas in the heat of the day. The custom began in Spain. Since noon was the warmest time of the day, the Spanish used the Roman term for Midday (sexta hora) for their rest time. Gradually the term’s meaning became the nap itself.
Naps are suspect in performance-oriented America. But the principle of rest is woven into the very fabric of God’s kingdom. “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, working your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?”(Psalm 127:2).
“Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”(Matt. 11:28?)
“There remains then a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).
” Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy. . . .For in six days God made the heavens and the earth . . . and rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 20:8, 11a)”
Siestas, breaks, powernaps, holidays and vacation are parts of the gift of Sabbath. The Hebrew root word for Sabbath means “to cease completely or desist.” In her book, Sabbath Keeping, Lynn Baab says, “The Sabbath is a day to stop the work we do on weekdays and substitute activities that nurture peace, celebration, thanksgiving and worship.”
When we practice the Sabbath, we encounter a significant yet paradoxical truth about God. In C.S. Lewis’s space novel Perelandra, an angel says, “Humans are both infinitely necessary and infinitely superfluous in God’s eyes. ”
The first half of this paradox affirms that God wants us to serve as his hands and feet. During the six days of the work week, he asks us to faithfully fulfill this calling with hard work and perseverance.
The second half of the paradox reminds us that, though our work is important, “God is fully capable of bringing about his purposes without us. We can rest in that love, on that reality, on the day we stop.” (Baab, Sabbath Keeping)
I have found that setting aside Sunday to worship, read a good book on the deck, pray, nap or take a quiet walk enables me to tackle the coming week with energy and zest.
Not only do Southwesterners know how to prepare a vibrant salad and a hot-spicy meal, they enjoy the grace of freedom by taking time to rest. [RuthAnn]