Mother's Day started off in the usual way, with Andy telling me to stay in bed so he and the kids could prepare a breakfast tray for me. They came in with all my favorite Sunday morning things—tea, toast, Times, MacBookPro—plus lots of hugs and kisses and cards and drawings. Then they all left me alone! Bliss.
Later was the annual Mother's Day party, but without Grandma for the first time. It was of course obvious that she wasn't there, but no one got weepy, and it didn't feel as though there was such a gaping hole when I wasn't thinking about her.
I tried out a new pasta salad recipe from Pam Anderson. It was a wee bit too lemony for me, so I think next time I will leave out the grated lemon peel. It also wasn't the most colorful dish there; I think a few halved cherry tomatoes or roasted red pepper strips would do the trick.
Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Artichoke Hearts, and Parmesan
2 Tbsp salt
1 lb. bite-size pasta (I used the new mini-penne from Barilla. So cute!)
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained; artichokes rinsed and cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
3 large scallions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
creamy vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook until just tender, adding the asparagus for the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain in a colander, then spread the pasta and asparagus out in a shallow baking pan, and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer pasta, asparagus, and remaining ingredients, except dressing, to a large bowl; do not mix. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 hours.) When ready to serve, add dressing, toss to coat, and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove, minced
⅔ cup olive oil
Put lemon juice and mayonnaise in in a Pyrex measuring cup. With a small whisk, stir in garlic, a big pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of pepper. Slowly whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream to make an emulsified vinaigrette. (Vinaigrette can be made and refrigerated 1 day in advance.)