We can’t all be good at everything. One of my serious weaknesses in the kitchen is the ability to make salad dressings.

Sometimes I find it refreshing to talk about things I am bad at. I have always tried to do more than I have time for and I like to do things well. The two traits do not always create the most relaxing pace or satisfied peace of mind. I am a pleaser who likes to succeed. I enjoy accomplishments, I seek challenges and I feel proud of successes.  But, all that can be a bit too much and from time to time, I feel like I need a break from myself.

I wish I could carve out the time to post on this blog 3 times a week consistently. I never do. I wish I had the willpower to turn down chocolate and doughnuts. I don’t. I wish I could learn to say no to things so that my life is not always flying at a break neck pace. I can’t. I am not good with punctuation and grammar and the three unread English grammar books I bought two months ago aren’t going to fix that. I was never good at basketball. I talk too much. I can’t make good salad dressing.

Sometimes I dream of going back in time and being a bad kid in school for a week, just to see how it feels. I wouldn’t do my homework. I wouldn’t care when I failed. I would skip school and hang out at the beach (probably smoking) without a single concern. I can barely imagine. When I first started my own consulting business, I worked out of my house.  Someone suggested that I get dressed and walk out of the house and then back in again to symbolically start the work day and make sure I stay on task. I wish that someone had given me the hint about how to symbolically turn the work day off!  For two years, I have been planning to skip out of my office one day and go see a matinee by myself. Some day I really am going to do it …

Regarding salad dressing, I have a new technique to tackle this weakness. It is very novel, it is called “following a recipe.” I always see people toss together a number of ingredients, tasting here and there until they have a wonderful emulsification of flavors to coat their veggies. Though I wish I could, I have never been able to do that. So, I am backing up a step and trying to follow recipes now and then to better learn the basics.

This buttermilk dressing was simple and tasty. I have mixed up the herbs to slightly change the flavors. Perhaps after I have made it a time or two, I will be able to save from dirtying the measuring tools and wing it like the pros.

Buttermilk Dressing
Found on Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (or other fresh herbs)
salt & pepper

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallot, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved, then whisk in chives.