…playing tennis in a bathing suit.
…watching my daughters perform in two incredibly absurd camp skits, laughing their faces off the entire time.
…having homemade salad dressing in the refrigerator.
My sister was the one who told me to write about this last one. She reminded me that even if you have just-picked, French Laundry-worthy vegetables in the salad bowl, they can be completely annihilated by a splash of the wrong bottled vinaigrette. I don’t mean to suggest that you shouldn’t buy salad dressing — there are some good ones out there* and if the dinner-crunch makes you choose between homemade and meltdown vs. bottle and angelic…well, obviously, go with the bottle. All I’m saying is that if on Sunday, you plan ahead and make a bottle of good, all-purpose vinaigrette, which will be a guaranteed bright spot on the plate even if your veggies are only Green Giant-worthy, you will be as happy as a 6-year-old playing tennis in a bathing suit when that jar is waiting for you on Wednesday.
Money in the Bank Vinaigrette
Add the following ingredients to an old jar*:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar or a squeeze of honey
squeeze of lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped herbs (chives, parsley, dill, thyme, whatever you’ve got)
1/2 cup good olive oil
Shake vigorously and drizzle on green and grain salads, cold asparagus, warm potatoes.
Related: Money in the Bank pie crust, chicken stock, pizza crust.
*I find an old bottle of TJoe’s Cornichons is just right