I wonder if perhaps I have raised Son and Daughters improperly, because in our house, there is no space that is not theirs. My office becomes their art room, and as it is also the space where I teach, I get very frustrated with this. The dining room with no dining table in it is their romper room, where they do hula hooping, hopscotching, rolling, and gymnastics. Sometimes even a game of tag is played there. The family room is their toy storage area, and the living room is where I often find them reading or playing restaurant. Even the staircase is their slide. Their bedroom is there for sleeping, and the guest room is their puzzle area. So where in my house is a space to call my own?
You'd think it'd be in my bathroom, but most mornings I find myself doing my morning duties as performance art, with a rapt audience of three watching my every move. (The lock doesn't work unfortunately.) My showers, if they are taken during the day, are inevitably interrupted by someone who needs something, and I struggle to get out of the shower, wrap myself in something to help them solve their problem.
So where I can I find refuge? It's actually in this potato salad. It's rather sophisticated and Son and Daughters who normally eat almost anything couldn't get into it. Truthfully they wouldn't get into it. Daughters each had a bite and said it was too strong (the mustard flavor I think) and Son can't eat it due to the mustard. (Mustard allergy thank you very much.) That meant that I could eat it. All of it. By myself. If I used magic and shrunk myself to fit into the bowl, there I would have my adult-only space, even only for the moment until I finished the salad. But no matter. Even holding the bowl, on my own with no kids clamoring for a bite was wonderful and relaxing. And perhaps maybe i'll fill my bedroom or office with this as a way to ensure that I have my own space and time.
This would be a great salad at a barbecue because it can be made ahead of time. The bright flavors would lend themselves well to anything grilled.
Green Bean Potato Salad
8 oz green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 lbs small red or white skinned potatoes (I did the small round dutch yellow that you can get at Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Cook green beans in well-salted, boiling water. Cook for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
Place cut potatoes in well salted water. Bring to a boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are just tender. (Poke a fork to see as cooking time will ultimately vary based on size of potato.) Drain and set aside.
Quickly mix together white vinegar, olive oil, shallot, parsley and mustard to make a dressing. Pour over the still warm potatoes and toss well to coat. Cool completely. Once potatoes are cooled, add green beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve room temperature or cold.