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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bonnie Aeschliman: Salad can’t make weather better, but it’s still tasty


I flew to Florida recently to attend granddaughter Stephanie’s high school graduation. The ceremony was to be at the stadium as the school did not have a space large enough to hold the crowd. About an hour before the scheduled event, the sky became very dark, and it began to sprinkle. The sprinkles soon turned into sheets of rain.

The seniors arrived early, clad in robes and hats, and dashed to the covered shelter to await the decision of whether the graduation would take place. Family and friends were in vehicles waiting for the official word. Although it did not seem possible to have the graduation in such a storm, we did not dare leave until it had been officially canceled. This was a big event, and we did not want to miss it — rain or no rain.

Sharply at 7 p.m., when the ceremony was supposed to begin, it officially was called off and rescheduled for 8 the next morning.

It was only a minor inconvenience for us, but we felt bad for the seniors who had come, decked out in graduation attire, and were all revved up for the big event marking the milestone in their lives. Poor seniors: You know they had all planned on celebrating and sleeping late the next morning. Instead, they had to rise at the crack of dawn and go through the whole procedure again.

To lift our spirits, what did we do? We decided to go out for dinner. We visited one of my favorite places in Vero Beach, a little seafood shack where they serve great fresh fish and fabulous salads. It is right on the beach. On a clear day, one can dine while watching the waves. That evening, the shutters were pulled to keep out the rain, but that did not dampen our spirits.

After looking over the menu, I ordered my favorite salad that I have enjoyed there previously. I had it as a starter, but it also comes topped with grilled or lightly breaded and deep-fried Key West shrimp as a main dish. A few years ago, I recreated a version of the salad when I returned home. Perhaps you will enjoy the Florida flavors in this recipe as much as I do.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita. For more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit cookingatbonnies.com. To submit a question to Bonnie, e-mail her at bonnie@cookingatbonnies.com.

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