My dad doesn't cook a lot. He makes my favorite comfort food ever (which contains roughly a metric ton of butter and cheese, which is why it's delicious). He grills a fine steak.
And he also makes salad.
He makes one particular KIND of salad, and he mostly only makes it on Christmas. We call it antipasto salad because it basically has all of the antipasto elements -- cheese, meat, salty olives, spicy peppers, and delicious delicious nibbles of goodness -- but it's a SALAD.
Actually, it's not JUST a salad. When my dad constructs this salad it takes forever because it is a work of art. (It also takes forever because inevitably people are hanging around him like hungry wildebeasts, waiting for him to look the other way so we can steal pieces of meat and cheese out from under him and nom them before he has a chance to say anything. We're classy.) This salad has structure and arrangement and gloriousness on its side. It's worth the time it takes.
Unfortunately for me, my dad and his salad skills live in North Carolina. Last year when The Fella and I went for Christmas, I ate as much of the delicious salad as I could to hold me over until my next visit.
But. I don't have the holiday spirit like I normally do this year. I'm not feeling the holidays as much as normal. I need me some holly jolly holiday salady goodness.
My dad sent me the ingredients list and -- this is the best part -- the instructions for putting together the architectural wonder that is the antipasto salad.
Sometimes, you need a hug to make you feel better when you're down.
Other times? You need salad.