Two days after my last post here, life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. I slipped on ice outside of my Minneapolis home and landed with a thud on the ground. Within seconds, I knew I couldn’t get up. I laid on the ground, consumed by excruciating pain, until my neighbor spotted me and was able to run inside to get Jay. After a long wait at the emergency room, X-rays and more tears than I’ve ever shed in a day, I learned my ankle was broken in three places and badly dislocated. There were two attempts to push my bones back into place and surgery the next day. And as anyone who’s suffered an injury like this knows, I had a long road of recovery ahead of me.
Fast forward to today and although I’m still moving slowly, I’m independently walking. I’m back to work, my garden is planted, I can take my kids to the park, meet a friend for dinner and am even heading out on a girl’s trip this weekend with my college friends. These are all things I surely appreciated before February 18th, 2022. But post-ankle break, my gratitude for even the smallest pieces of independent living and ability to be mobile has grown exponentially.
Now that I’ve explained my break from this blog which was caused by several breaks in my bones, I can confidently move forward with a pasta salad recipe. As one does. This is the dish I shared with Chris and Megan on Minnesota Live this week – it’s a copycat of a version Jay often picks up at St. Paul Meat Shop (an amazing spot, by the way). But we can only justify buying a $20 quart of pasta salad on occasion, so I decided to try to hack the salad myself so we can up the meat budget instead. This is how I make it, but feel free to add or subtract ingredients according to your taste. I think some olives, chickpeas and even artichoke hearts would be wonderful here too.
Feta Orzo Salad
8 ounces dried orzo pasta (half a box), cooked according to package instructions, replacing the water with chicken stock
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 cup finely chopped tomato
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
1/3 cup minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, dill, basil, tarragon, and/or mint
salt and pepper to taste
After cooking in boiling chicken stock, drain the pasta in a colander and place in a large bowl, adding a drizzle of olive oil and stirring to prevent sticking. Let pasta cool slightly, but add the feta when the pasta is still slightly warm and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring gently to combine and refrigerate at least a couple of hours before serving.