Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eat This: Slaw-fully Good Salad

I'm kind of mad at the Kimbell Museum of Art for tearing out all of the trees on its west lawn.

I love those trees - or, loved those trees, past tense. I made many mental notes to drag the fam out to a picnic under those trees. I misplaced all of those mental notes. Well, Parnell hid some of them, I'm fairly sure - he's not a big picnic person, on account of being allergic to nature. (Okay, I'm exaggerating - he's not allergic to ALL of nature - just 98% of it. Picnics do not equal "crazy fun times" for him. They equal "crazy runny nose times.")

And then one day I was driving from downtown Fort Worth to my home on the other side of the Museum District, and I happened to catch - something - out of the corner of my left eye. Actually, it's what I DIDN'T catch that was notable. That flash of green that should be on my left as I passed the Kimbell was - gone. Now, it's not like I didn't know that this was going to happen - the Museum had announced plans to add a second building, thus allowing the public to view more of the permanent collection than there was room for in the current, mega-cool but kinda-small footprint. Intellectually, I knew that this meant the trees had to go - but I guess I didn't expect them to go so SUDDENLY.

Also unexpected: the extent to which I felt actual grief and loss over the departure of those trees. Seriously, I walked around with a dark cloud over my head for the next two days. At some point during day two, I realized that it wasn't the trees I mourned, but the opportunity to have that picnic that never happened. The whole thing seemed like a metaphor for everything that I put off based on a naive assumption that another opportunity would present itself at a less inconvenient time.

I resolved to read to the kids more, and enjoy the little things more - and, silly as it sounds, those phantom trees have actually motivated me to do so.

So I guess I shouldn't be too mad at the Kimbell. It does have one of the best permanent collections of any museum, large or small, that I've had the opportunity to explore (and I've explored some pretty good ones). And it's got a really great gift shop, and really neat outdoor public spaces that will not be affected by the construction.

It also has a cafe onsite that is legendary for its lunches. It's a tray line setup, with your choice of sandwich, quiche, soup and/or salad. The selections vary daily, but they are all stellar. Here is one of my favorites from the salad side of the menu:


1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz.) bag frozen cut corn, thawed
4 cups chopped slaw mix
½ cup diced red bell pepper
2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 T chopped fresh parsley
½ cup prepared Thousand Island dressing
1 T prepared barbecue sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T seeded and diced jalapeno chile pepper

Toss all of the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Season slaw with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste when chilled. Yield: 6-7 cups.

I like coleslaw. It reminds me of - um, picnics. Okay, shoulda quit while I was ahead and at peace with myself and the tree-displacing-Kimbell-powers-that-be . . . .

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