Fingers Crossed (herring salad)

I had quite a good weekend planned. There was going to be dinner with friend L., who lives on a barge with a cool waterside terrace. There was going to be a jaunt in the park with two other friends, H. and R., both of whom I haven’t seen for far too long. There was going to be the purchase of funky hiking boots, F.H.B..


First, dinner got cancelled. L’s sister is pregnant and her waters broke, so L. took a trip back home to become an aunt. An AUNT. V. exciting, but the baby isn’t due for another five weeks, so they are hoping it will stick around in the womb for a bit longer. Good thing I have enough time to keep my fingers crossed, what with not having dinner plans and all.

Then H. sent a text message to say we cannot get together because she has to stay indoors for seven days. Someone she spent time with came down with the New Flu and even though she feels fine, she won’t get the all-clear until it has been seven days since their last contact. That means seeing as few people as possible and hoping she hasn’t caught it. More fingercrossing to do for me.

Perhaps I should have paid attention to the signs and leave the boot buying for another day. But no, into town I went. After careful deliberation and much fitting, these were the shoes I picked:

Yup, they’re Ugly. No amount of superstition is going to make these babies a treat to look at. Luckily, they are also Comfortable. So that’s U.C.B. (ugly comfy boots), rather than F.H.B. And that’s okay. I picked them, I am responsible for buying them and I won’t ask for a miraculous shoe make-over. I have one other tiny additional request to fate, though. Will you please allow the U.C.B. to keep me safe when hiking in the Pyrenees two weeks from now?

And that’s enough with the finger-crossing and magic thinking. Time to count my blessings. Sure, I’ve seen two dates disappear into thin air, but at least I am not the one in the hospital, hoping her nephew or niece will stay inside for a little longer. Nor am I cut off from the world, keeping my germs to myself. No, I got to put on my U.C.B. and buy the ingredients for the salad you see up there. It’s got herring, it’s got beets. It has apples, and shallot and eggs and gherkins. It has a creamy dressing and it made me very happy to be right where I was.
Yes, it was quite a good weekend after all.

Herring salad with beets

Serves 1

1 ½ herrings (salty, not sour)
1 beetroot, approximately 150 gr
½ apple, not too sweet
2 gherkins
2 small, hard boiled eggs, yolks removed
1 shallot
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp thick, creamy yogurt
½ tsp grated horseradish, optional

Chop the beetroot, the apple, the eggs and the gherkins into roughly evenly sized pieces. Finely mince the shallot and combine with the ingredients you just chopped. Mix the mayonnaise with the yogurt and add the horseradish, if using. Add the dressing to the beetroot mixture.

Cut the herring into small bite-sized pieces. Gently fold into the other ingredients. Serve with thick slices of toasted bread.

Traditionally, this kind of salad would have a few boiled potatoes. I don’t like them, so I left them out, but don’t let that stop you from adding them if you are so inclined.


1 Comment

Filed under Dutchisms, Fish, Salads

One response to “Fingers Crossed (herring salad)

  1. Anonymous

    Of course the UCB's mean that we can go for walks in muddy woods! Yay for the Pan-bos!:DAnd furthermore; good blog, recognise your style and love it!X, Blondie

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