My take on Waldorf Salad

I remember a couple of years ago, my Mum was tired of doing the usual salads to accompany Summer BBQs. She came across the Waldorf salad, and I was very impressed. It seemed to me a high class salad. Of course, you know what happens, once you hear a term, taste a new salad, it starts appearing everywhere. You could order it at a restaurant and everyone was suggesting it and sharing the recipe.

The second time I tried it, at a friend’s house, I was less than impressed. I think it was the fact that the celery was too chunky and overtook the salad. From then on, I’ve been wary about celery and Waldorf salad in general.

Yesterday I was looking on Pinterest to see what I could make with some leftover cottage cheese (as you do!), when I came across a Waldorf salad made me cottage cheese. It got me thinking, and with some tweaks to this recipe, I made my very first Waldorf salad.

It contains:

Cottage cheese
Apples (Gala)
Celery
Lettuce
Cabbage (thinly sliced)
Peanuts (honey roasted)
Balsamic dressing
Cracked black pepper.

Here is the result.

cottage cheese waldorf

Pretty yummy if I do say so myself!

Do you have your own versions of classic salads?

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What would I have done?

It has been a couple of days since a Hungarian student in Malta was spat at and slapped at a bus terminus and then promptly arrested to the sound of clapping. Most agree that this was a racial attack. I do not know what upset me most – the tactless interviewer, the fact that some comments justified the actions, or the fact that the woman who did this was twenty-nine years old, eligible to the same free education system I went through!

There have been interviews, and the Minister herself has apologised to him. Journalists and bloggers have written excellent pieces about the incident which I do not need to repeat. (Herman Grech’s piece and Daphne Caruana Galizia’s piece are pretty good).

My thoughts take a slightly different vein. In mass last Sunday, the priest told us to stand up and be counted, that nowadays we have a tendency to lay low. This made me think back to this racial incident. Had I been in the crowd, what would I have done? Would I have spoken to the police, explained the situation? Would I even have chased after the woman, told her off?

I admit that I wouldn’t have done anything. At most, I would have walked away and written a blog post. There were over 20 shares of the story on my Facebook page that day. I was in the UK, so it is even easier for me to condemn it, dissociate myself from that Maltese woman. But it is oh so easy to share a story, write an emotive blog about morals, rights and wrongs.

Why would I not have stood up to the man? Fear of the woman, fear of the crowd. How sad it is when ignorant people in their aggressiveness have power over people of good will. Ironically this is what is happening everywhere – ignorant people can be bullies. To protect ourselves, we stay back. Acceptance is the best way forward, next time should I find myself in a similar situation, I would not be so quiet in the face of injustice.

How right Edward Burke was

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

 

Increased prevalence of 22q

My current project about information seeking in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome families means that I am constantly with ears pricked for any new article or news.

As many parents and support group representatives have told me, it is only a matter of time before someone realises that 22q is more common than people are saying. 22qIreland tell me that although part of the Rare diseases group, this might not be the case for long.

Sure enough, a study into microdeletions and microduplications (small additions/deletions of DNA) in prenatal cases revealed 1 in 992 pregnancies have the 22q11.2 DS. This is different to the 1 in 2,000-4,000 I have quoted in my literature review!

Will this change things? I doubt it. The condition is so complex that although finding it isn’t rare allegedly, the combinations of issues are plenty and one child is not similar to another. This means that GPs will not know the sure signs that could help make diagnosis easier. The information around 22q can fill up volumes of management criteria that GPs may just have no time to read. As a parent told me, 22q can often be invisible, which adds to the difficulty in assessing.

So although the prevalence shows an increase, I think it will be a long way before the condition is treated like Down Syndrome, and the awareness is similar.┬áBut this is a step in the right direction, at least that is what the support group thinks. However, do not remove it off the rare diseases spectrum yet. Like many other rare diseases, the difficulties faced are similar – lack of knowledge and experience with the condition, parents are blaming for their child’s behaviour, difficulty in obtaining school support, and they still miss out on strength in numbers, finding communities only in an online environment.

 

This is why they are so inspirational to me!

Lavender in Lyon

Family weddings are always incredible. When it is a Camilleri wedding (my mother’s side of the family), the wedding is madness and exuberance guaranteed!

My cousin Bernard married his lovely French bride on Saturday. This was my first experience of a French wedding and I loved it.

The wedding theme was lavender and on arriving in Valence (the bride’s home town) it was easy to see why.

Such vibrant purple was incredible, and has become a cultural symbol in this area (click here for more info). In fact, instead of confetti and/or rice, we true lavender at the bride and groom as they came out of the church and made their way to their cute red car.

The nice thing about the small village of Valence was that it was relatively tourist-free. Although this had the added difficulty of understanding and speaking French it was nice to absorb the lifestyle as well as the sun. The people were very friendly and patient with my broken French. The bride’s parents were very welcoming and invited us to a Sunday brunch with more food (especially cheese!).

The wedding itself was something out of a perfect Pinterest board. The theme was very 1950s, 1960s. This meant that with my simple blue polka dot dress and curl wanded hair, I fit right in. Emanuel, with his matching blue polka dot tie, could not be more dashing.

emanuelandi

The church ceremony was in a small church and I liked that the groom was the first to enter with his mother, something not traditionally done elsewhere. The list of witnesses was surprising – around 6 witnesses, more than your typical two.

I was mostly impressed with the jazz band. The 75 year old clarinet player had so much energy he could out-do me in a race any day. The whole band kept everybody going in between nibbles and the main dinner courses as well as speeches and presentations. As always, the Maltese family did their bit to ensure the noise levels were through the roof at all times.

All in all, a superb holiday and wedding!