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Wasted Time and Minted Zucchini, Pea and Lemon Cucumber Salad

August 22nd, 2011

Time. There never seems to be enough of it. Sometimes I wonder, what would I do if I had more time? Would I read more? Exercise more? Cook more? See more friends? Travel more? Write more? What would you do if you had more time? An extra hour or two in the day?

I hate to admit it, but every once in a while when I find myself with more time, I seem to just waste it. Not waste it in the sense that I’m not doing something enjoyable, but waste it in the sense that I’m not doing something productive.

I think wasting time is kind of like dieting: everybody eventually falls off the wagon. When you spend literally half of your life online (in my case, either working, or working on Turntable Kitchen) it’s easy enough to waste some time online. It’s true, if we’re friends on Facebook, I’ve probably looked through most of your pictures. Sorry! Don’t think I’m creepy! What I find particularly annoying is that it’s so hard to get OFFline because it seems like — at least in my life — being productive more than likely means doing something online and when I’m trying to be productive, but just not wanting to be, I’m still online.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I had more time, what I’d actually do is spend a little more of it away from my computer. I only know you through this here little Internet space, so maybe you’d just spend more time playing video games, or shopping on Gilt.com, or watching E! — all completely acceptable ways to spend your time. But, I suspect that at least some of you might feel the same way I do.

If you have a little bit more time this week, consider this: make a simple summer salad and eat it out on your porch, or by a window (somewhere where you can see people, fields, buildings, and grass in real life). Turn off your computer (and the television) and have a quiet moment to reflect: what would I do, if I had more time?

Minted Zucchini, Pea and Lemon Cucumber Salad
*serves 2-3

2 small zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise using a mandoline
1 lemon cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds, then cut into half moons
handful of hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of champagne vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Humboldt Fog cheese, to taste
1/2 cup of freshly shelled English peas
1/4 cup of chopped mint

1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated.
2. Place the zucchini slices, cucumber, mint and peas into a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss the salad gently.
3. Arrange the salad on a large serving plate and top with a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts and cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt.

Musical Pairings: Bishop Allen – Bishop Allen & The Broken String + Minted Zucchini, Pea and Lemon Cucumber Salad

More on the Turntable.


  • myFudo

    I do waste a lot of time online too doing nothing too. Your salad is out of this world.. looks delicious.

  • http://twitter.com/ladomestique Jess O’Toole

    Your little salad looks so fresh and nourishing! I harvested some squash and cucumbers this morning from my community garden plot- perfect! As for wasted time…I think it’s really important to put limits on yourself like, “I’m going to answer emails for 1 hour and then step away from the computer and make Turntable Kitchen’s salad recipe.” I will do that today! :)

  • Tracy

    this looks SOOOOOOOO good. Love the pictures and that plate! omg. where have i seen that plate? It’s pretty.

    btw-I waste soo much time on the interwebs…I’ve got soo much laundry to do right now. I should prolly attend to that. I’m guilty of looking at people’s websites and not leaving comments but I made my way back here today just to tell you that!!

  • http://www.saffronlane.com/blog Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane

    I just had this same thought the other day. I’m always in the kitchen or on my computer (except for those rare moments of sleep these days). Sadly, I often have to reflect on the last time I left my house for something meaningful (running to the store for ingredients doesn’t count). While productive, this is definitely not a centered lifestyle. If I had more time, I’d do exactly what you’ve suggested: enjoy lunch outside, go for a hike or run on the beach. Something that just lets me “be”.

  • Tori (@eat-tori)

    Oh this is such a good point to make as I spend time procrastinating online. But if I hadn’t been, then I wouldn’t have found such a lovely blog as yours! If I’ve got extra time then I try and make it to yoga. I try, I do.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    True, true. I do spend A LOT of time reading blogs, but I’d say that it’s actually one of the better ways I ‘waste’ time. I find a lot of inspiration online.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    So very well put, Beth. It’s very important to find time to just be yourself.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I do the same thing! But I try to let people know when something I’ve read helped me out, inspired me or just made me smile. Plate’s from Anthropologie- one of my faves! xo

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I hope you did!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you :)

  • http://www.dulanotes.com NicoleD

    This salad is too pretty to eat, Kasey! I love the colors and Humboldt Fog cheese is SO good. Oh man. It is most definitely hard to balance free time when we have the constant distraction of the internet. I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those people always looking at my phone, but I fail sometimes. I struggle between wanting to capture a fun/beautiful moment and wanting to just live in my free time.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I know exactly what you mean. I always want to Tweet something out or share on FB. I’m trying to minimize the amount of time I spend on FB these days…