Orange Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

Thursday was a day of lasts for us. Last day of high school for Corbin. Last exam. Last time for me to have the privilege of driving him to school, which he convinced me I'd regret missing when he's away at university in the fall and I'll apparently be crying in my porridge. As if. But for old time's sake we made the drive together, even though at this point he's probably happier to drive himself. All the cliches surfaced... where have the years gone? Where's the little boy I dropped off on his first day way back when in grade 4? All grown up now and towering over me. That's where. All Corbin feels (understandably) is huge relief at it all being over finally, mixed with overwhelming excitement at the flurry of proms, parties, grad ceremonies, dinners, BBQs and cottage weekends to celebrate the end of an educational era. And all the inevitable freedom, independence and prospects of moving out and away to university in the fall. It's all good. He's ready and it's time. And every once in a while, when he's out playing road hockey with the younger kids on the street, if I look really hard, I can still get a glimpse of that little boy who's not quite totally grown up.

On to the food.... crazy week of busy nights so it seems like we've all been eating easy meals that can be served up at different times. This salad was simple to make but just needs a bit of extra cooking time for the wild rice mix. Perfect accompaniment to the pork kebabs and looking forward to eating some for lunch leftovers.

Orange Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

serves 6

1 cup brown rice/wild rice mix

2 cups water

1 tsp butter

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup green grapes, halved, or Granny Smith apple, diced

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp honey

2 tsp grated orange peel

1 tbsp orange juice

Bring rice, salt, butter and water to boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir or uncover. Remove from heat and let sit, still covered for 10 more minutes. Uncover, stir a little and let cool to almost room temperature.

In a large serving bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, grapes/apple and green onions together.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, orange peel and juice, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix dressing with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.

Rest of the week

May 17 Assorted omelettes and roasted potatoes with onions

May 18 Pesto and tomato farfalle with asparagus, broccoli and salad greens

May 19 Grilled pork kebabs with orange cranberry wild rice salad