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Abrazos! xox Penny

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's a Girl Tutu? Gonnie's Salad is a Start!

Here is it in all its red, white and blue glory....the very thing my neighbor and I drooled over during our neighborhood's Fourth of July parade. Check out the looks on our faces... we want one...badly...and are having an impromptu Tutu Conference on just how to proceed. Give the two of us a holiday and we'll work it...

Eureka! Sweet gal that she is, the creator of this fabulous tutu has let me borrow it and I am in tutu creation mode. I plan on whipping these out for any gal who wants let me know!! Maybe I can even take them up a notch to this beauty pictured below...or in my case, way down a notch to ballroom length!


Tutu is a curious word, French-y and leads into a perfect segue for this post. There was an article in the NYT last week about French women and how most of them manage to age magnificently. Here is the link:

One of the keys is not gaining weight. This advice made me think of my grandmother and a little book she had written, hoping to publish, about growing old...beautifully. She did just that. Gonnie died at 92 with still naturally lustrous dark hair, a figure to whistle at (complete with an almost flat stomach) and a feisty sparkle to match. She was 85 in this picture with my sweet Lissa.

I have that book in its handwritten form and dug it out of its safe spot. It is a treasure and covers everything from eating well to "charm". She has tons of natural remedies for soothing your "complexion", "brightening" your hair and tons of exercises for everything from tired eyes to "the hangover" or "loose flesh that hangs over the brassiere(!), bathing suit or worse yet, the lovely evening dress." While written over 45 years ago, her remedies, exercises and advice are timeless. I need to dig in and read it all!

And so, if you are not French, what is a girl to do? Here is her advice... set a three pound weight gain limit. When you hit #3, back off and take it off or before you know it, 3 will turn into 5 and we know how that goes. Once I lost my "big weight", I have done pretty close to that and it does keep you vigilant, with Plan B in hand.

Here is the page from her book with an example of her eating plan: (breakfast is on another page) lunch (a small sandwich), her afternoon snack (apple) and dinner. My veg-ified Plan B is very similar, although also minus the milk.

Gonnie loved fresh fruit in season and talked a lot about fruit in her notes. Her summer favorites were melons and she could pick the best honeydew melons. Here is a recipe for a wonderful salad and dressing made from honeydew melons.

Green on Green Salad with Honeydew Dressing

For the dressing:
1 cup honeydew melon pieces*
2 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil or grapeseed oil
Grated zest of 1/2 to 1 whole fresh lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (I use flat leaf)
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh black pepper

* The sweeter and more perfume-y the melon, the better this is! Mediocre melon? Make something else!

Place honeydew melons pieces in a blender and liquefy. Pour into a fine sieve and let juice drain out. You will have about 1-2 tablespoons of juice. Add rest of ingredients. Taste to make sure it is citrus-y enough. I usually tweak the lime zest and juice. You are basically making a vinaigrette.

For the salad:
Pour dressing over salad of fresh greens, melon slices, cucumber slices, avocado slices and some fresh slivered fennel with a few lacy fennel fronds added. Garnish salad with extra mint.

This dressing is very perishable and so make it and enjoy. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in a glass jar and it should still be good for about 3 days.


  1. Wow! What a treasure; hope to hear lots more of Gonnie's advice.

  2. It is...and yes, I will "tell all"!!