If neither of those two options were available, by the time I grew up we'd be eating scientifically designed nutritional packets while strapping on our jetpacks to head to the glass-domed labs and work compounds.
I'm glad that's not the way things turned out. Besides, somewhere along the way I developed a love for the kind of food that's not easy to find in restaurants.
Though I mostly cook without recipes, I look at them for inspiration. A couple of months ago I bumped into The Exalted Olive by Mark Bittman. Olives and oranges seemed like a strange combination, but since lightly salted oranges is one of my favorite things to eat after a hot summer run, I thought I'd give them a try.
Since that first attempt, I've been having this about once a week. The first time I made it I tried to make it look like the original recipe picture. As if that ever worked. Then I decided it was better to chop and toss. I also skip making my own olive puree in favor of a jar of olive paste that had been languishing in the back of the fridge waiting for the right moment.
It's a simple pleasure. Chopped orange slices, tossed with olive oil and a bit of olive puree. Light and filling. It works well on its own, as part of a tapas style dinner, or as a starter. Two oranges can be enough for dinner if I'm not too hungry. One per person is an appetizer.
This will come in handy on those hot summer nights that are up ahead. Even though this has been the winter that refuses to quit, I believe in summer.