Ronnie Paul: Listen carefully; our options have changed | TheUnion.com

Ronnie Paul: Listen carefully; our options have changed

Ronnie Paul
Columnist

The other day, when I went to shop online for Jeff’s Christmas present, my Land’s End password didn’t work. I retried. It was denied again, so I hit the button for getting a new one. For my protection, I was advised I should call their customer service number.

I listened to their recorded music for five minute, then pressed “2” for English. The voice listed eight choices to express my concern. I pressed the “pound” sign to hear them again, but nothing fit. “Agent,” I yelled. “Sorry, I don’t understand you,” said the robot voice. “Agent, Agent,” I yelled.

While waiting to speak with the promised agent, I reminded myself to breathe and calm down. I eventually worked things out with “Derek” in Delhi, but not before revealing my entire life history for what he claimed was customer security.

Derek finally rewarded me with an e-mail that contained a code for resetting my password. I went back online, and only after clicking on all the stoplights in the photos to assure that I wasn’t a robot, was I allowed to choose a new password.

Wow. There are a lot of people and a lot of passwords. I had to be very creative to come up with an original. Fortunately I’m retired and could afford the twenty minutes it took me to compose my one-of-a-kind. Now all I have to do is remember it.

I guarantee that you’ll have an easier time reading these recipes.

Candied Carrot Salad

Serves 4-6

If you’re feeling a bit ho-hum about your usual slaw, try this new twist.

1 pound of carrots

1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger

½ cup raisins

2 ounces baby spinach leaves

Dressing

Whisk together:

¼ cup apple juice

¼ cup white Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Peel and grate the carrots. Combine them with the candied ginger and raisins and then mix together with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

To serve, toss the carrot mixture with the spinach.

Down-home Potatoes

Serves 4-6

Eating this comfort food is as satisfying as snuggling under a fluffy blanket.

8 ounces of leeks

1 pound white or crimini mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1½ pounds red potatoes

1 cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Split the leek in half lengthwise, peel off the tough outer layers, and wash well. Next, horizontally slice the white and tender light green parts of the leeks in thin pieces.

Slice the mushrooms in thin pieces. Combine them with the leeks and sauté in olive oil over a low flame until the veggies are limp.

While the veggies sauté, cut the potatoes in quarter-inch slices and boil until just tender.

Now you’re ready to roll. Grease a 7×11-inch glass pan and layer on half the potatoes, followed by half the veggies, and then half the Parmesan. Shake a bit of salt and pepper on top of the layer. Repeat the order for one more layer.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 450 degrees until the top is nicely browned.

By the way, this casserole is the perfect dish to serve with Candied Carrot Salad.

Ronnie Paul is a Nevada County freelance writer.


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