Now that it's all over, I realize how foolish my mistake was. But, at the time, I thought I was just following directions.
When she passed on the recipe for orzo salad, my cousin Marla told me "Recipes are all about following directions. No creativity required if you don't feel like it. I have faith in your abilities!"
Apparently, she didn't quite realize who she was dealing with. After what happened, I'm not sure if Marla still has as much faith in my abilities.
Perhaps I followed her recipe a little too closely. The recipe called for 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (4 stems) stripped of leaves and chopped.
So I went ahead and stripped the stems of leaves and then proceeded to chop them. They were nearly impossible to cut, so I had to use the kitchen shears. I clipped away until the stems were neatly chopped and I mixed them into the dressing.
It struck me as a bit odd that I should use the stems and not the leaves, so I called Marla to inquire.
"Oops. I'm sorry. I guess the recipe wasn't entirely clear, but I just assumed you would know to chop the leaves and not the stems."
"Well, this salad will be a little crunchier than yours!"
"I don't think anyone will die from it," said Marla.
Instead of trying to remove the stray stems, I gave up and just shook a bunch of dried oregano on the salad.
Good news! Avo just tasted a bite and he didn't even notice the stems (don't tell him). What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? And as Marla said, I don't think a handful of oregano stems can kill anyone.
Besides, Avo is thrilled he's off dinner-duty for the evening and I'm feeling pretty proud of the day's accomplishments.
UPDATE: Avo decided to grill meat kebabs and vegetables, so the orzo salad has been relegated to side dish status. Still, I made a side dish!