Grand Canyon Salad Dressing

Every month, I make a big batch of salad dressing to keep on hand in the fridge, stored in recycled mustard and honey bottles. Every time I make it I think of our Katrina exile, when my husband and I were taken in by New Earth Creationists in Phoenix, Arizona. The elderly gentleman who hosted us for two months had a long transparent plastic tube with water and sand inside. Sloshing the sand back and forth, he said the movement of the sand proved that the Grand Canyon was made in one single day. It was quite impressive.

As a matter of fact, my salad dressing, too, can be quite impressive. You have to keep your thumbs on the tops of the bottles when you shake them, or explosions might occur. But does the dressing prove anything about the geography and history of the world? Not really. That the belly is round?

Anyway, this is how I make it, and it’s great on fresh strawberry salad:

1 tablespoon coriander seed

1 tablespoon white peppercorns

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon celery seed

2 tablespoons poppy seed

1 teaspoon seasalt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup balsamic vinegar

8 cloves garlic, minced

Toast seeds and peppercorns in a hot, dry frying pan for about a minute until you smell the spices. Pour into a mortar and work spices with a pestle until they become a coarse powder. Pour into one large or several smaller recycled mustard and/or honey bottles. Add oil and slosh around. Add salt and cayenne. If the honey or mustard is thick, mix them together with a little bit of vinegar before adding to bottles. Add the remaining vinegar. Add garlic. Close tops and slosh away for a minute. Remember to leave some air—do not overfill bottles—or the dressing won’t mix.