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Traffic and tomato stacks

June 14, 2010

Yesterday I got caught in one of those horrible accident delays where you shut your car off and whine and call Dad to look up and tell you that it is still 2 miles ahead of you even though you’ve already been sitting for 2 hours and you get so frustrated you might seriously just ram your car into the one in front of you so at least you can get out of the car. And you also cry a little bit.

It was 10-miles of back up.

At the last possible minute, before a barrier began and I would be stuck forever, I veered off the road, taking the Scion on a little “let’s dodge the orange and white construction drums” game for which Mario Kart had aptly prepared me. I went back under/through the Delaware Toll Plaza (under which I had been parked for 45 minutes), paying the toll twice and speeding past the 10 miles of cars stopped behind my position. I-95 is a cruel bitch, isn’t she?

In seriousness, I hope no one was badly hurt (I would say hurt at all, but I know that someone was because of all the emergency vehicles that led to the highway closures). But I was miserable, starving and with a full bladder and out of range of Q102. I thought that a tiny wax-covered Baby Bel cheese was to be my only dinner.

I decided to cut my losses after 3 hours (and 6 in the car total…with 4 more to go) and drive back to West Chester, where Dad gave me a beer and Mom gave me this dinner:

The crowning glory of which is something called a “tomato stack.”

From Cooking Light:


  • 1/3  cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4  cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2  teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1/4  teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of ground red pepper


  • 4  medium heirloom tomatoes (pretty colored ones)
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 cup very thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1 cup diced peeled avocado (about 1 small)
  • Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

To prepare dressing, combine first 9 ingredients in a small food processor or blender; process 30 seconds or until pureed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Cover and chill.Slice each tomato crosswise into 4 equal slices (about 1/2 inch thick). Place 1 tomato slice on each of 4 salad plates; sprinkle slices evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top each serving with a few onion pieces and about 1 tablespoon avocado. Repeat layers 3 times, ending with avocado. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dressing over each serving; sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

Devour. Smile. Lick plate. Serve to angry daughter. Watch her mood improve.

Maybe daughter revises plans so she always just haaaasss to stay in West Chester on Sunday nights.

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