Monday, December 04, 2006
Weeds, Seeds & Avocado Salad...aka Cameron's demise
Lauren knew how to tease a man insane. Everything about her tonight seemed to be trying to seduce him, even the promise of getting whatever he wanted in return for tasting her food. Since the flow of air through the dining room felt like her caress on his skin, no doubt the salad, a strange concoction of weeds, seeds, avocado and oranges, was charged with the same sexual energy.
She couldn’t expect him to eat and talk at the same time. He pushed the salad around with his fork, hoping to make it look like he’d eaten as he tried to keep the conversation at the table flowing. But he felt the weight of her narrowed gaze, though he avoided it since he saw the challenge she set in front of him. Avoided her and the golden wrap dress she’d donned. It tied with a sash, making him wonder if he untied it, would the whole thing would fall away?
To keep sane, he focused on work. Far easier to understand the motivations of the attorney, professor, former CEO, and the two men trying to convince them all no better investment existed than using recycled restaurant grease to fuel automobiles.
“We’re turning an environmental burden into a conservation benefit.” Even in a suit, Henry Moss looked like a college senior who’d rolled out of bed and jumped into the only thing clean left.
“But this is currently a niche market. I can’t power my car with cooking oil.” He speared what looked like an orange and hoped for the Moss would delve into the sales pitch long enough for him to take a few bites. Avocado first. It would melt in his mouth.
“With the slightest adjustments, it can. Making those adjustments available to everyone is what we provide.” Moss’ partner, John Pratt barely looked more presentable with his shaggy hair and fuzzy goatee.
“But what kind of traction can you show?” Dean Walters laid his fork across a clean plate and leaned back in his chair. The man had acted as smug as befit a former CEO of the largest vehicle manufacturer in the country.
“For our size, we have generated significant revenue.” Moss said, leaning forward. “Our profits will be exponential. The more people who take on the responsibility of alternative fuels, the higher the demand, and the easier they are to access.”
“It’s admirable gentlemen.” Professor Volk laid his napkin next to his empty plate. “We all wish consumers would be environmentally accountable for their choices. But Americans go for cheap and easy. The gas station on the corner is simply more convenient than the one alternative fueling station in the metro area. There are many fuel alternatives – ethanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, fuel cell, electricity, methanol, and the list goes on. You have a double challenge, getting people to choose biodiesel, and choose your method.”
To keep from answering the question himself, Cameron shoved and orange section into his mouth. Except it had to be the most acidic, bitter orange he’d ever tasted. Swallowing it down he realized it wasn’t an orange, but a grapefruit. Leave it to Lauren to find the one fruit he detested to make him look like a finicky eater.
Pratt cleared his throat. “What we are offering is ease and economy, a way to convert a consumer’s existing car into a more efficient model. It’s an investment that pays them back in just over a year for the average person, sometimes as quickly as six months for commuters and sales people who rack up the mileage.”
Lauren stood, collecting the plates. Everyone else was as enthralled by the debate as he should be, if he weren’t so distracted by Lauren. He had two options to get his focus back at dinners. Either end the arrangement now, or sleep with her to take the edge off. Really, he had no choice at all.
AVOCADO CITRUS SALAD
1 avocado sliced
1 grapefruit, supremed Reserve the juice (or use the pre-sectioned grapefruit in the deli case)
1 orange, supremed. Reserve the juice (or use a can of mandarins, discard the water)
2 T pine nuts, toasted
1 bag pre-washed Mesclun mix
Toss the sliced avocado in the citrus juices. In a large bowl toss together all ingredients. That's it! There's no dressing to this salad. The ingredients meld so well there is no need!