From the ordinary, extraordinary

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We recently located the "off" switch on the television. Normally I have trouble operating the "on" switch.

Which is why I confine my viewing to times when I find the younger generation cemented to the couch cushions, eyeballs epoxied to the set. I stand in the doorway and offer commentary, such as: "What's this show called?" and "They can say that on TV?"

In some households screen time is curtailed, and my children believe this rule should apply to me. Nonetheless, my colleague and I in the Department of the Parental Oversight have issued this ruling: No more.

The screen ban was met with a brief silence. Followed by a protest in the traditional style — angry youth taking to the street with their slogans, their placards, their threats. After which the house exploded.

Rocket ships, constructed from cardboard tubes and duct tape, shoot past on string pulleys. Most of the ballpoint pens have been eviscerated. Springs and paper clips litter the floor. Origami parachutes descend the stairs. One young engineer fashioned a solar-powered turbine from toothpicks, bendy-straw and a clothespin.

Inspiring the local cook to fashion an old-fashioned bowl of chimichurri. The sauce, a staple of Argentinian cuisine, is put together from supplies that are always on hand and almost always overlooked: parsley, vinegar, garlic and bay leaf. It's bright, refreshing and works with almost anything. Much like the young mind, sprung free.


Prep: 15 minutes
Wait: 30 minutes
Makes: About 3/4 cup

2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 bay leaf
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (start with 1 bunch parsley)

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaf, salt, red pepper and black pepper. Whisk in oil, then parsley.

Cover. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Fish out and toss bay leaf.

Good with roasted meats, especially lamb, or just about anything else. Including pizza.

Adapted from Epicurious (OK, just a quick peek at the screen).

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