Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dinner for Two and the Origin of Cobb Salad By Margo Hoornstra

Legend has it that the Cobb Salad was created out of one man’s quest for a midnight snack. In the 1930s, Bob Cobb, owner of the famous Brown Derby was scrounging around the restaurant’s kitchen when he took various foods out of the refrigerator and started chopping. A friend who was purportedly with him at the time liked the concoction so much, the next day Cobb Salad was officially put on the menu.

Recipe for Cobb Salad

The salad is easy to prepare. Start with a bed of lettuce then dice up tomatoes, avocado, a heard cooked egg or two and cooked chicken. Arrange in strips on top of the lettuce then add more strips of crumbled blue cheese and bacon.

The original “snack” was supposedly eaten with Old Fashioned French Dressing. Present day diners, myself included, enjoy theirs with a dressing of choice.

In my novel, Next Tuesday at Two, Cobb Salad is the entrée chosen by Blane and Matt for an impromptu dinner for two the day after they first meet.

Here’s the back cover blurb then a short excerpt.

Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand is more than willing to provide. Except, given his reputation for hostile business takeovers, she wants no part of the deal and tells him so just before she catches a flight to her hometown to attend her 25th high school reunion. Alone and single for far too long, she plans to hook up with a former flame.

Not used to being told no, and determined to close this particular deal, he catches the same flight to wherever it is she happens to be going, prepared to dog her every move until she agrees to his terms. Not for one minute can Blane enjoy the journey back into her past when Matt’s so hell bent on dictating her future.

But, imagine his surprise when he learns her destination holds memories and unfinished business for him.

After literally missing the boat, a moonlight cruise with former flame Aaron Goodwin, the first night of the Summerville High School Twenty-Fifth Reunion, Blane stops for a bite to eat in the restaurant of the hotel where she is staying for the week-end.

As it happens, Matt is seated nearby and begins talking to her.

“Sometimes reunions can be a bitch.”

“I’ll say,” she responded on a laugh. Still smiling, she leaned toward him. “To be honest, I doubt I’m missing much.”

He couldn’t help a chuckle in return. “So what’s going on between you and Goodwin?”

“Aaron?” She toyed with her water glass. Before he could get a decent answer, the waitress arrived to take their order and they each grabbed for their menus at the same time.

“We haven’t decided yet,” they admitted as one.

“I’ll be back, folks,” she told them, not bothering to hide her annoyance.

“Kind of an embarrassing confession to make,” Matt said when she’d left.

“It is.”

For his part, he also had to confess the thought of her being out for the evening with the moron he’d been introduced to in the hotel lobby ground on his third nerve. He’d run into the type plenty of times.

They talked a good game, but generally didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. He waited a moment before he asked again about her relationship with a guy he was beginning to resent big time.

The opened menu received her undivided attention. “Aaron is a friend from high school.”

He laid out the next question as he scanned his own menu. “And?”

“And, nothing,” she said without looking up. “I wonder how the Cobb salad is.”

“You won’t know until you try it,” Matt replied, sorely tempted to order the first item he saw so his full attention could return to their evening together.

He never expected to walk into the hotel restaurant to find Blane sitting there alone, and thought things might start going his way after all. To help events along, he asked the hostess to seat him at the table next to hers. Also, and unusual for him, any urgency to close a lucrative business deal suddenly became the farthest thing from his mind.

She placed a hand against her stomach. “As hungry as I am, anything would taste good.”

His eyes followed the movement then rose slightly to take in soft curves above her belly, the slope of a shoulder, the arch of her throat.

“With Bleu Cheese dressing.” At the sound of her voice, his gaze jumped to her face where a smile took over her mouth. “As a treat to myself.”

“I’ll have the same.”

Next Tuesday at Two can be found at:

Barnes & Noble

For more stories, some to download for free, please visit my blog or website.

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Jannine Gallant said...

I love recipes where you can basically throw in anything you like! Great excerpt.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thank you. Throwing in recipes are my kind too.

glenys said...

The recipe sounds wonderful-I'm imagining blue cheese dressing & garlic bread...uhmmm. Love the way your two characters seem so comfortable together, even with that frisson of something more....

Margo Hoornstra said...


Blue cheese dressing is the best, isn't it? I like your suggestion of garlic bread. I'm pleased you enjoyed my excerpt. Take care.