Right now, there are three hens (Domino, Blackie and Fluffy), a rooster (with a name so silly I can't bring myself to type it), and three (yet unnamed) no-longer-chicks. I don't yet know whether they are boys or girls. Girls will be able to stay, boys not so much. No chickens we've named will be going in our pot though; I'm not a farmer--I'm not even a country girl by upbringing (plus I'm not hungry enough). In the meantime, boy, do the girls ever make some fine eggs, with orangish-gold yolks.
It may seem superfluous to offer directions for something as basic as dressing, but that's just it: everyone should have a from-scratch favorite. The kind of taste-enhancing sauce you can nearly make with your eyes closed. I almost always go by the 3 to 1 oil to acid ratio, and this is my everyday, go-to dressing. You can use my version to refine or develop your own standard version. Let's see, a modest glass of the house white, a baguette and a small cheese plate on stand-by...and mmm, you're in like Flynn.La Sauce Maison (The House Dressing)
Makes more than enough dressing for 4 meal-size salads.
generous pinch of salt
a bit of fresh-ground pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 scant teaspoon (liquid) honey
2 tablespoons good balsamic or sherry vinegar, or fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, or walnut oil (or--more hedonistic--bacon fat from the just-cooked lardons, but then add a touch more mustard)
4 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
a squeeze of mayonnaise
a few tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs, such as tarragon and chives/chive blossoms; mint, basil, cilantro....
Stir together the salt, pepper, mustard and honey in a jar (one with a tight-fitting lid). An old jam jar is good. Add the vinegar to the mustard and honey paste, and stir to dissolve the salt (the salt won't dissolve if you add it after the oil--not the end of the world but it does add incrementally to the final effect). Pour in the oils, any fresh chopped herbs, and seal and shake as if your entire well-being depended upon a decent emulsion. Taste and adjust with a bit more mustard and pepper as necessary. Wait until the last possible moment to add the sauce to the lettuce. Do make sure the washed greens are bone-dry before dressing (after the salad spinner, I roll the lettuce up in a clean kitchen towel to absorb the last microdroplets).