Necessity is the mother of invention, the saying goes, and that comes to recipes too. This is a salad I’d never have thought of if it hadn’t been for the nearly overripe plums and avocado sitting on my kitchen counter. The surprising result was a colorful and delicious burst of sweet and savory flavors. It’s hardly a recipe since it involves just these two ingredients and lime juice. Just make sure the ingredients are ripe. Peel and slice the avocado, then squeeze the juice of half a lime over the slices. Slice a couple of plums and add that to the avocados, squeezing the juice of the other half of lime over all. Arrange on a platter and serve. I served this as a side salad with grilled chicken and sauteed swiss chard, but it would taste great with fish or pork as well. Oh, and Happy Ferragosto to everyone. For those of you non-Italians, August 15 is a day when EVERYBODY is on holiday in Italy. The country practically shuts down. It’s a religious holiday commemorating the assumption of the Virgin Mary (when she ascended into Heaven), but it didn’t start out that way. Originally the ancient Romans took the whole month of August to party and honor the gods, particularly those of fertility and abundance. They named the celebration feriae Augusti, after the emperor Augustus Caesar (from whom we get the name for the month of August). Once upon a time not too long ago, even modern-day Italians would take a whole month off to relax by the sea or in the mountains. Many of them still do, but it’s more common now to take a shorter two- or three-week vacation instead, always coinciding with August 15. Today, I’ll be following tradition and celebrating the holiday too. Unfortunately, not in Sardinia or Cortina, but right here in Princeton with friends, complete with music, Italian dancers and plenty of food.