Back in January of 2010 the Parrot AR. Drone, a flying machine that streams video to iPhones, won the CES Innovation Award for Gaming Hardware. My fifteen and a half second Google search doesn't tell me whether this is a big deal or not, although I might've turned something up if I hadn't gotten sidetracked looking at drone porn for seven of those seconds, but, hey, an award is an award. You want something to sound legit? Just say that it has won an award. At the time, this little drone victory didn't register with me one bit. It was so far off my radar that, well, I can't even think of a good analogy. But the Parrot AR. Drone obviously registered with some people as it sold 300,000 units within two years of winning the CES award. Drones were no longer just for the military. They were a futuristic force to be reckoned with. Recognizing their value, Amazon, Domino's and Google are just some of the companies that have announced that they would begin drone testing for future corporate use.
Speaking of drones and the future, subsequent versions of the BBQ Chickpea Salad with Avocado Ranch that is pictured above may have drones to thank for their existence. Avocado trees in the region have been under attack by laurel wilt disease since 2009. This disease is caused by a fungus that is carried by redbay ambrosia beetles. Researchers have been working with farmers to try and devise a strategy to combat laurel wilt disease. One of the latest efforts? A drone/disease sniffing dog tandem being tested out by researchers at FIU. While the project is currently still in the piloting stages, it certainly is one worth keeping an eye on especially if you are as fond of the avocado as I am.
BBQ Chickpea Salad with Dronevocado Ranch (adapted slightly from the Garden Grazer)
For the salad:
-2 cups chickpeas
-2/3 cup Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce
-1 head of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
-1 cup of corn cut from the cob
-1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
-1 cup shredded carrots
-2-3 green onions
For the Dronevocado Ranch:
-1 cup soy milk
-juice of one lemon
-2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
-2 garlic cloves, pressed
-1/2 tsp. dried dill
-1/2 tsp. onion powder
1. Mix all the ingredients for the ranch in a food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Mix all of the salad vegetables in a large metal bowl. Pour the BBQ sauce overtop. Stir to coat the veggies.
3. Place the veggies on a plate. Spoon the ranch overtop. Attach the plate to a drone, fly it to your table and eat at once.