Saturday, March 21, 2009

La Vida Dolce Per Tutti


If your soul yearns for spring, which is literally coming in fits and starts this year, take matters into your own hands. Feed yourself a hearty salad of delicate spring greens without even making a trip to the local grocery or farmer's market. Right now is the time to head out to your backyard, or a neighborhood park if you are a true city dweller, and start picking your own dandelion greens. Get them now before they blossom and their leaves turn woody. It's terribly simple and will make you feel like the most sophisticated eater in the world. Go out and pick your greens this weekend. Stick your fingers into that cold, muddy soil, disregarding strange looks cast your way from condescending urbanites. If you are self-assured, take an elegant wicker basket with you. If audacity is your calling card, wear your floppiest summer hat. Simulate a trip to the farmer's market with all the characteristic showmanship you can muster. Fill your basket with as many greens as you can before modesty takes over and you remember that your original mission was simply to have a satisfying lunch. Take your greens home. Scrub your sink and fill it with the coldest water possible. Fill it to the brim and stop for a moment to appreciate the resources at hand. Now carefully plunge your harvest into the water, stir gently, as if leading an infant around in circles in a swimming pool for the first time, and then let them float. Let them float and let the sand and dirt precipitate silently to the bottom. Cherish your life. Go and sit in a sunny corner chair and read a book, or just gaze outside and think of summer. When you are ready, when your stomach growls, remove your greens from their baptism and spin them dry. A salad spinner is another cheap addition to your batterie de cuisine that will repay itself in innumerable delicious salads over the rest of your life. If you want to elevate your greens to their most noble use, dress them lightly with the freshest, fruitiest olive oil you can afford. Bless them with a pinch of good salt, a turn or two of the mill, and a squeeze from a nice lemon. Toss them lightly. Pile them high on a white plate. Admire them before digging in. If you follow these steps exactly, your reward will be otherworldly indeed.

2 comments:

Michael Natkin said...

You are on a roll today! Love the image of leading an infant around in the pool for the firs time.

paul said...

guess I've had a lot to say lately!

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