Do we know when we're in the salad days when they are happening or is it always something we reflect back on with great wistful fondness? I mean, I mostly know when life is hitting all of the high notes. When things are good. But I'm not sure I know when it's time to revel. To spin around on top of a grassy mountain top and exude Sound of Music exaltation.
When I think of the salad days, I almost always go straight back to college. My memory has always maintained that as four years of pure awesome. Even the broken heart that happened in my first year seems real stare-longingly-at-the-moon kind of drippy, silly, almost fun, heartbreak. I recall it like I would a romantic comedy, like Diane Keaton crying for however many days/weeks/months in that movie with Jack Nicholson.
But also, now, I see the salad days being the six years I lived in Atlanta after college. My twenties. I was the skinniest (too skinny) I have ever been and my entire life revolved around movies and music.
But also there were salad days in LA. Wild nights, celebrities, parties, eight-hour dinners, and more than one heart break that were absolutely not amusing or goofy.
Right now. I have a happy, healthy daughter who brings sunshine and laughter into my life every day. I've got Fred, my parents, an unparalleled network of friends, old and new, who love and support me. And I them. My life is filled with the work that I love, writing and photography.
Is this the salad days?
Stephanie thinks that the salad days are the youthful beginning of something.
I think she's right. (She also found out its origin comes from Shakespeare. Cleopatra referring to her youthful indiscretions.)
I think the salad days are actually best as a rear view concept. Good, great, flashbacks. Wistful fondness. Keeping the greatest parts of the past in the highest regard. That's what they're for. So I'll stick with college as mine for now. And maybe, when Emerson is a teenager, breaking rules and resenting her mother, I'll think back to now, with her saying "buggycycle" and "laybegee" (bicycle and ladybug), her innocence, purity and extraordinary snuggle ability, as the salad days.
The youthful beginning of her.
Radish Carpaccio with Beets and Pine Nuts
For the salad
For the salad
2 cups very thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup finely diced red beets
1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
For the dressing
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
At least a couple of hours prior to assembling the salad, roast beet in a 400 degree oven for about an hour, or until you can pierce with a fork. Let the the beet cool, and once they are safe to handle peel the skins. Chop into very small cubes and set onto paper towel.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Once emulsified, salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange all radish slices directly on the plate and top with beets, pine nuts and lemon zest. Drizzle dressing over the top.
One year ago: Ramp pesto with semolina conchiglie
Two years ago: Rhubarb-Swirl Ice Cream
Three years ago: Belmont Food Shop
Four years ago: Zebra Tomato, Pistou Basil & Burrata Crostini
Five years ago: Classic Tuna Salad
Six years ago: Potato Salad with Creme Fraiche, Mint & Basil