I talked to my dad this morning about his burgeoning garden. The produce is starting to come in like a tidal wave, threatening to take over the counter tops, freezers, wheelbarrows, anything that can be filled with lettuce and spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, onions and peppers, and loads of blackberries. Soon to come will be garlic, tomatoes, snow peas, muskmelon and next year... asparagus.
I wish I could run over to the backyard of my childhood, leaping over the peeling picket fence, and lie down in all that warm dirt and fragrant produce. I wish I could hike back through the freshly cut grass with him in the early evening light and pick a fresh salad and bowl of berries. I wish I could string up all that garlic and hang it from the timber rafters in my kitchen (I don't have timber rafters in my kitchen).
I can't do any of those things, but I love that way over there in the middle of the armpit of America, my dad is doing dirt work, following in the footsteps of man since the dawn of time, cultivating food from the earth.
All this talk of lettuce and radishes, colorful sweet peppers and homemade cheese (hopefully in the next few days) is making me salad inspired. I keep running into them everywhere... pictures of leafy greens piled high with grapefruit and walnuts or goat cheese and cranberries... I can't even remember all the combinations but I know I want to try them ALL and summer is the perfect time to do so.
I'm going to try a new salad combination as often as I can, with the available ingredients here in my seafood loving city, and see how long the inspiration lasts. If you know of any unique, favorite or summer-terrific salads... or food blogs, please share!