Last Saturday I took BART through San Francisco, over the water to the East Bay. My wise and endearing and delightful friend Terry picked me up, and we drove backroads through the trees and sun and space to her house in the Moraga foothills. The afternoon was hallowed, made by mere presence together; and because the HBH was hanging out with Cancan for the day, we talked when we wanted to talk, and we were quiet when we wanted to be quiet. We made lunch together, and we sat wrapped in blankets under the northern California sun. We questioned and we dreamed, we laughed and we felt, we soaked in the short two hours we had together.
And then we ate the most delicious salad of my life. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t found my pregnancy jam yet – with Baby #1, I constantly kept a rotisserie chicken in fridge, breaking off hunks of meat whenever carnivorous hunger arose. But as I think naturally happens when and if a second child in utero comes along, even though you’re utterly delighted at mere thought of chunky, beautiful, helpless babe entering this world, you’ve got other things on your mind. You’re paying attention to your almost-two year old, chasing him around the house, hoping he doesn’t destroy the mini blinds any more than his sticky, pulling fingers have already done. You’re writing and you’re hanging out with middle school kids; you’re reading and thinking and taking time for yourself. You’re cooking food and you’re riding your bike in circles around the neighborhood, and you’re laughing and tickling and loving your Love.
So you barely notice when that little stomach-alien kicks you after a couple bites of the salad. But then the kick-kick-kick grows in complexity and you begin to notice that he wants more radicchio and fennel, more salami and homemade croutons. Regardless, you give him more. You shove more salad into your mouth, you groan food-groans and you compliment your Terry-friend again, again. Eventually you hop on BART again, but before your boys get home, you go by the store and you grab the ingredients for this change-your-life salad for dinner that evening. And before you realize it, you’ve eaten nothing but “Radicchio, Fennel and Olive Panzanella” for lunch and dinner on Saturday, lunch and dinner on Sunday …and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. In five days’ time, you’ve successfully eaten the same mixture of yumminess for six entire meals.
And you’re pretty sure you need to head to Lunardi’s again for the third head of radicchio bought in a lifetime, this very week. So while I’m no food blogger, let me enrich your day with the following meal, straight from Bon Appetit magazine:
*Note: I substituted shaved parmesan for aged sheep’s-milk cheese, simply because I couldn’t find it in the store.
So, what about you? Do you have a tendency to dive head-first into a salad, a song, a book you love without coming up for air? Do share and have a great weekend!