My Salad Days are back and here to stay. Did I just say that? Do I mean to eat a salad a day or am I thinking back to the days of my youth – innocent, carefree, inexperienced, for that’s what exactly the idiom ‘Salad Days’ mean.
Well, to me, on the one hand it means innovating some brand new flavours of salad every day to add more and more greens to our meals. Yes, that’s a new-found interest for me. I’ve been experimenting with salad making. Will share one immensely yummy and healthy receipe at the end of this post.
But, at another level, it means something deeper and profound and intentional.
When I think back to my days of childhood and youth, there are many, many stories that I think of with intense nostalgia – the precious bond I shared with my brother (only 16 months younger than me) – our late-night conversations and reflections with ghazals of Jagjit Singh playing in the background; the piece of earth we lived in – which was so green, beautiful, rustic, the people so simple and humble; the delicious food my mom made and the many festivals (specially Durga Puja) we celebrated; cycling to school with friends, birthday get-togethers, the fairs we attended around the lakes and ponds, the many games we played – mostly outdoors. I remember how the whole neighbourhood would collect funds to organize a movie night. The televison would be placed at a height in a spot that would be visible to most. We would huddle around the TV, or climb up on trees or gather on a rooftop that provided the best view. Our birthdays parties were super simple and so were the gifts that we received. But, we cherished them longer than kids do these days. Writing letters to family and friends, sending and receiving greeting cards (handmade) – these slow and cheap modes of communication actually played a great role in forming loving connections – and developing a life-long love for writing and art.
All these pretty pictures that I just painted – from those years gone by, might indicate that my childhood and youth was all roses and rainbows. Well, far from it – my brother and I had a rather unusual childhood – due to some family dynamics (that I can’t write about). We experienced struggles of the magnitude that kids cannot (and should not) cope with.
Yet, the happy memories overshadow the dark ones. And, I feel, it’s because – we had each other to ourselves. The bond between him and me lends big-time to the happy memories. The nature (greenery, paddy fields, ponds, clear blue sky, the rains, the glow worms, the frogs, the earthworms, the wild berries) that we lived in – is another reason. The opportunities for ‘free play’ that we had was yet another reason. Our inclination for art, craft, poetry, gardening – was one big reason. The community of friends and neighbours was an invaluable asset that added to the happy memories.
Without these ‘reasons’, my Salad Days would have been dreadful.
So, yes, I’m immensely grateful that I can look back on my Salad Days and think of them as beautiful and artful and replete with stories. And, I love to share those stories with Pari and even Avie (hubby).
But, am not content simply sharing those stories. I’m striving to create such ‘reasons’ for Pari (and now Sufiana) so that they will have innumerable stories to cherish from their own Salad Days – days of childhood magic and years of youthful carefree pleasure.
What fond memories do you cherish from YOUR Salad Days?
And, here’s a delicious, rich and aromatic (and very nutritious) Salad recipe that I innovated couple of weeks back. We loved it so much, I’ve been making this again and again.
I made it using all these lovely bits. This combination of colourful, chunky, chewy, creamy, sweet, sour, tangy, pungent bits and pieces make for a wholesome meal in itself.
- Lettuce (choose your type)
- Sprouted Moong (mung)
- Avocado scooped (ripe)
- Cherry tomatoes (sliced into halves)
- Strawberry (diced)
- Dates – chopped
- Black Current – seedless (soaked for 15 minutes)
- Pistachio (15-20 nuts) – unsalted
- A pinch od rock salt
Drizzle it with organic extra virgin oil – infused with garlic.
I bet you’ll fall in love with all the colours, textures and flavours.