Friday, July 23, 2010
Universal Connection Salad
I stood across from one of the vendors tables, at the farmer's market. His products were splayed out on table before him like a dinner waiting to be blessed. We were talking excitedly about food, and about interesting characters whom we know that are involved in the local food movement, which has recently erupted from a grassroots revolution to a mainstream ideal.
"She is sort of a travelling farm warrior, always following around the farmers and volunteering to help on their farms. She also does food photography." I said of a woman I had met recently at the market.
"No I have never met her" The vendor said. He kept talking, but I became distracted. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an older woman watching me intently. She had dark hair, large eyes, red lipstick, and a bright white teeth. Her smile was huge, and she appeared to be really appreciating our conversation. She looked familiar, like a woman I used to work with in Minnesota. My gut gnawed at me, telling me to include her in the conversation.
"Hi, you look familiar, do I know you?" I asked the woman.
"I was just thinking the same thing about you" She said.
"Do you have a sister?" I asked, thinking of the Minnesota woman I used to work with at the co-op.
"Yes I do" she said "but she doesn't live around here, she lives in Connecticut."
My ears perked up "I am from Connecticut!" I said, "Where does she live?"
"In the Northeastern part." She said.
"oh. Then I wouldn't know her. Does she look like you?"
"No, not at all" the woman replied, in a typical sisterly fashion "She has blond curly hair and is tall. Her name is Barbara. She used to live in New Canaan."
"I AM FROM NEW CANAAN!" I said, getting excited. That must have been it. I must have seen this woman before at Starbucks or something in New Canaan. It would have had to have been 10 years ago, at least!
"Kathleen McClintock" the woman said, and she put out her hand to introduce herself. At the exact same time I had said "Emily Noble" and put out my hand.
"Whaa?? your sister is Barbara McClintock??? SHE WAS MY NEIGHBOR!!" I shouted.
The woman and I looked at each other, mystified. How strange. The look of recognition that we saw in each other was not actually from a previous connection, but as it turned out, from an important future one. Barbara is someone that I had known when I was in a particularly self destructive point in my life. I owed her some words of gratitude, and a major apology. I gave Kathleen my email address and asked her to pass it on. I left our meeting shivering at the mysterious ways that the universe keeps us connected.
Universal Connection Salad
1 cup baby Swiss chard
1 cup baby green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup diced pea pods
1 tomato, diced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
Creamy Herb dressing
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup basil
1/8 cup sorrel
4 mint leaves
1 garlic clove
1 tsp sherry vinegar
Christina's vote: "This salad made me want to walk on my toes for 48 hours"