On Being Connected & a Salad

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m this excited right now over a salad. A rush has just come over me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would normally classify myself as a strong salad enthusiast, a daily consumer of the fresh green stuff in salad, juice, and even smoothie form. BUT, I’ve never been this excited about eating it before….

glory

I hope I haven’t frightened you off too soon. I guess I’ll  give you a bit of background. I’m a regular meanderer of the farmers markets. Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and the occasional Sunday you will find me, canvas tote in hand, searching for my established favorites and finding the new stuff the season has to offer. Over the years I’ve graduated to regular conversations about weather and family with the walnut guy, the slightly creepy mushroom man, and the one who makes my weekly Monday night dinner. (Falafel man, I’m forever indebted to you.) I love shopping outside, the fresh produce galore that the central coast has to offer, buying flowers, familiar run-ins, and the list goes on and on. And on…

But today! Making my salad! From the farmers market veggies! And my own from the garden! (note: I am usually not an exclamation mark type of gal) I was not only thinking about what was going in my meal, but acknowledging the people who supplied me with the produce. It was almost like the joyousness I experience from the market was condensed into my bowl.  I began to feel thankful for everyone, thankful for my food, thankful for being able to enjoy a fresh salad. Wow! How often does that happen? People usually scorn their salads as too healthy and therefore un fun rather than sing their praises.  But no…as I started eating it,  the mint!, the thyme!, the summer cucumbers!,  the peppery arugula!, and  the avocados!, began to fill me to the brim with joy and connectedness. I guess the same connectedness that I feel with the earth and the community when I go to the outdoor markets several times a week. Forging ahead into my dish,I tasted nature, full of flavor in its pure form with just the tiniest help from the balsamic vinegar and curry salt Ben’s parents had gifted us. I was thankful for that too. Just simply acknowledging where this stuff was coming from completely changed and enhanced my experience. I felt full of love and gratitude, and was astonished that it all started with my salad.

summer cucumber power

I read this post right before I had the time of my life making and eating the best salad ever. (I know I’m a weirdo) It seems to make sense to be feel happy and grateful for the things that make your more whole and healthier in your life (cough…fresh greens…cough), but as with many things, we often just take them for granted. Eating closer to the Earth has brought me so much more clarity on myself and the nature that surrounds me. So in hindsight,  I guess I can’t help but get excited about it. In the end it’s not just the salad; it’s the connectedness to the seasons, the farmers, the nature, and fueling myself with mean and clean greens that gets me all too blissful.

Perfect Summer Salad

serves 1

1/2 avocado

1 large handful farmers market or self foraged greens

1 tablespoon fresh herbs such as mint, basil, thyme, or dill (have you tried growing them yourself?)

1/2 large cucumber, sliced

1/2 of a summer stone fruit (i.e. peaches, plums)

1 tablespoon excellent quality balsamic vinegar

sea salt, curry salt, or favorite salt to taste

fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a beautiful bowl and relish every last bite….slowly. 🙂

What has been an simple and/or unexpected joy in your life lately?

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