raw broccoli dressed up, easily remembered ::::
I have an uncanny ability to generate interesting and somewhat self-important blog post ideas in my head then wistfully realize when I have the chance to write them down, they have all but evaporated. My internal monologue is perpetually interrupted with kids’ needs and shrill screams, patient office visits and the gray scale of MRIs reviewed. Those slices of interruption are simply knives, slicing bits of my working memory away into some abstract trash bin.
Even as I write this, distracted by my half asleep nursing baby who has already awakened once tonight, in line for at least two more (hopefully) brief awakenings before dawn, I am not quite sure what I sat down to write about. Was it based on a cute quip from Grub? A poignant comment from Peach? A reminder that Sky-Girl is…I’ve trailed off already, unable to even complete the thought.
There is a forgetting as we age, but also a forgetting of our children’s infancy details. I forget the little things, wisped away by my prolonged sleep deprivation. I write them down as much as I can, as soon as they happen, rummaging to find each child’s baby book to document said details. If I’m home. Or not tethered to a breast pump. Or refereeing a Peach-Grub squeal fest.
But what will they remember? I often wonder that as Sky-Girl cuddles with me at night, as she looks up at me with bright eyes and a smirky smile in the morning, and how quietly contented she is when I walk holding her, cheek to cheek. Will there be some kernel of remembrance planted in her mind, some blur or fragmented memory of my eyes smiling in hers, my cheek against hers. Similarly, I wonder if Peach and Grub have memories of babyhood. When they are fidgety, insecure teenagers, will they remember that their mom was once experiencing the same teen dilemmas, and perhaps have some wisdom about it all?
In line with that forgetting, I also think about what we, Eat and I together, will remember. I wonder what Eat will remember from our years of young parenting, a prominent memory for each child. For instance, his first memory of Peach’s first sentence was spoken at a birthday party, telling a peer to clearly “sit down” at the snack table. He recalls the moment Grub started his trademark smile. And he frequently brings up Sky-Girl’s impressive cankles.
Will he remember the stress of taking care of Peach and Grub with the help of my brother when I was in the hospital with newly minted Sky-Girl? Or did it seem like a nice focused time with them? Will he recall how sad Grub looked when we took away baseball playing time outside after he purposely urinated all over the floor to gather our attention away from Peach’s homework and Sky-Girl’s voracious appetite of Cheerios?
The glass is half full, as is life. I try to look at the fullness I have, the blessings, the little bits that add up to so much. It’s like piecing together a colorful mosaic. Much like this blog, my memory is recorded in chips, a post here and there, eventually creating a picture of what we all are and what we love.
Enjoy the salad. I didn’t have a creative way to add bacon and broccoli into my writing. Bacon mosaic? Maybe life would be a little better.
One year ago: cucumber salad with sesame-miso dressing and gazpacho
Two years ago: chawanmushi
Three years ago: tamarind cooler
- 6 to 7 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 pieces of thick-cut bacon (about 8 ounces)*
- 1 smallish onion, diced
- 1 cup unsalted cashews or hazelnuts, toasted
- ½ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
- 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar or Demerara sugar
- Crisp the bacon in a frying pan and drain. Crumble coarsely.
- In the same pan, brown the onions with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, bacon, cooled onions, cashews, and cranberries.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, and sugar until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and mix well.
- Put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving. This keeps well in the fridge for a couple days, though the bacon softens some.
This looks like an excellent twist on an old classic! I will be trying this salad late summer when I have a little more time to plan a meal.
I read this post the same day of literary great Maya Angelou’s death…and one of my favorite quotes from her fits this post perfectly. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I can answer the question of what your children will remember…the will remember feeling safe and loved.
Thanks for the wonderful blog.
Thanks, friend. 🙂 Need to catch up soon.
Story, i loved the salad but admit i gave the broccoli a quick blanch and chill so it’s more ov a vegetable and less a salad for a slightly different presentation and less crispy ‘chew.’ still yummy. And Amber, thank you for putting the Maya Angelou quote in print to remind us of the wonderful connections of friends and family with food and kitchens in nonverbal ways . I heard the quote today on NPR too, while driving on a long road trip.