It's amazing how food can get us "there" faster. Not to get too Proustian, but I do have a degree in French Literature and I can't help it ...
I'm perpetually amazed at how the smell, flavor and even sight of certain foods can accelerate me directly into a memory, whether I was headed there on my own or not!
Today is Father's Day, and I'm preparing a yummy picnic to enjoy this evening with Benji, Soph and Joe at one of our local favorites, Wibby Brewing.
As part of my meal prep, I threw together a very simple salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion drizzled with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar. Simple, bright, yum.
So there I am at the cutting board (one of my very favorite places in the world), slicing and layering ingredients into the bowl: thinly sliced onion, then tomatoes, then cucumbers. Fine. Drizzle. Fine. Stir it all together ... instant childhood flashback.
My parents were beyond avid gardeners – it was a full-time summer occupation for them both. It was their happy place, and we ate incredibly well because of this passion.
One of my dad's summer favorites was Parkville Pleasure – we grew up in Parkville, Missouri, and my dad, ever the salesman, had coined this phrase to describe his own summer salad of fresh veggies dressed in simple vinegar.
How funny, and apt, that I made this today for the wonderful father in my life, Benji. Dad wasn't on my mind as I planned the dish, but literally the second I gave it a stir I was blasted back to memories of my own dad, Joe Lee.
My dad's been gone nearly 18 years, and some days I miss him so much it hurts. I wish he'd known my Benji, my Soph and my own Joseph.
So tonight we'll dine on my summer salad and raise a toast to Benji, to Joe Lee and to all of the other wonderful dads out there, creating memories with their own kids, one delicious dish at a time.