notes from maggie's farm
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. --Martin Luther
Some things were just made for each other. Tomato and basil. Chiles and cheese. Bacon and eggs. Ike and Tina.
Okay. Scratch that. That didn't work out so well.
But cucumber and dill? A perfect example of a perfect marriage. Apart, well, cucumber is a little dull, and who wants a mouthful of dill? But in concert, in just the right amounts, and in just the perfect creamy environment, they complement each other beautifully. The two of them sing.
It got me thinking about the parallels, that salad, with my own marriage. Apart, well, one of us might be a little dull, and the other just a bit too much (and I'm not saying who's who---I mean, really, it's more like we're each one of those at times....No. Really.). Together, in just the right amounts, in an environment of dedication, we sing.
Mostly oldies. Sometimes Led Zeppelin.
Now, I'm not going to claim that my husband is the best husband in the world. Several acquaintances have already declared theirs to be on Facebook. I'll let them keep that. My husband, though, happens to be the best husband for me. He's a rock. He is that which I tether my high-flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants self to. We delight in our differences.
Recently, I found him working in the blazing sun, most practically, in full work dress: his laced-up work boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, all buttoned-up and tucked in. I noticed that, after stretching for one particularly out-of-reach junction of 2x4s, he settled back, and re-tucked the shirt tail that came loose. He heard me giggle, and knew what I was thinking, because we know each other in that way in which words are not often necessary. "Well," he says, " I don't want to be sloppy."
Now, I kinda think this is funny. Because the very shirt he insisted stay tucked in had become a handy-dandy memo pad for measurement notes, as you'll see if you look closely at that picture of one quite dirty shirt, just to the right of his placket. Dusty, sweaty, marked on--but he didn't want to be sloppy. He's an old-fashioned man, with old-fashioned ways, and an old-fashioned work ethic, this man who spent his rare days off, in record-breaking heat, building me a porch. Building me a porch so that I can sip coffee in the early morning and work on my laptop in comfort. And, look--he's sweaty, dirty, exhausted, and happy to be doing it.
And, me? I'm a whirling dervish, given to fits of impracticality, raucous laughter, intense studies. When I'm working, I'm a mess. Absorbed in the task at hand, I have no concern at all whether I'm sloppy. I can't be bothered with the appropriate work gloves or knee pads, or proper way to squat, rather than bend, I just want to get whatever it is I'm doing done, and as fast as I can. Because there is the next thing I'm hopping to. Like a jack rabbit, I'm here, I'm there, I'm back here, I'm everywhere. And all this time, the tortoise to my hare, my husband, from sun-up to sundown, slowly builds a most beautiful porch.
Apart, we'd really not be very effective. I am the go-getter. He is the get-it-done-er. Together, we sing.
At the end of the day, we will sit on the porch, together. One complementing the other.
Kinda like this simple salad, a perfect marriage.
Peel, seed and dice two large cucumbers. In a colander, sprinkle cucumber with about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Toss well and set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
Mince 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed (or 2 teaspoons dried), and 1 tablespoon of fresh mint. combine, in a bowl, with one cup sour cream, one tablespoon cider vinegar, and about 1 teaspoon of sugar, to taste. Fold in drained cucumber, season with finely ground black pepper to taste, correct seasonings, and allow to chill thirty minutes before serving.
Serve this fresh, bright salad with classic, beloved old-fashioned flavors like those straight from a grandmother's table as a topping for burgers, with crispy falafel in a pita, as a side to complement your weekend barbecue, or, as shown, tossed with your favorite fresh sprouts or greens for a light, refreshing summer salad lunch.
Have a great weekend!