notes from maggie's farm
About a thousand years ago, a pre-pubescent me was about the business of which I often immersed myself those days; watching an old movie, all by myself, while all the other kids my age were outside playing in the blazing sun. I've never been much for the blazing sun, and I've always been much for being absorbed in a movie from an era gone by, instead.
The title of the movie escapes me, as do the characters, and most of the plot, for that matter. It's one scene, though, that has stuck itself into memory. It made an impression on me.
A pretty young girl has received a 'Dear Jill' letter, and collapsed in a pool of tears. Briefly. She is miserable, momentarily. But then, she does what so many young jilted girls must do--she dusts herself off, and draws on her well of resolve to face down the agony of rejection.
Now if this movie had been set in a different age, said girl might have
1. taught herself to change her own oil.
2. gone on retreat
3. moved out of state
4. learned to play handball
5. explored primal screaming therapy
...all of which this writer has considered, and done most, when finding herself in similar circumstances. (Hadn't tried the primal screaming therapy. My screaming wasn't nearly that organized.)
But this movie was set in the fifties, so this plucky young lady did what plucky young ladies of the fifties might have done--she fixed her hair, put on her best sundress, hoofed it down to the nearest soda fountain, and coyly purred to the freckle-faced drugstore clerk, "cherry red lipstick and a cherry phosphate, please".
I'm not sure why this particular instance of pluckiness affected me so. I'm not really the 'I'll put on my cherry red lipstick and go catch me another fella' kind of girl, and never was. But anytime I see a big display of cherries, they kind of sing out to me--'need to get your mojo back, girl?'.
And in this kind of heat, who doesn't need a little help reviving a flagging mojo?
Cherries were on sale at the market this week, so cherries we'll be having, beginning with
Cherries, while certainly 'nature's candy'--sweet little morsels of summer delight, are also a 'superfood'. They are high in Vitamin C, help aid in muscle recovery, lowering body fat, improving skin, treating gout, all the while boosting libido and helping troubled sleepers. That's pretty darned super! Read more about the health benefits of cherries, here.
Combined with healthy-habit foods like wild rice, kale and other leafy greens, and almonds, you'll have a bowlful of power, bursting with flavor, in this salad, with scads more mojo-repairing capabilities than any tube of cherry red lipstick can boast.
Prepare vinaigrette, below, and set aside.
Combine 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved, with approximately 2 cups prepared wild rice (or wild rice mixture, if you prefer your grains a little milder), 2 ounces sliced almonds, 2-3 ribs celery, chopped, and 1 small tin bamboo shoots (optional). Toss together with vinaigrette. Shred your favorite leafy greens--we've combined cabbage, kale, and arugula lettuce; all firm and strong flavors that will hold up well to the hearty salad. Line salad plate or bowl with greens, mound cherry-wild rice mixture atop, and garnish with crumbled goat or feta cheese (optional). Serve at room temperature, or chilled.
Whisk together 4T olive oil, the juice of 4-5 key limes, 1T whole grain or dijon mustard, 1T dark brown sugar, 1t chervil, to taste. Chervil is most commonly found among bottled dried herbs and spices. Tarragon is a close substitute, however it is recommended to crush fine, and start with 1/2t, increasing as needed, to taste. Also, we used our homemade basil malt spicy mustard, but any whole grain, honey mustard, or dijon mustard will suffice.