I’m trying to give more thought to our table.
I put an actual tablecloth on it. I haven’t done that since we’ve had kids and quite honestly, I’m not sure I did it before then.
Pink petaled tulips sit in the middle of the table. Their slender stems bend slightly to catch the last bit of sun. I’ve pre-filled the MATCHING cups with water. The plates, however, are mismatched and the napkins are paper but hey, there’s napkins! And I’ve set the forks on them just like my mom taught me.
I’m not looking for Martha’s approval here. The point in setting the table is not for me to capture the perfect Instagram shot to garner as many “likes” as possible. I’m setting the table to mark this time. To remind myself and my family that when we gather around the table, together, over an elaborate meal or a simple one, it’s sacred. I want my kids to see me honoring this time so hopefully, they’ll feel the same way someday.
Sure, I can tell them how much I love sitting at the table with them. But sometimes words can only go so far. Sometimes creased napkins tucked under the plate just so and ruffly tulips leaning over our dinner or an expensive cloth draped over our dinged up table says more about the importance of our time around the table then my words ever can.
Spring Chopped Salad
This salad has happened many times in the last couple of weeks. The produce changes depending on what’s in the fridge or what looks good at the market. There’s always salami, specifically Finocchiona, sharp cheddar and a bright, shallot-laced vinaigrette that brings it all together.
Use this as a guide. It’s really the sort of meal that does a grab job of using up the leftover bits in the fridge. That’s actually how this salad came got its start.
5-6 cups cut, cleaned greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (I used romaine & treviso)
1 cup blanched fresh (or frozen) peas
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (chives, mint, parsley)
4-5 radishes, chopped
1/2 avocado, diced
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 cup chopped sharp cheddar
1 cup chopped salami such as finocchiona
1/4 cup toasted pepitas
blanched green beans
Shallot and Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything in a medium bowl and whisk.
Add all the salad components to a large bowl then toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.