A Mother's True Salad - The Almost Forgotten Vintage Food
Many years ago, long before I was old enough to care about eating healthy, I used to see my mother combining chopped "raw" green veggies and a few fruits in her big see-through glass bowl, which at that time was still heavy for me to carry.
She would again tell me that back in those days, she was a true salad lover. She had her own garden of tomatoes and some herbs that my grandfather enjoys watering at the back of their small house. She thought I could also learn the same passion, though she was not sure if I enjoyed eating everything raw with almost nothing on it but salt and vinegar.
My mother was always creative with her greens. She simply enjoyed combining kinds of other veggies depending on her mood, but tomatoes (lots of it) onions, cucumber, radish and thinly-sliced carrots seem to be standard for her. I couldn't forget her other salad combination that includes celery, corn, green bell peppers, cauliflower, avocado, lentils, and beans. Even my most hated preserved pickles and kiwi didn't escape her bowl! But one thing she had passed on me was how to make a perfect vinaigrette.
Why Has It Been Forgotten
Never mind that it took me years to like her kind of salad, but I finally learned to make my own. To her credit, I make my salad exactly the same way, except for one thing - I use mayo and cream. It probably wasn't that healthy in a rich-in-fat version, but I liked it that way and in case anyone else was interested.
Since the new creamy and lots of cheese salad with added stuffs came out really delicious, I and the rest of the kids grew up with it. Although mother's salad tradition continued all along, hardly would I ever see us have a bite of it... and we did not realize how much we have deserted the salad recipe of our mother's childhood.
Who Wouldn't Love These?
Now It Is Back!
Perhaps we were extremely overwhelmed to the nuance of change and we did not mind the reaction of our mother. She enjoyed eating with us and never insisted to put the old salad back the way it ought to be.
What she would always tell us was to pick the greenest leaves when it comes to green salad, then season them with the freshest of herbs and spices, dress with homemade whisked olive oil, wine vinegar and salt, toss with the pieces of fresh fruits, and serve in the most stylish salad bowl. I couldn't imagine how we rejected a very healthy tradition for something creamier, cheesier and sweeter.
Today, every time I see a bountiful combination of fruits and greens in a clear bowl, I consider it another perfect time to remember mom. If she found my salad more delicious than her version... that I did not know, hard to remember that far back :=)