From the New York Times: “Across much of Alaska at this time of the year, as winter tightens its grip with darkness and cold, finding a nice crisp head of lettuce at an affordable price can be like prospecting for gold. Where the farm-to-table distance is measured in thousands of miles, the odds get long.”
When I read the above paragraph I let the paper slide from my nerveless fingers as a brief reverie of my childhood overtook me.
My misguided mother, bless her culinary soul, tried to make me eat raw green salads in the wintertime up in blustery Minnesota.
I fought her to a standstill, night after frozen night. I had heard my dad sneeringly refer to salad greens as “rabbit food”, and so I decided that the manly thing to do was turn up my nose at ’em.
Now, as I try to stave off the ravages of a Cheetos-infested lifestyle, I find myself browsing on salads most every day. The irony would be comical, if water cress weren’t so darn expensive . . .
Up there in Alaska, where the nights are mighty long,
the denizens chant plaintively this melancholy song:
“Arugula is but a dream, and endive but a fable;
there are no spring greens we can ever put upon the table.
A leaf of chicory or just a parsley sprig or two
would gladden hearts and give some zest to walrus blubber stew.
Beet greens we have yearned for, till our eyes are soft with tears;
the thought of bok choy keeps the trappers crying in their beers.
A head of lettuce, some Romaine — oh, where can they have gone?
We need those antioxidants to face another dawn!”
Cheer up, all you ice chippers, and cease your histrionics —
you will soon scarf salads through the grace of hydroponics!