Salad Greens

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!

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