Sunday, March 29, 2009
It's a beautiful day
Many years ago my family went on vacation to Northern California and when we were in Sonoma we stopped at a very nice restaurant that resembled someone’s fine house more than anything else. The General’s Daughter was located in the historical home of the well-off daughter of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, a general and multi-talented man of early California.
I remember many things from this vacation, not the least of which was that I saw an old photograph of “the general’s” three daughters, taken from the back to show-off their never-cut long hair. (You could say that I learned to love California history during this trip because of this sort of detail at the many historical sites that my family chose to visit.)
I’ve forgotten the main course of the lunch at that restaurant, but it’s no matter. It was the salad that stood out then. The salad stands out even now. You see, that time that we went to The General’s Daughter was the first time that I ate flowers. They were perfectly edible—nasturtiums—and they made for a cheerful orange petal confetti sprinkled over my plate of lettuce. Nasturtiums tend to be slightly peppery in taste.
Nowadays, I think of that first flower salad as I browse the lettuce-seller’s produce at the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market (on Thursday evenings from 4 to 8). Her salad-making products are organic, but even better, she sells bags of edible flowers! Better not dawdle though, these petals sell out fast!
When my siblings and I had finished our Sonoma lunch and were leaving, an older lady exclaimed about seeing us “well-behaved” children dining together (what she did not know was that we had made a game for ourselves, and our “good manners” were “mannered,” to say the least…) and grabbed hold of my sister’s arm to ask her what we were doing there. “We’re on vacation,” Amber happily replied. What else could the lady say but, “How delightful?”
It was delightful.