Years and years ago, when I was thirty-something, I went to a pot-luck event at the church I was attending. It was actually for some sub-group, like choir, or a committee I was a member of. All of the detail of that evening is pretty much lost in the sands of time, but two things stand out with burning clarity in my mind: a particular salad, and the person who made it.
This woman, whose name I remember but will not mention here (because I lost touch with her) was nice enough, a pleasant gentle elderly soul who I was fond of. But the point of my reminiscences of her here, and the bigger generalization that it brings home to me, is that food can strike a chord that keeps on sounding.
This lady brought a salad that night, one that she had concocted out of her head, and all these years later, some 25 to 30 of them by my count, I still remember it, and her. I don’t think that I would have remembered her name, if I didn’t make her salad every year. And I’ve told my friends about it, and so a tiny piece of this sweet lady lives on.
The salad is simplicity itself, just four ingredients, and I call it August Salad because all of the ingredients are absolutely at their peak and delicious in August. I just had it tonight though, and this is July, so maybe “Late Summer Salad” would be more accurate. But I’ve thought of it this way for years.
Cube some absolutely juicy and fresh cantaloupe to the size of a green grape. Put the cantaloupe in a bowl, and add enough green grapes to equal the amount of cantaloupe. Then dice up a delicious, buttery avocado, about the same size as the cantaloupe cubes or a little smaller. You want just about the same amount of avocado as the other two ingredients. Add this to the fruit, and pour over poppy seed dressing to taste. I like Brianna’s, and also La Martinique.
You’ll want to add the avocado just before serving, of course. You won’t believe how good it tastes. A little bit of heaven.