April 19, 2011
Oh hello there, fresh green vegetable! I HAVE MISSED YOU.
Hospitals are terrible places for people who love food—hospitals can also be terrible places, generally. At the same time, they are also miracle houses, temples of possibility, monuments to what the body and the brain can do.
If you’re feeling a little discouraged or frustrated in your life, I recommend you go spend some time in the surgery waiting area of a nearby hospital. Strike up a conversation with the people sitting nearby, share your Kleenex and your snacks. Watch as parents receive instructions about how to care for their infant daughter’s bandages, practicing on a doll the case manager has brought. Listen (because you can’t help but overhear) bad news being relayed over the phone. Marvel at the possible range of human experience.
If I say “I’ve learned things over the last few days” it’s really that “I am dead certain now of things I had suspected before.” Like—most things we spend our time worrying about don’t matter. Attempting to plan every detail of every day is overrated. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. My friends are extraordinary. Jill is tough as freaking nails. And I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me that this is a marriage.
Jill’s got a big, bad scar running down her chest, a will of iron, and a long but hopefully smooth road to recovery ahead. We’ve received nothing but the most excellent care from every hospital employee, and more love and good wishes than I can really wrap my mind around.
We’ll celebrate our anniversary on Thursday, back home from the hospital, and full of gratitude. And hopefully with some green vegetables.
RAW ZUCCHINI SALAD
I can’t even really call this a recipe—hardly original, it’s just what there is to do with lovely little zucchini this time of year. Infinite variations are, of course, possible.
2-3 small zucchini
salt & pepper
fresh basil (optional)
¼ cup toasted nuts (I’ve used Marcona almonds here, but I think pistachios would be delicious)
Cut the ends off of the zucchini and shave it very thin with a mandoline (or slice carefully with a sharp knife!) Toss the zucchini with the zest of one lemon, the juice of both, olive oil, salt, & pepper. Shave Parmesan cheese on top of the salad, and garnish with basil and/or nuts, if using. Serve immediately.