My son adopted the girls when they were 3 and 5. I first met them at Halloween time, when he brought them to our house, in a little town...to trick or treat. He and Karen were planning to marry and she had these adorable little girls. Soon after their marriage John adopted them. I invited them to see the movie "The Secret Garden" and to have lunch before. I picked them up and asked where they would like to eat. "Wendy's" they said in unison. So Wendy's it was. I expected them to want the typical fast food...a burger and fries, but they wanted something else. The both said, when asked, "Salad bar." What little kid picks the salad bar over a burger and fries? One of the girls and I were just reminiscing about this, while we were waiting for my son in surgery. We went to the hospital cafeteria and she went right to the salad bar. Some things never change.
My first recollection of a salad is a wilted lettuce salad. I used to stay at Grandma's house, while Mom worked... while Dad was fighting in WW II. The next door neighbors were an elderly couple and they had a victory garden. It was spring and the leaf lettuce was abundant. Mrs. Fowler had lettuce and spring onions in the sink, when I came in the door for a visit. She invited me for lunch. I asked what she was making and she said, "Wilted lettuce salad." Soon the bacon was sizzling in the pan and she took vinegar and sugar out of the cupboard. She mixed this delightful salad and gave me a piece of toast to eat with it. A simple lunch that I'll never forget. I have loved this salad ever since then and always remember the lady who introduced me to salads. She took time with me. We talked like I was her friend. I accompanied her into her garden and visited her while she picked beans, tomatoes, and other veggies. Mr Fowler was always working in the yard. Their yard was meticulous and the garden too. They always had time for me and never made me feel like I was bothering them. Older people can really make an impression on youngsters. We have the time to just listen.
MY WILTED LETTUCE SALAD RECIPE
5 slices bacon
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 head leaf lettuce - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
6 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
A couple of hard cooked eggs and parsley for garnish
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove from skillet, crumble and set aside.
To the hot bacon drippings, add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and pepper. Stir over medium heat until hot.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce and green onions. Add the warm dressing and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with bacon and sliced hard cooked eggs and serve.