Tonight after unloading the truck from a day at the farmers market, I actually (believe it or not) remembered to bring home fruit and vegetables. I had cucumber and tomato salad with fresh mozarella, then roasted beets, and then a nice full bowl of watermelon. With salt. I never used to put salt on my watermelon, but I suppose I have the past few times now, without even stopping to think about it.
My great grandmother always sprinkled salt on her watermelon and I always remember standing in her tiny kitchen in Ohio thinking of how the combination sounded so strange and un-complimentary. Of course at that age I also didn’t know that port and dark chocolate are a beautiful combination - sometimes the best things just take time.
It’s not just at home though - I’ve seen salted watermelon popping up everywhere, at restaurants and even on the King of Pops chalkboard across the sidewalk from me at both of our weekly farmers markets. (Yes, I did personally request for the popsicle cart to be as close to my booth as logistically
popsible - possible. Yes, Drew and I did calculate that we have probably consumed over 80 popsicles between the two of us since opening day.) They’re popular flavors - the salty ones. Salted yellow watermelon, chocolate sea salt… people really do seem quite taken with sea salt these days. If only our conversations were as salty as our food.
That’s the way my Gigi would have had it. She just passed away this year, my great grandmother. A woman familiar with the feeling of a farm. Good at cooking real food. Unafraid of herself. Mischievous enough to play up her poor eyesight so that she could repeatedly cheat at rummy card games. But charming and humble enough to get away with it. She was my first and favorite pen pal. As the letters became more frequent, I got too lazy to write out great grandmother, abbreviated to g.g. and within the year everyone began calling her Gigi. Her real name was Clara. The same name of the variety of white eggplant we grow at the farm. I think of her salty-ness and quick wit every time I pull one off the plant and unexpectedly prick myself on the calyx. I think of her every time I wipe off the dust and see the skin of the fruit shine thick. smooth and opalescent. I think of her every time I clean them and cook them and sell them and bag them. I think of her and her perfect name and her sweet soul and I know she wouldn’t mind, in fact she might smile to know that I keep finding her memory in a farm field.