Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tabouli Salad

Big Sur Coastline

Tabouli Salad
(Best made a day or two ahead)

1 cup wheat bulgur
3 cucumbers, diced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch parsley, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Pour boiling water over the wheat bulgur, let stand for 20 minutes then drain

Mix everything together in a large bowl, cover, stick in the fridge overnight.

Everytime I make this, it takes me back to the early 70's and my friends' place in Big Sur. The Addams* lived at the end of the road where we moved when I was 10 years old, and we quickly made friends with their daughter, who was in between my sister's and my age. They were one of the first hippy/granola/Bohemian families I ever met. Their living room had hardwood floors, open beam ceilings, comfy beat-up sofas, track lighting and miles of bookshelves. Mrs. Addams wore blue jeans and Birkenstocks and let her hair grow long and straight, when our and most everyone else's mom still got a shampoo-and-set weekly at the local beauty parlor. She grew sprouts in jars on the kitchen windowsill. There was an artists' studio over the garage, a pottery wheel in the utility room off the kitchen and a bathroom that converted to a darkroom, where Mrs. Addams taught me when I was 12 how to develop my own black-and-white film and make proofs and enlargements. Mr. Addams had made a fortune in the electronics industry in the mid-60's and retired at 45. They bought 350 acres of rugged Big Sur coastline property and spend several years building their house there. Their property was right off highway 1 in one of those parts of Big Sur where the hills rise almost straight up our of the ocean. Their house was less than 1/4 mile in from the ocean, and 1800 feet up. They were they only people I've ever known who actually needed 4-wheel drive vehicles as nothing else could make it up the steep, rutted and narrow dirt road.

My sister had made a few weekend trips to visit there while they were still building the house and returned with tales of wandering the hills to gather large stones for the fireplace and the inevitable run-ins with rattlesnakes. My junior year of high school my sister and I, the Addams girl, and two other high school friends in our group went with her parents to stay in the newly-almost-finished house during the Easter break. We hiked during the days, coming back in the afternoons exhausted, filthy and with matted hair, played Ouija board at night by candlelight (especially wonderfully scary during the lightning and thunderstorm), binged on handfuls of Mrs. A's homemade granola, and learned how to wash a sinkful of dishes using less than a quart of water. Vinca grew by the stones leading up to the front door, and in the morning when we woke up we'd look out over a sea of fog some 1000 feet below. I remember that week as being an oasis in an otherwise weird period of my life. One of the dishes that we helped Mrs. A prepare for dinner was that Tabouli Salad and making it always takes me back to that week and the way the sun would turn everything golden right before it set.

*Not their real name.


Blogger Maya's Granny said...

When my kids were little, I used to make a bulgur pilaf with peanuts, and my son always hated it. So, when he was about 20 he dropped in to my office and my business partner and I were eating tabouli that I had made. Richard's comment, "Alison, you have to be careful with my mom, because you eat this and the next thing you know she'll have you eating bulgur."

Laughed! I thought we'd die!

Your friends, the Addams, remind me of many of my friends during the late 60s and 70s -- except none of mine had money, but we all had the life style. Houses with pottery wheels and artist's studios have always enchanted me.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Yes, it was such a counterpoint to our house, with white carpets and where everything had to be kept spotless and put away. People used to tell my mom our house looked like it was ready to be photographed for "Sunset" magazine. At the Addams, no one freaked out if you made a little bit of a mess, as long as things were put back where they belonged by the end of the day.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Doug won't touch the tabouli, not because of the bulgur, but because he hates tomatoes and cucumbers.

7:12 AM  

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