Dinner 13: Salad Days

Salad Days, “Salad Days”, and Salad Night

No Comments 31 August 2011

By Hairee Lee

Cheers To Being Past Our Salad Days!

Last week, the freshmen of Harvard began to move into the dorms. I almost ran over a few of them while riding my bike to work. There were several ironies encapsulated in this brief run-in with the class of 2015.

Salad Days is the theme for this Dinner Series event, not only in recognition of back-to-school time, but also as a hurray to no longer living in salad days.

One irony was that September no longer holds the gross tang of fresh binders and buying other back-to-school stuff, thank God, but I still purchased mix-matched wine glasses from the student supplies bin parked on the north end of the main Harvard campus.1

Harvard Freshmen moving into dorms last week

Two was that while I think I look and dress a helluva lot better now than back when I was a freshman, the 17 year-olds have that glow of youth, which in many ways is synonymous to beauty.2

Three was that while I mentally shuddered and shook my head, ‘no’, at the naivete, the pimples, the exam cramming headed their way (pun intended)3, I still felt nostalgic. For the sense of everything being possible, the high metabolism, the astonishingly quick hangover recovery, the not having to worry about finding a job and making money.4

I felt ambivalent. What gets me through these moments of ambivalence and unease and uncertainty, which is pretty much the steady state of my life, is a great meal, wine, and amazing friends.5

Salad Days is the theme for this Dinner Series event, not only in recognition of back-to-school time, but also as a hurray to no longer living salad days, which, though awesome while it lasted, is in the past and, frankly, my life now is pretty fantastic.

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  1. And I’m riding my bike to work. Cambridgeans try to put the gloss of environmental friendliness to the commuting vehicle, but it’s actually called, “You still can’t afford a car.” []
  2. From having taught this age group, I know that most of them, if not all, haven’t a clue about this glow and will proceed to squander it with neurotic self-criticism and insecurity. Not until they’re my age will they realize their blind stupidity. []
  3. …the sneaking alcohol, the bad dates with boys, the worse sex, the talk with mom and dad about how you don’t think you belong in pre-med any more, the acceptance of roughing it and comfort with filth… []
  4. Sure, a lot of college students out in the real world worry about jobs and money. But most Harvardian freshmen probably don’t. []
  5. One of the things I love about being me now than being me before is that I understand that life is full of contradictions and rather than rejecting this truth or being depressed about it, the thing to do is drink. Sobriety, outside of a driving car or manning other heavy machinery or gestating a baby, is not the desirable state of being. It is , in my opinion, over-rated. []

Dinner 13: Salad Days

Salad Days Wines: Talking to Central Bottle’s Maureen Rubino

No Comments 31 August 2011

By Hairee Lee

Maureen Rubino has a super short

Maureen Rubino of Central Bottle

haircut, balances a pen over her right ear, sports a tattoo of “Riesling” on the inside of her left forearm1, and wears a puffed sleeves blouse. It’s a combination of elements I’m not sure how to reconcile, but as a wine merchant and consultant, there no question of her focus and knowledgeability in food and wine. She is, hands-down, the best wine consultant I’ve ever consulted with.

One of the four founders/owners of Central Bottle, a wine and gourmet foods shop near Central Square, Maureen and her store first came to my attention when Jonathan picked up a six bottles from her store for Dinner 9. Since then, I’d been meaning to visit the store and talk to her in person and Dinner 13 finally gave me the opportunity.

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  1. Turns out it’s only temporary and in support of Summer of Riesling, 2011 []

Dinner 13: Salad Days, Table Settings

Salad Days Table Setting Is Green and sophisticated

No Comments 31 August 2011

By Hairee Lee

The table setting for Salad Days reflect the tongue-in-cheek, ironic intentions behind the theme: literal and opposite and nostalgic. The main color palette Melissa chose was green for the literal interpretation of salad days while the sophistication of the items and their combination of the opposite of what I could ever have expected during my salad days.

For more photographs, go to our Flickr album.

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Dinner 13: Salad Days

Salady “Salad Days” Menu

No Comments 31 August 2011

By Hairee Lee

Laura (pictured below), our chief Dinner Series cook and my best friend, put together the menu for this event and executed the recipes, as usual, to perfection.

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