That a recipe could be attributed to my father, and circulated for decades among relatives and friends, is something that astounds me. I found it this summer in a cookbook belonging to my Aunt Ann.
To be fair, I do remember my father making it–once–for the neighborhood block party, celebrating the end of summer, 1975.
We had just moved into the duplex on Connor Road where most of the Captains and new Majors were housed at West Point on the Hudson. It was the summer my mother left to live with family at the shore. For a couple months, my physician father was forced to be both provider and parent–the latter a role he had never fully filled.
I remember him filling the bowl full with lettuce. I remember him grounding the garlic into it first. I remember the croutons and the Parmesan. (I don’t remember the anchovies.)
I still have that big brown wooden bowl which is usually filled with popcorn in my home, as it often was when I was a child.
The bowl belonged to my Nana Lila–who was a well known cook–and perhaps it was from her that my father inherited this renown family recipe for Caesar Salad.
When I was at the shore for my sister’s bridal shower, my Aunt Ann shared some of her favorite Salasin family recipes. Among them, was one from my grandmother Lila’s best friend whom we all called, “Auntie Fran.”