Serenbe Playhouse is doing an incredible adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz every weekend through August 3. It’s outside at The Inn’s animal village with a real yellow brick road and puppets from the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.
And though every part of director Brian Clowdus’ production is brilliant, my favorite part is at the end, when Dorothy is reunited with Auntie Em. She’s so caught up in the day-to-day drudgery until Dorothy touches her and says,” Don’t you see the magic?” The clouds lift from Auntie Em’s eyes and she says, “Oh Dorothy, it is magic.
I get choked up every time I think about it.
We all have to chop wood and carry water. Dishwashers have to be unloaded and laundry has to be moved from the washer to the dryer and back into the drawers—only to be worn and washed again. And you can look at those things as drudgery or you can see them as magic.
I choose magic.
As much as I can, I choose to see the magic that’s around me every day. And when I get out of balance—and can’t quite make it to Oz—daydreams give me the gift of stepping out of the spin. I find that when a daydream keeps popping up, it’s my soul saying, “Just give me five minutes, Marie.” And if I pay attention to it, it will grow.
When I was a little girl, I would lie in my bed and imagine a little town in my backyard. My favorite part of that daydream was the grocery store, which had tiny shopping carts. Years later, when Steve and I visited New York, I’d make a beeline for Dean & DeLuca, the original gourmet grocery store in Soho. I loved the black and white tile floors, the metro shelving and beautiful takeaway food. I bought bottles of the sundried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar they introduced to America.
Today there is a little town in my backyard. And whenever I make this warm balsamic vinaigrette, I taste a little piece of that daydream that became Serenbe.
Here’s to the salad days, every day.
Steve and I at Serenbe Playhouse Emerald Ball
Tart Greens Salad with Proscuitto and Warm Balsamic Dressing
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 small head each of romaine, red-leaf lettuce and curly endive
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
3 whole scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 ounces shaved Parmesan
3 ounces prosciutto, cut into bite-size squares
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley
8 large cloves garlic, cut into ¼-inch dice
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Soak the onions in ½ cup vinegar for 30 minutes to reduce their sharp taste. Wash and dry the lettuces and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Toss the greens with all but 3 tablespoons of the pine nuts, most of the scallions, half the cheese and prosciutto and all of the basil and parsley.
In a medium skillet, cook the garlic in the olive oil over very low heat for 8 minutes, until barely colored. Remove with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the vinegars to the oil. Cool for a few moments, add the brown sugar and let it bubble slowly for 1 minute. Add the garlic back in and season with salt and pepper.
Top the greens with the drained red onion and the remaining scallions, pine nuts, cheese and prosciutto. Spoon the warm dressing on top and serve.