I was eleven years old when the song came out: “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”.
It was “written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival. McKenzie’s song became an instant hit. The lyrics tell the listeners, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair”. “San Francisco” reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was number one in the United Kingdom and most of Europe. The single is purported to have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The song is credited with bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco during the late 1960s. In Central Europe, young people adopted “San Francisco” as an anthem for freedom, and it was widely played during Czechoslovakia’s 1968 Prague Spring uprising against Soviet rule.”
Here is a link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I0vkKy504U
I was out of an evening last week, scurrying to get to the greengrocers before its closing time, and came upon a packet of edible flowers, not a usual ‘find’ in this shop!
And I was just so attracted to their beauty and vibrant colours that I bought them without even thinking about it, or how I would be able to weave them into our dinner that evening.
Dinner was a homey humble polpette (meatballs), asparagus and spinach affair. Humdrum mid-week meal: meat and two veg, you know, hardly anything to write home about. Home-made mayo for the asparugs and lemon juice and olive oil for the spinach. Yet those flowers somehow brought music to my soul and I couldn’t help but sing snatches of the song as I went about my preparation. I think that a hippy is the last thing I could ever aspire to being, hippy drippy I never could be, but I confess that I am indeed attracted to wearing flowers in my hair. To cooking with a spring in my step. To seeking joy in the little things. To kicking my heels occasionally in the kitchen. Fry and flirt …
A few days later and there would be another terrorist attack, in London. Among some of the articles I read about it, one was entitled “This is a war on joy – Don’t let the terrists rob us of who we are”. (www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/04/war-joy-terrorists-london-bridge-attack-manchester-westminster?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=229148&subid=16390029&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2)
I agree. Showing sympathy and empathy is what makes us human, and reasonable people. But we also have to keep our spirits up at the same time. We need to fight back on a daily basis and not let these ghastly events depress us. It’s what these mad people want. And I don’t want to give them that satisfaction. Make love, not War! Pur flowers in your food.
I soaked some breadcrumbs in water and then added olive oil.
I grated some parmesan, to which I added some freshly grated nutmeg, a little bit of paprika, and a squeeze of tomato paste.
And then, with the addition of two eggs and the minced meat (beef), as well as salt and pepper, and some minced parsely or mint (not in the photo) … use your hands to combine all the ingredients.
Shape them into meatballs. Et voilà there they are!
Fry them in olive oil or groundnut/peanut oil.
Turn them over only once.
And, finally, serve them on a plate with plenty of flowers. And rejoice.
So pretty, do admit!
The Summer of Love in San Francisco was 50 years ago. High time we rekindled some more summery love all over the globe.