Susan Ohanian, Contributor

As you enjoy your Monday Munch salad (see menu below), think of dining with Thomas Jefferson.

Between 1809 and 1824, a variety of lettuces were planted an average of eight times every year at Monticello. In “Dining at Monticello,” we learn that “salad oil was a perennial obsession for Jefferson. He referred to the olive as ‘the richest gift of heaven’ and ‘the most interesting plant in existence.’”

Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise has been called the classic French recipe to argue over.

Pierre Franey insisted, “I am convinced that had avocados been native to Provence, they would have been an inevitable ingredient; Julia Child’s recipe incorporated a potato salad, green beans, tuna and anchovies and a vinaigrette dressing.”

In an Uncle Ben’s ad, James Beard added rice. And so on and so on. Every famous chef seems to have a version.

However you tear your lettuce, there’s no argument that salad Niçoise is a great way to end summer.

And “Ain’t We Got Fun” is a great song to sing while eating at the Charlotte Senior Center. From 1921 onwards, there are many versions. Here’s one with Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby.

Monday, Sept. 12, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or until food is gone

Monday Munch
Chicken salad Niçoise on a bed of lettuce (includes chicken, potato, egg, green beans, and more) and apple cake.

Thursday, Sept. 15
Grab & Go Meal, pick up: 10-11 a.m.
Swedish steak with mushroom sauce, seasoned penne pasta, chopped broccoli, wheat bread with butter, fresh fruit salad and milk. Meal provided by Age Well. Register for Thursday’s Grab & Go Meal at 802-425-6345 or by email.

Monday, Sept. 19, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m., or until the food is gone.
Monday Munch
Menu to be announced. Check the Charlotte Senior Center website.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, noon, Special Wednesday lunch
Provided by Residence at Shelburne Bay. Chef Arnd and his team from the Residence at Shelburne Bay are returning to provide a monthly Wednesday lunch. Registration is required and will open on Monday, Sept. 12. To register, call 802-425-6345 or stop by the reception desk at the senior center.

Thursday, Sept. 22
Grab & Go Meal, pick up: 10-11 a.m.
Turkey tetrazini, Scandinavian vegetables, wheat dinner roll with butter, apple & berry crisp and milk. Registration required by the prior Monday. Meals provided by Age Well, a nonprofit organization and the largest Meals on Wheels provider in Vermont. Their mission is to provide the support and guidance that inspires our community to embrace aging with confidence. To learn more and donate, visit Age Well Vermont.