Julia Sherman

Julia Sherman runs "salad for president," an evolving publishing project that explores “a daily practice of making and eating salads with creative people”
website / instagram

01    Nature

We were trying to grow pink oyster mushrooms in our shower, but a more powerful variety of dark brown mystery 'shroom in the mix beat out our oyster mushroom and colonized the bag. We can’t bear to get rid of it, so instead of dinner, we now we have a strange shower companion.

02    Object (old)

My grandmother won a medal in 1926 for drawing at her junior high school. I can rarely be seen without it. I was sick to my stomach when it ‘went missing’ a few months ago. I tried to convince myself that material things were insignificant, until it reappeared right where it should be, in my jewelry box (material things are not insignificant).

03    Object (new)

I finally painted the door in my kitchen yellow. It’s a bright “safety” yellow. I don’t know why, but I have always wanted a yellow door in my life.

04    Surprise

Sadly, there were two deaths this month that rattled me. A dear friend’s father, and a friend’s husband. Both were sudden, unpredictable. It’s the worst kind of surprise.

05    Encounter

I visited artists Madeleine Fitzpatrick and arborist/chef Evan Shivley at home in Marin. Madeleine has a famous wild-seeded salad garden that she has been cultivating for 20 years. Together, they are two eccentric individuals who have have carved out a magical space for themselves in the world. They remind me of exactly the kind of person I want to be.

06    Night Out

My husband and a few of our friends made a picnic in Central Park and went to see a Steve Reich drumming performance at Lincoln Center. I love the kind of concert where it’s totally socially acceptable to drift in and out of sleep.

07    Day Out

I spent eight days straight camped out in a studio in Red Hook shooting my cookbook. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do – creative directing, doing props, and shooting is not something I would advise anyone to do themselves. On day three of the shoot, I entered my apartment, dropped my bags and cried. I was so exhausted and sure I had finally bitten off way more than I could chew. Of course, by day eight, I was devastated it was over.

08    Time Alone

I went to the Korean spa in LA by myself and spent two hours reading in a robe, laying on a heated tile floor.

09    Time With A Friend

My friend, author and painter Juliana Romano, is one of my favorite people on the planet. We spent a day trying to reinvent the Chinese Chicken Salad and succeeded.

010    Movie / TV / Book

The theme of my media intake this month seems to be Soho in the 80s:
I am reading Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved, a story of two artist/writer couples living in Soho in the 80s. The setting is oddly familiar (the characters live on the block where my mother’s studio has been all my life). I also re-watched Ghost with Demi Moore. She and Patrick Swayze lived in the sickest loft, on approximately the same block at the characters in the book. When I Googled an image of the apartment, I found this photo (pictured left), and the listing for $9.5 million … I miss the days when that neighborhood was exciting.

011    Creative Act

My husband asked me if I ever have the urge to make studio art now that I work full-time on writing and working on Salad For President. It gave me pause. I was shocked by my response, which was no! I spent my whole life becoming and being a visual artist, and I always thought that if I stepped away from that practice it would come with great distress. But I feel so challenged everyday, writing, taking photos, meeting new people, and throwing myself into the brand new worlds of publishing and food; I have never felt more fulfilled.


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shower mushrooms

shower mushrooms

A medal for drawing, ca. 1926

A medal for drawing, ca. 1926

A photo from Sherman's forthcoming Salad For President cookbook

A photo from Sherman's forthcoming Salad For President cookbook

Chinese chicken salads by Julia Sherman

Chinese chicken salads by Julia Sherman