Monday, August 27, 2007

Big Salad

Circa Seinfeld, 1990s.

One of my favorie things to do is go to the grocery store, raid the vegetable department, then I go home and make a giant salad that I will then proceed to eat for the next day or so. It's kind of a race to eat all of the salad before it goes bad. So I will tend to eat nothing but salad until either I win, or the salad wins.

I call this event, Big Salad.

I am pretty particular about my salads. I do not like any of those crazy veggies that have unidentified origins, that get tangled up on the way down, or that I can't pronounce. You will not catch me with any bokchoy in my salad.

I stick to the basics: lettuce (and not the kind that looks like something you pulled off of a tree, or found in the yard), tomatoes, carrots, green bell pepper, cucumber, mushrooms. And of course, cheese.

Everything is better with cheese.

Since I have started my Big Salad ritual, I've discovered that I am just too busy (or possibly too lazy) to be bothered with chopping things. This is sometimes a problem when it comes to salad, since the very essence of the salad is in the bite-sized pieces of a variety of vegetables.

So, I buy as many veggies as I can that do not require any work from me. I have perfected this down to only needing to slice the cucumber and the bell pepper. Cherub tomatoes are genius. I even buy a bag of carrots that is already sliced into carrot chips.

It is also important to have the right ratio of veggies to other veggies in each Big Salad. It's a delicate balance of both color and flavor. Too much green is not a good salad. That's where the carrots and tomatoes come in. If I buy a large cucumber, there will be more cucumber than other veggies, and that's not good, either. It best to go with a smaller cucumber.

Then comes the salad dressing predicament. I don't usually have a variety of salad dressing on hand because they will tend to go bad before I can finish them. I am, after all, just one person. I prefer my refrigerator space to be used for more important things, like more cheese.

So, when I choose my salad dressing for a particular Big Salad event, it has to be something I am sure I will want to eat for the better part of the next two days.

Now, I recently tried one of those Salad Spritzers. And I'm here to tell you that this is just about the dumbest idea for salad dressing EVER. It's great if, say..., you want salad dressing on this one particular piece of lettuce right here. But if you want dressing, say.... on the WHOLE salad, your squirting finger will likely not last long enough to spray enough dressing to cover an entire Big Salad.

All of that is to say, I do enjoy a good salad. And a bad salad has been known to send me into a depression spiral. So be careful before you offer me a substandard salad. It could be weeks before I come out of the aftermath of a bad salad.

However, I also enjoy a big slab of meat just as often as I enjoy a Big Salad. Burgers, steak, jerky, sausage, ham sandwich, sometimes chicken.

In fact, sometimes after a Big Salad event, I chase it with a Big Meat event. A day or two of nothing but meat, then more meat. This almost always involves Whataburger.

It's all about the salad to meat ratio.

It's a delicate balance. But one I like to think I've perfected.


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