I like to script things out in my head. Sort of a “what if” scenario. Like, if I’m talking to my mom about not wanting to let baby girl come visit her because she returns my child all spoiled and bratty and she says that ‘m just being tooky (yeah, tooky -- don’t look at me, ask her) and then I’ll say, well, I wouldn’t have to be so tooky if you weren’t such a hippie and would actually discipline my kid and then she’d say that I wouldn’t say that if I wasn’t such an uppity conservative and then I’d gasp at being called a conservative and look all offended, shocked and hurt and say that I’m only a conservative when you look through her bleeding heart fantasyland glasses and she’d remember that she got new glasses this week and she’d tell me about it and about the woman she met in the waiting room at the eye doctor whose daughter’s boyfriend once met Prince and now he can’t get past it and keeps dressing like something out of Purple Rain and the woman wonders what will happen if her daughter marries this guy and will the kids have any chance of being normal and then just when the lady was about to tell about her husband’s pet monkey who plays some musical instrument mom got called into see the doctor who still, after all these years -- doesn’t remember that her one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye cancel each other out and tried to tell her she needed bifocals much to her horror and then gave her the wrong prescription and then I’d remind her that she DOES need reading glasses and that would remind me of my stepdad’s reading glasses that he CLEARLY got by using his secret personal time machine and traveling back to a dime store ladies department in 1982 and mom would get a good laugh out of that and we’d wonder together what on earth we were all thinking when we wore those oversized glasses... you see how it goes... none of this discussion actually took place but it COULD have taken place and just in case it DOES take place, I’ve scripted it out real nice.
We eat out way too much. It’s rather like an addiction. I think I’m a pretty good cook. I actually enjoy cooking. When we eat out, I usually find myself scripting out the interview where I’m applying for the job of head chef and I’m explaining to these clowns how to properly make Bolognese or that you can’t use skim milk in bread pudding or ... or...
I don’t really understand why we eat out. I like my food better than most restaurants’. I suppose it has something to do with being served and not having to scrape dishes, although my mom would say it’s because I evidently have too much money lining my big-business, money-grubbing wallet and that I feel the much deserved guilt for joining “the man” and am trying to buy my way to happiness -- or some such nonsense. Okay, she probably wouldn’t reference “the man” but she’d find a way to work George Bush (Jr. and Sr.) into it.
This is the really long way of saying that after I eat out, I like to try recreate and perhaps even improve upon the dishes I’ve had. Recently we’ve eaten at O’Charlie’s and Longhorn. They both have salads that I adore. But, since I don’t have a Fry Daddy and can’t seem to make a really GOOD chicken tender in the oven, I’ve modified the two salads and come up with what I believe is the ultimate (although not diet-friendly) salad.
Rain’s Spring Green and Strawberry Salad
as usual -- it’s all give or take, I don’t think I’ve ever measured a single ingredient in this “recipe”
1/2 bag Spring Green Mix
1/2 bag Baby Spinach
1 Carton Fresh Strawberries (frozen won’t do, so don’t even think about it)
1 cup Pecans, shelled and halved
Some Blue Cheese Crumbles
4 TBSP more or less Butter
1/3-ish cup Brown Sugar
Sweet Onion (preferably Vidalia)
Marzetti’s Light Berry Balsamic Dressing (or other berry balsamic dressing)
Pre-heat oven to 400.
In a microwave-safe dish (ugh, yes, microwave) melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar and nuke in 30 second increments until bubbly and gooey, stirring between each.
Coat the pecan halves in the brown sugar goop and pour into a single layer on a baking stone (or cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper might work) and place in oven for 10 - 15 minutes --- until you start to smell the pecans roasting. Don’t burn them!
Mix the spring greens and baby spinach in a large salad serving bowl.
Slice strawberries and toss into the salad mix.
Cut ends off of onion, then cut in half. Using 1/4 of the onion (cause sweet onions are usually large) make slices of the onion as paper think as you can. These should end up being little semi-circles of onion -- not cubes, or anything like that. Toss onions into salad.
When pecans are ready, let them cool as long as you can wait (hot pecans will wilt the greens). Then toss those into the salad as well -- dregs of crumbly brown sugar goo and all.
Toss the salad. Top with blue Cheese crumbles. Let each person add the salad dressing -- cause it’s sweet, so kids will want more, adults probably less.
Dig in -- yum-a-licious!