Friday, June 17, 2011

Bagged Caesar Salad

I am one of the most supremely lazy cookers in the world. Is "cooker" a word? I don't think so. But I am certainly not a chef. And "person who cooks food" is too long. So lazy cooker. That's me.

I technically know how to cook (thanks, Jan!) but the only time I ever liked it was when I was unemployed. And that was because I didn't have anything else to do, so putting on some tunes and chopping onions for 30 minutes sounded like a great idea. But now the LAST thing I want to do when I come home from work is make anything. And as summer approaches (slowly and FINALLY surely) I find I crave salad more than soup. BUT I am SUCH a lazy cooker that the idea of chopping, washing, and drying fresh lettuce makes me want punch myself in the face.

Enter the beauty that is the bagged salad.

For my birthday this year I had some people over for dinner. Jan encouraged me to purchase 3 Caesar salad bags to add some variety to the meal. But I was so stressed out over preparing the lasagna (the baking of which took about twice as long as I thought it would) that I forgot to prepare the salad. So for the week following my birthday that's what I ate: leftover lasagna and bagged salad.

This is why I love Bagged Caesar salad:

1) Caesar. Dressing. Is. Delicious. Back when I was on Weight Watchers I would only eat fat-free raspberry vinaigrette or fat-free Italian dressing. Barf. First of all, I don't like fruit on salad--well unless it's dried. Or beets. But beets aren't a fruit. They are just sweet like fruit. Mmmm. Beets. Anywho, if I don't like fruit on my salad WHY would I like fruit in my salad dressing? I didn't and I don't. I spent all that time eating dressing I didn't even like. Sad. Face.

2) Croutons. Back when I was on Weight Watchers I would never the Croutons. And then back when I was trying to cut wheat out of my diet I would never eat Croutons. Here's a secret: I fucking love croutons. Little crusty, crunchy, delicate bread nuggets? YES PLEASE.

3) Romaine Lettuce. It is almost sweet. I wonder if Dole adds sugar to it when they are washing and bagging my lettuce. Either way, Romaine = lettuce candy.

4) Parmesan Cheese. Mixed with the Croutons and Lettuce? THANK YOU.

5) It's all there. In a bag.

The one sad thing about my love of bagged salad and lazy cooking is that I am somewhat of an advocate for the slow food movement and for local agriculture, neither of which are supported by bagged salad. Especially because I don't even buy the organic kind. I am pretty sure the Parmesan cheese in that PERFECTLY SIZED LITTLE VACUUM SEALED BAG is coated in some sort of corn by-product. 

But I guess you can't win 'em all.

As a side note I would like to share the following.

1) I can't stop listening to this song. But then again why should I? IT. IS. SO. AWESOME.

Make my body big and strong, INDEED!

 2) I just read this article that I found on my boss's desk while cleaning out his office. I would like to feature my favorite part here, though I encourage everyone to read the whole article. It's really quite incredible. And, as you probably assumed, I added the italics.

"I recall one of the strangest conversations I had in the city. A woman came up to me at a party and said she had been moved by a piece of writing I had published. She confessed that prior to reading it, she had never wanted to talk to me, and had always been sure, on the basis of what she could see from across the room, that I was nobody worth talking to, that I was in fact someone to avoid.

But she had been wrong about this, she told me: It was now plain to her that I was a person with great reserves of feeling and insight. She did not ask my forgiveness for this brutal misjudgment. Instead, what she wanted to know was—why had I kept that person she had glimpsed in my essay so well hidden? She confessed something of her own hidden sorrow: She had never been beautiful and had decided, early on, that it therefore fell to her to “love the world twice as hard.” Why hadn’t I done that?

Here was a drunk white lady speaking what so many others over the years must have been insufficiently drunk to tell me. It was the key to many things that had, and had not, happened... If you are a woman who isn’t beautiful, it is a social reality that you will have to work twice as hard to hold anyone’s attention. You can either linger on the unfairness of this or you can get with the program. If you are an Asian person who holds himself proudly aloof, nobody will respect that, or find it intriguing, or wonder if that challenging fa├žade hides someone worth getting to know. They will simply write you off as someone not worth the trouble of talking to.

Having glimpsed just how unacceptable the world judges my demeanor, could I too strive to make up for my shortcomings? Practice a shit-eating grin until it becomes natural? Love the world twice as hard?

I see the appeal of getting with the program. But this is not my choice. Striving to meet others’ expectations may be a necessary cost of assimilation, but I am not going to do it. 

Often I think my defiance is just delusional, self-glorifying bullshit that artists have always told themselves to compensate for their poverty and powerlessness. But sometimes I think it’s the only thing that has preserved me intact, and that what has been preserved is not just haughty caprice but in fact the meaning of my life... In lieu of loving the world twice as hard, I care, in the end, about expressing my obdurate singularity at any cost. I love this hard and unyielding part of myself more than any other reward the world has to offer a newly brightened and ingratiating demeanor, and I will bear any costs associated with it.

The first step toward self-reform is to admit your deficiencies. Though my early adulthood has been a protracted education in them, I do not admit mine. I’m fine. It’s the rest of you who have a problem. Fuck all y’all."

1 comment:

  1. I love Deb. And I am really happy that you read and commented on my blog post. And I really like that article. The end.