Elizabeth and I were both waiting for the first day back to school after the long weekend, to see if there was anything new on the two-parties-on-the-same-day situation that emerged when she gave out her birthday party invitations on Friday. And there WAS something new: the other girl changed her party day. Whew.
The day before yesterday, all day I kept thinking, “WHY am I so HUNGRY??” I think the likely twofold answer is that I was smelling barbecue chicken cooking in the crockpot, and that every five minutes there was another emailed comment with another yummy salad idea.
Yesterday at lunch I intended to try a salad, but felt overwhelmed. Looking into the refrigerator, the combinations seemed too many and too difficult. “Maybe instead I will go out for Chinese food,” I thought. But then: a rush of resolve! A rising to the challenge! Things put out onto the counter one after another with decisive little smacks!
I took a picture I feel fails to capture any salad deliciousness at all, let alone the specific deliciousness of the particular salad, but it’s too late now, I have eaten the salad, and no one has ever mistaken this for a blog where people say “BEAUTIFUL picture, what settings?,” and the picture is already taken so let’s just place it into the post as intended and move on:
I started with a nice big bowl. I put in a bunch of the mixed spring greens.
Then I added some leftover shreddy barbecue crockpot chicken from dinner the night before. I felt very uncertain about HOW MUCH of each thing, but this is how we learn, so ONWARD, just scattered some chicken on it until I felt as if that was about how much chicken I might want to eat if it were on leaves instead of on a bun. A quarter cup or so, was my guess.
Then I cut a handful of grape tomatoes into halves/thirds/quarters and put those in. Then I put in a little leftover corn, but with a light hand because I’d had corn with my scrambled eggs that morning and wasn’t sure I wanted to have more corn. On the other hand, corn is so good in the Wendy’s BBQ Ranch chicken salad, and I was using BBQ chicken, so it seemed on-theme.
Then some shredded cheddar cheese, maybe a couple of tablespoons of it. Then some sunflower seeds, maybe a scant tablespoon. Then some shredded carrots, with a heavier hand because all of this is supposed to be about vegetables. Half a cup? Two-thirds? It’s hard to measure shreddy things anyway.
The whole time I was making the salad, I was feeling anxious about the dressing. Dressing feels as if it could immediately gross the whole salad. Then: inspiration! When I get the salad at Wendy’s, they always give me two packets of BBQ Ranch dressing but I only use one; I always save the extra packet Just In Case. I took one of those packets and put it on the salad. Then I mixed it up.
And it was GOOD. I really liked it! There was a nice amount of crunch: the carrot shreds and the sunflower seeds. Next time I would heat up the chicken, I think: it was fine cold, but I think I would have liked it even better warm. I also might tear up the lettuce a bit; I didn’t feel like messing with it this time while I was on such a tentative roll, but some of those leaves were the size of a cat’s head.