Two-Parties-on-the-Same-Day Follow-Up; First Salad Experiment

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.

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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:

maybe if I’d photographed it before mixing

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.

20 thoughts on “Two-Parties-on-the-Same-Day Follow-Up; First Salad Experiment

  1. Dr. Maureen

    I am very relieved about the second party. I just read your last three posts this morning, in reverse order, so I have been fretting about it, and then I got to the almost-forgot-one-girl part and nearly had a heart attack on your behalf I am SO GLAD you caught that one. Yeesh.

  2. Joanne

    I always put the greens in and then chop the heck out of them with my kitchen scissors because I can’t stand a giant lettuce leaf. The salad sounds great!

    1. Jessemy

      Joanne, thank you for posting this, because I consequently ate salad for lunch and lo!–just one dirty utensil. Yes.

  3. el-e-e

    YUMMY! I haven’t tried Wendy’s BBQ ranch salad (I’m hopelessly in love with Apple-Pecan) but now I might have to. I had the same mixed greens salad last night for dinner and my leaves were also wayyyy too big.

    1. Libby

      I have those, but something always get stuck in between the top two blades. The bottom scoop isn’t as useful as it seems, either. I prefer using my scissors from the dollar store.

  4. Jenny

    I can’t remember if anyone suggested some version of Greek salad, but that’s a favorite dinner salad at my house, and it would be pretty easy for lunch too. Cucumber, red onion, feta, kalamata olives, tomatoes, on greens, plus a vinaigrette. Yum! Maybe I will make that for lunch today in fact.

    I’m glad that in the Party Standoff, the other girl holstered first.

  5. Elizabeth

    Joanne, thank you for the kitchen scissors idea. Actually tearing the leaves by hand or getting out a cutting board and cutting them up always seems like too much work to me… but it never even occurred to me to use KITCHEN SHEARS. No cutting board! No handling the lettuce! This is seriously a game changer to me.

    And Swistle, when I am concerned about dressing I usually keep it in a little bowl separate from my salad and dip my fork in it first, then spear some of my salad. I first heard of this as a diet tip as it’s supposed to keep you from eating as much salad dressing, but I use it more as a testing method before dumping the whole little bowl of dressing onto my salad :)

  6. Jill

    If I do meat on a salad it’s almost always warm. I feel like that ups the salad to “meal” and not just “salad.” Just like having a nice blend of sweet/salty/crunchy the contrast of hot and cold makes it seem like more of an entree and less ‘junk I pulled from the fridge.’

  7. Katie

    I could not even finish this post, because this:

    “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?”

    Actual smoothie came out of my nose and I am getting stares in this deliciously quiet room full of college students. You slay me.

    1. Jessemy

      Ha! My response too! And for what it’s worth, I would totally enjoy that salad, f-stops be damned!

  8. Matti

    Everyone inspired me as well and we had giant salads for dinner last night. Delicious ones! I came home with sundried tomatoes, wasabi peas, new dressings, fresh corn, and most importantly bread for fresh croutons. These sound intimidating and messy, but if you can make grilled cheese sandwiches you can make croutons. Take slice/s of bread you like and spread one side with butter type thing of choice. Sprinkle on seasoned salt. Place in a medium skillet until golden brown. Chop into squares. Add these to your salad last, after the dressing and toss, otherwise they can get soggy. But they are warm, and salty, and buttery, and a little seasoned and they make salads about 100% better. They are how I convince my kids to eat salad. You could also do them in a little toaster oven if you don’t want to mess up a pan, works just as well, just make sure you start with butter up in the toaster oven, so drips. Yum and leftovers for lunch today!

    Also, I am feeling resolve solidarity with you and this is really helping me not just eat cheese and crackers for lunch. So thanks!

  9. Brooke

    My Spanish teacher in high school mentioned that he eats salad with a fork and knife, and that is the usual thing where he is from (Mexico if I recall correctly).

  10. Nicole Boyhouse

    I’m glad they changed the date. When my youngest was in kindergarten, it was a tiny class and so all the kids would get an invite to all the birthdays (there were eight kids total!). Then two kids had their party on the same day, and it was really awkward. It ended up the boys went to the boy party and the girls went to the girl party, but both moms had booked a party place on the expectation that it would be all the kids. Boo.

  11. Gigi

    Yes, I definitely prefer the meat on my salad to be warm! I’m so glad you pushed through, did it and enjoyed it!

    YAY, on the party situation.

  12. Jess

    Oh, I’m so glad about the party! I like the other girl’s parents now. And now I want to go make a fancy salad.

  13. Teresa

    Someone suggested in the comments of the earlier post just putting leftovers onto a salad. I was already planning to make this Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bowl recipe (http://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/05/sweet-n-spicy-chicken-bowls/) and had some lettuce to use up. That comment inspired me to turn the bowl into salad by halving the rice and filling the bottom of the bowl with lettuce instead. I just finished eating the first bowl for dinner! Yum!

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