Come On, What’s There To Like?

salad picI don’t like salads. I know, I know, it sounds blasphemous. In confessing this truth, I fully expect to be inundated with articles about the health benefits of salads. There will be interventions; I walk into my house, I’m already suspicious because it’s nighttime and someone has actually turned on the outside lights, that and the lack of a blue light bouncing off the ceiling indicating the television isn’t on. My family and friends will greet me. I’ll be asked to have a seat, probably on the not so inconspicuous chair brought in from the dining room and placed in the middle of the group. People will begin with telling me they love me and that they have each written a letter about how me not liking Asian Chopped Salads is ruining their lives…

Salads, what’s there to like, anyway? I’m cold all the time, not emotionally (although some may argue that point) I mean physically cold three-hundred-and sixty-five-days of the year. Why would I order a concoction of biting Bibb lettuce, chilly carrots, and polar peppers—all of which when combined taste no different from one another with or without salad dressing?

No amount of additional items changes anything about salad, either; Chicken becomes as flavorful as foam. Apples taste like green peppers and green peppers taste like green peppers—what’s the deal with that? As for candied walnuts, well they taste like candied walnuts and I gobble them up so fast, they have little time to improve the salad as a whole.

Also, nobody ever finishes a salad. People get bored and give up—that’s why they lose weight—they put the fork down! That’s how I lost my weight through boredom and fork detruding.

It’s not that I dislike vegetables. I love them! I love squash, green beans, spinach—you name it, I probably like it. However, when mixed together with lettuce, I don’t like them anymore. Maybe I’m a broccoli bigot? Perhaps it’s a severe case of me not liking the food on my plate to touch? But then explain to me why I have no problem with casseroles? Or S’mores? Or green smoothies?

Mormons are especially clever when it comes to salads (which is something they may not be known for around the world but should be). Usually, these salads have no nutritional value what so ever.

My sister-in-law introduced, at a Sunday family dinner, a Cookie Monster Salad. Picture this: A mountain of mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple, stirred in a vat of vanilla pudding (made with buttermilk, not regular milk as is suggested on the box) and then topped with crumbled Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies! And we did not have this dish as a dessert we ate it as a side, as in a salad. It was the ultimate Diabetes Trifle and it was delicious.

Mormons are really good at the ability to take a dessert and put it in the wrong dinner course order. I’m not saying I dislike it. I’m saying it’s amazing that it’s a widely accepted way of doing things in the community. Nowhere else can someone go to a restaurant and order the dessert to come with the entrée and have the bread basket brought at the end of the meal—although I like the idea! I think the justification for calling such frothy treats a salad is the added fruit. Hey, let’s add fruit and call it a salad!

What’s worse than salad? Slaw. I hate any kind of slaw, really, coleslaw, fruit slaw, slaw-slaw. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this food, it’s basically finely chopped cabbage and veggies with either a vinegar or mayonnaise dressing. It’s cold, acrid, and drippy—yikes! I also dislike it for the name because slaw sounds very close to slop—as in what pigs eat.

I don’t know where this disdain of salads comes from—Weight Watchers? My childhood? Society? I suppose it doesn’t matter. So, now that I’ve professed that I cannot, do not, and will not eat salads, I guess I’ll see you at the intervention. I’ll be the one in the middle of the room!




Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology: A Book Bite Review

Troublemaker Book CoverNeed a dessert? Try reading this book!

Troublemaker is a memoir that starts out by Leah Remini making a list of negative things about herself such as she tends to threaten people, she swears a lot, and she knowingly had an affair with a married man.

It’s a book about how Remini got into Scientology and acting and how she was equally committed to both. It is clear that at the time of its 2015 publication, Remini was still reeling from the realization that all her time, effort, money, and energy she put into creating a better world via Scientology was baseless.

Although she was a devoted Scientology member, Remini kept one foot out the Celebrity Center’s door; challenging authority, maintaining friendships with people who had left the church—a definite No-No, and not allowing her child to participated in the church’s programs. She also didn’t go out of her way to recruit new members.

Remini comes across as blindsided at the treatment she received after attending Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding in Italy, as well as the threatening way she, her mom, and her stepfather, were treated once she started asking questions about policy and how much Tom Cruise got away with. She was genuinely confused and stated she kept waiting for someone to step in to quell all her fears and questions so that she could return to studying Scientology.

The book was a fascinating look at her life and at what happened when she started looking at the threads that held her life together. Although Remini is brash and foul-mouthed, she is positive, authentic, funny, and charming. Despite the fact that the way she went about improving the world fell apart, the world is much better for her being in it. It’s a fun, quick, and entertaining 256 paged read and I recommend it!




Foliage Foil


Last May my husband and I decided to take on putting in a garden, again. We’ve tried doing it in the past with not disastrous results, really, more like mediocre results instead. We had pumpkins that never seemed to ripen and carrots that wound around each other like the tornado from the Wizard of Oz.

We’ve grown bitter green peppers and mild jalapenos that we took for regular peppers. So why put ourselves through all of this again? I don’t know. Maybe we like the challenge of the thing? Maybe it is just something people in the Suburbs do—like we’ll get a notice of noncompliance and warned that if we do not plant an herb garden immediately, our section of street will not be plowed come winter, nor will our garbage be picked up at the curb—who knows?

So, always a glutton for punishment, we attempted a garden once more. This time, however, we decided to present it differently and plant in pots surrounding a paver patio complete with Adirondack chairs. In theory, it’s amazing! I like our oversized white and blue pots, it’s the stuff growing out of them that’s concerning.

Over the summer our garden has over taken our patio and chairs. We have Red Leaf Lettuce growing in tall stalks, toppling tomatoes, what resembles jungle jalapenos and we underestimated the distance between our pumpkin seeds and our watermelon seeds—I’m terrified we’ll get morphed fruit like a pumpka-melon or water-kin gourds.

The more the summer wore on, the more everything seemed to grow bigger and overwhelming. Every day I’d look out the window down at the scene and hide behind the curtain out of fear and shame and the potential that the abhorrent genetic splicing, though accidental, was producing plants with eyes and ears, ones that knew I was there and knew I was neglecting them.

To gain back control, I’d attempt to curb the growing by pruning. With the tomato plants, I’d cut off an arm, and it would automatically grow a muscular leg, which would send me back to hiding inside my house.

Recently, I went out there to confront my fear, armed with sharp shears and a plastic bowl. I thwacked and whacked cutting through the plants, separating the melons from the gourds. Luckily, not one melon or squash has lips! I gathered all normal looking fruit cleaned, sliced, sifted and made the best-tasting pico de gallo in the world.

Who knows if we’ll continue with the garden thing—though I think my husband and I might be some sort of green-thumbed sadists—is there such a thing as melon masochists?

I don’t know what it is about my spouse and me. Maybe it’s that we don’t know when to quit, or we are incredibly optimistic, or perhaps we’re simply insane. Anyway, here’s hoping we’ll eventually get it right!