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"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - No More Wasted Salad

Through the years you learn how to resolve little domestic problems. This is one of those resolutions.

The problem was: When serving a green salad with our meal, I used to make up a large salad in a big serving bowl for everyone to take from and put on their plates. I continued to do this after all the kids moved out, cutting down on the amount I made because it was just my husband and myself eating. The problem was that, although Robert took salad onto his plate, he did not eat it. He likes salad, but always eats the heavier food first and I noticed that he was eating little, if any of his salad. (This was probably happening when the kids were at home too, but I was so focused on them that I didn't notice Robert.) Robert said that he got too full eating everything else; and so the salad would go to waste. Also, if there was any left in the serving bowl, most of the time it was thrown into the compost bucket as salad just doesn't keep well as leftovers.

The resolution was:
Rather than try to change my husband's eating habits (you probably know how well that works), I changed the way I serve the salad and when I serve it. Now I make our salads in individual salad bowls. Instead of making one large salad, I make two small ones - one for each of us. I put the salad on the table as a first course. The rest of the food comes after we've eaten our green stuff. Robert likes this solution because he likes salad. We seem to appreciate the salad more like this and eat all of it. It also prevents waste.

For salad dressing (when I don't have any made up in the frig), I simply drizzle white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe's brand) or fresh squeezed lemon juice over the salad, then some extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil. I sprinkle on some kind of fresh or dried herbs (we love basil), some salt and pepper and occasionally some red pepper flakes. There's no salad dressing to have to refrigerate either when you do it this way.

The salad we had most recently was: red romaine, red and yellow tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper (all from our garden), pinto beans (some leftover in the frig from the other day), frozen peas (just scatter them frozen over the greens - they'll thaw out by the time you eat), red onion, and feta cheese with a sprinkling of basil, red pepper flakes, salt and coarse ground black pepper. Yum!!! And we ate and enjoyed every last little bitty pea!

So, you are probably asking, "How this is a tidy tip, Sharon?" Here are the answers to that question:

1. The salad bowls I use (instead of a large serving bowl) fit better in the dishwasher and I can get more dishes in without the one large serving bowl taking up a lot of space. Or, if I had chosen to wash it by hand, it saves me from that.

2. It saves room in the frig if I were to decide to save the salad that is left over from the big serving bowl (some keep okay), thus it also saves storage containers from being dirtied and washed.

3. It saves refrigerator space and storage containers that would be used to store the salad dressing. It also saves the time making up the dressing and the tools and containers used for that process.

4. Finally, it saves time dealing with what is left over, whether I store it or throw it out.

So, there's more than one mission accomplished serving salad like this - the main one being that my husband is eating and enjoying his fresh veggies. That makes me a real happy wife!

I hope you find this helpful. Have a great Tuesday!

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