Well, we made it through Show Week, after all. The big musical melodrama that we’ve been working on since December finally happened, last Friday and Saturday evenings, to be precise. We had big crowds both nights, and everybody seemed to enjoy the show. It was a lot of work to put on the melodrama, but it was worth it.
It always is.
That last week before the show is, in a word, daunting. We are scrambling to do the million-and-a-half things that are still not done and the to-do list is very long, indeed. Finish the program. Pick up the cash box. Sew the wig on the dummy. Find another camera operator to tape the show. Call Sean. Call Jackie. Call Colleen. Buy more coconuts. Find a deer head. You know. Doesn’t everybody have lists like that? Doesn’t everybody have weeks like that?
In short, it’s an impossible week, with the tyrannical to-do list, two dress rehearsal evenings, two performance evenings, and one clean-up day. Impossible. And sadly, there’s no time to cook during such a demanding week. But we all still have to eat.
One day in the middle of the week Amalia complained (sweetly) that we were out of granola. I looked at her, blankly. “I’ll make some more . . . ” I said, “next week.” (By the way, if you want to make your family some of this addictive and healthy granola, here’s the recipe.) It doesn’t take long to make a batch of granola, but I didn’t even have the time to do that. Now that’s dire, Gentle Readers. That’s sad. That’s bleak. And get this: I bought two loaves of bread. Yes. It was that bad around here. The kids didn’t touch the purchased bread for days, hoping (against hope!) that mom would come to her senses and actually make bread, like usual. It didn’t happen, so eventually they started eating the “air bread” (as they call it) but their hearts weren’t in it.
Everybody does have to keep their strength up, it seems, even during an impossible week. I personally am loathe to stock the freezer with frozen pizzas for such a pinched week, but it is tempting . . . on Tuesday, Amalia offered to make lunch. “What do you feel like?” she asked me, sweet girl that she is.
“Salad,” I answered, without hesitation. Sometimes nothing else sounds good, but a big green, leafy, crunchy salad. Amalia searched the refrigerator.
“I can’t make salad, we’re out of lettuce!” she said. “How about spaghetti?”
No, no, no, spaghetti didn’t sound good at all after my mind was full of Salad. “How about a chopped salad, then?” I asked. My daughter looked at me blankly and I couldn’t believe that she didn’t know what I was talking about. A chopped salad, in essence, in our house is a salad without lettuce, but with nearly anything else that’s fresh and looks good in the refrigerator (or the garden, in warmer times!) all chopped and tossed and dressed with your favorite dressing. It’s a very satisfying alternative to the big green leafy salad that is on our table nearly every day. It fills you up with goodness; it gives you lots of energy; it doesn’t slow you down.
By this time Amalia had her tastes all ready for spaghetti, so she started on the spaghetti while I pulled good stuff for my salad out of the ‘fridge and started chopping. Celery. An avocado. Broccoli. Pecans. The resulting salad actually tasted so good, I decided to write down the recipe and share it with you, since I know everybody has impossible weeks from time to time.
And here it is, just for you, Gentle Reader, because I suspect I’m not the only one who has impossible weeks:
- 3 leaves of kale, de-veined and chopped
- (my kale was wilted, but I re-hydrated it by a soak in cold water!)
- 3 apples (leave peel on if organic, if not, peel)
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1 avocado, peeled
- several sprigs of parsley
- 3 slices of sweet onion
- 1 green pepper, de-seeded
- broccoli florets if you have them
- cauliflower florets, ditto
- pecans, sunflower seeds, and/or walnuts, toasted, for sprinkling on top
- your favorite dressing
- Chop all the above ingredients (plus whatever looks good to you!) into bite-size pieces and toss together. Add your favorite dressing, toss, and then sprinkle nuts on top. Leftover salad stores well in the refrig for a couple days, as long it's undressed.
Are you having an Impossible Week, too? Then I would encourage you to make up a big chopped salad to keep in your refrigerator. Left undressed, it will stay crisp for much longer than a lettuce salad, and it makes a healthy, crunchy, filling and satisfying lunch. Even if you don’t have time to make anything else, you’ve got something really wonderful and delicious to eat, and you won’t have to resort to frozen pizza.
By the way . . . speaking of salad . . . my friend Chef William has been writing on his blog about salad dressings, and I made his recipe for Balsamic salad dressing that he published recently, and it was pure, fresh, goodness. Homemade salad dressings take only minutes (literally!) to mix up, and they don’t have all the questionable ingredients that are in the purchased ones. Try this recipe and you’ll be hooked on making your own from now on!
Hopefully this encouraging salad with the fresh salad dressing will make your impossible week a bit more . . . possible!
I’m sharing this post with the Blog Hops over at The Prairie Homestead and also Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways. Join me!
- Peafowl Summer
- Emmett Lee: our first grandson