I was browsing through Facebook today and saw a post from Shelly Kramer that made me think of a poem I found in high school and kept in a notebook… then eventually transferred to a Word doc.. and I’ve had it on my computer(s) since college. It always along for the ride whenever I upgrade.
As I sit here eating my 7th salad-in-a-jar I realized I haven’t updated anyone on the results! So here goes:
On 7/1 I made 5 salads in jars, based on reading blog posts here and here. The theory is that you can make your lunch for the week on Sunday and have a self-contained salad (dressing and all) that stays fresh for meals all 5 days of the week. Here’s how things worked out:
Monday – Salad #1: As you would expect, everything was fresh and delicious. Almost as if I’d made it fresh 20 minutes before eating it. Color was great. Texture was great – nothing went mushy.
Tuesday – Salad #2: Pretty much the same story as Monday. The shaved Parmesan cheese was all stuck together and while it tasted good, had a bit of a wet texture that didn’t go over well with me.
A few weeks ago I noticed some blog posts here and here about making salad in a mason jar – and having it last all week without spoiling or getting soggy. I was intrigued. During the work week, salad is one of my default lunches. I eat it a lot. And I can spend anywhere from $8 – $15 depending on where I go and what I get. so I had two questions:
- Could I save money by doing this?
- Would I really enjoy the taste of salad in a jar on Friday – when it’s been sitting in the refrigerator for a week?
Startup costs are minimal, thank goodness. Just $10.44 for 12 quart-size, wide-mouth mason jars (some bloggers say use a pint but seriously, this is my entire meal not a side salad – I need a little more). In hindsight, I also should get a salad spinner to get the water out of the lettuce. Just not something we have in our kitchen.
I stick with pretty similar ingredients in all of the salads to simplify the first week but the options would be about as limitless as your imagination. Here’s my process.
Step 1: Start with dressing.
You have to start with the dressing and the most important thing to remember is it CANNOT touch the lettuce. Then you get a disgusting sludge. I used 5 different dressings – all reduced fat (but none fat-free. Dressing shouldn’t be fat free.)
Tuesday the 6th I woke up at 11:30 with a slight pain in my abdomen. 5 hours later it was an intense pain that felt like someone was stabbing my under the rib cage and twisting the knife. So off we went to the ER at 4:30 in the morning where I learned I was having a pretty major gallbladder attack. I was admitted and 24 hours later my gallbladder was removed.
I’ve debated writing this post for over a year. Almost 2 years now. It’s something I’ve only shared with a few people. Ever. And something I didn’t think I’d post or talk about publicly. Three things changed my mind.
As I was landing in San Diego on Monday morning, I saw someone wearing a shirt with the Google marker symbol (you know, the one on the left there) and underneath it said “I am here.” Witty. Of course you are. But as I gave it more thought, I began to wonder – sure you’re here. But are you HERE.
I met my friend Jake in October of 2000 when I moved to Chicago. He was an up-beat show-tune loving copy writer at an agency. And I was moving there to work at an agency.
Oh yeah. The McRib is back baby. And I’m having one RIGHT NOW.