I love a good salad. Salads are bold and beautiful and colorful and healthy. But drat, they are so hard to eat. Don’t ever eat a salad at a lunch meeting–Oh, wait, that’s me talking to me. Whenever I’ve combined salad with talking, something always goes terribly wrong. I either almost choke to death from swallowing stems and leaves, or I look like an orangutan with leaves and stems hanging haphazardly out of my mouth. Then I go from orangutan to a little kid trying to eat spaghetti, one long stem or twig twirling its way into my mouth. Salads demand a lot of attention–chewing, swallowing, smiling, not smiling, trying not to choke, trying to talk around the greens and peppers, and especially getting popped into your mouth just as your lunch mate asks you a very important question.
I have to be honest. Sometimes I just order soup because I just don’t feel like chewing on grass. Then there’s the crackers. They crumble and leave little crumbs on your lips, because hey, crackers love to cling to salad dressing and take a ride. Which can again led to choking, which brings tears to the eyes and sometimes causes sneezing. And then the salad in your mouth can go spewing out of your mouth and all over your clothes and possibly, your lunch mate’s clothes, too.
I’ve even looked it up. I have a copy of Etiquette by Peggy Post. I received it when I was on the Board of Directors for a local Dress for Success organization. We handed out copies to our clients to help them with such problems. (Or maybe the other board members pooled their money to buy me one. Only me, and after having salad lunches with me.)
from page 259: Emily Post’s Etiquette, with a few paraphrases from Lenora Worth’s observations)
Cut large pieces of lettuce with a fork, or a fork and knife (If the darn salad is springy and difficult to cut, or eat, or chew, or you can just sit there pretending to eat your salad–my words not Ms. Post’s) Cute only one bite at a time. (Now that makes perfect sense.) Never “attack” your salad bowl or plate and cut the whole plateful. (Unless you want to kill the salad and your do so with glee, whacking it with such knife-sharp intensity that the whole table is now staring at you.) Then you have to eat and cut cheese to match your one bite of cut salad and you can’t grab a glob of crackers and put them on your plate and you need the right fork for the right plate. And let’s talk about salad dressing. You should pour a little bit on only the salad you plan to eat. (The one you just attacked and mutilated.) Once you’ve managed to eat the top part that you had to cut and eat one bite at a time (which explains why I fail–I stuff a lot in there at times) you’re home free with the dressing and the rest of the salad. And you’re pretty much exhausted and dreaming of cheeseburgers.
Today, while eating a pretty, colorful, healthy salad, I sent two grapes flying over my desk, dropped five tiny crackers into the salad by accident, and got strangled on vinegar and oil dressing at least twice, and messed up yet another favorite t-shirt. So my advice to you–Eat salad as if no one is watching. It’s just the best way to stay healthy, right?
By the way, I have a book out this month. It’s about a garden!! Mostly flowers, but the goats think flowers are a great salad and they kind of eat plants much like I eat salad: