Tag Archive for humor

Life Hands You Lemons

Denton Community Market on Saturday is a feast for the eyes. I’m always surprised at the variety of fruits and vegetables … and the array of art available! People watching is always a treat, too. Last weekend my cohort in mischief, Julie Glover, and I decided to be part of the spectacle. She joined me for a bit of silliness … another aspect of what we call “Dentoning.” Click on the pictures in the gallery below if you want a slide show.

We labeled our shirts with the word “Life” and handed out lemons. You’d be surprised how often we had to explain … “Life just gave you a lemon; what are you going to do?” Some got the joke, and others didn’t; sometimes I felt like Jay Leno explaining the joke three different ways so folks would “get” it. Julie didn’t have anyone turn her down, but I actually had three people say, “No, thank you.” Maybe it was the crazed look in my eye? I bet if Life had handed chocolate cake I wouldn’t have had problems giving them out.

After we handed out all our lemons, Julie bought zucchini and went on her way. I took my Sweet Spousal Unit home and then went back to the market. Ostensibly, I was going back to take more photos and to shop for Christmas gifts. If you can keep your mouth shut, I’ll tell you the real reason I went back. THIS:

Red Velvet Cupcake

That’s right. Kara’s Bake Shoppe handed me a Red Velvet cupcake (but, I had to hand them money in exchange). Don’t tell my husband, because I DID NOT share!

There were many other reasons to go to the market, and I did take pictures. I’m working on editing them to share another day. For now, just let me tell you that you should make a point of visiting the market soon because in November it closes until spring. Also, remember that if Life hands you lemons you should find salt and a Corona!

Lettuce Consider Salad Greens

In the 1950s and 1960s if you ordered a “salad” with your meal at a restaurant it consisted of a big honkin’ wedge of bland iceberg lettuce smothered with a lava-like ooze of Thousand Island dressing. Because of that example, and because it was easy, my own momma served that kind of salad at her table. She didn’t have any idea that salad could be a main part of a meal. She thought this is what a salad looked like.

wedge salad

Perhaps my family’s idea of what salad should be speaks more to the types of restaurants where we ate, which catered to our plebeian tastes. In these restaurants, the waitress didn’t write down your order … she shouted it to the cook from your table. They featured specialties like chicken fried steak, fried catfish, or fried calf liver. Huge platters of these fried meats were served with fried potatoes, and fried okra all smothered in cream gravy. I’m telling you that eating like that as a child is how I gained my membership in the Sisterhood of the Grappling Pants.

At any rate, as an adult I tried to develop a more healthy lifestyle. Salads became a part of my cooking repertoire, and I put every vegetable in the refrigerator into each one. I discovered “fancy greens” instead of iceberg lettuce. That didn’t always set well with my family. Once I put a salad with fancy greens on the table in front of my Momma. Observing the horrified look on her face you might have thought I had dumped the baby’s diaper on the plate!

With his upper lip curled back in a sneer, my Daddy pronounced that lettuce was “rabbit food,” and much preferred steak on his plate. He might have eaten lettuce with more gusto if he had known that the ancient Egyptians considered lettuce to be an aphrodisiac. I couldn’t say that for sure, yet lettuce is certainly more appetizing than ground rhinoceros horn, though less so than red M & Ms. Or, was it the green M&Ms? I disremember.

Ancient Romans ate copious amounts of lettuce before a meal because they believed it prevented drunkenness and relaxed the alimentary canal, making it easier to gorge themselves at their gargantuan banquets. If that is so, why do I finish the salad at Olive Garden and then have to package the rest of the meal to take home?

Do whut? How dare you! Don’t whisper, “because you eat a basket of breadsticks!” That was a rhetorical question!

The Romans also thought that lettuce was a sleep aid and could cure headaches and other illnesses. In fact Emperor Caesar Augustus built a statue in honor of this humble plant, as he believed that eating lettuce had cured him of an illness.

Considered one of the oldest known vegetables, people have been eating lettuce (a member of the daisy and thistle family) for 6,000 years. The first lettuces didn’t look a bit like iceberg lettuce! Romaine was probably the first lettuce people cultivated.

Iceberg, also called “crisphead,” is all-American and wasn’t really developed as we know it today until 1948. A “crisphead” lettuce was developed in the 1890s, and one that was developed in California in the 1920s got shipped across the country packed in ice. Before that time, people had to rely on what they could grow in their own gardens. Perhaps that ice pack is what it earned the name “iceberg.” Some claim that as trains pulled into the stations across the country with shipments of the lettuce from California, folks got so excited that they called out, “The icebergs are coming! The icebergs are coming!”

I don’t know why they got so excited. Remember what an iceberg did to the Titanic?

I can’t remember the last time I bought iceberg lettuce. It isn’t that I’m a “lettuce snob,” because I’m not. I enjoy the crisp texture of iceberg in a salad, but these days, the market has so many varieties of lettuce that it boggles my mind … and it comes pre-packaged and pre-washed! Lettuce growers have also developed insidious marketing strategies to sell these greens to people like me, and it works.

In my refrigerator right now, I have a two different blends of “exotic” greens:

  • One is called “Five Happiness” and claims that “Salad greens should have a taste that makes you happy!” It has baby bok choy leaves, baby red chard, tango, mizuna, baby arugula, baby spinach, baby green chard, baby green romaine, and baby oakleaf lettuce. Heck, I’ve never even heard of most of those, and I’m not curious enough to find out if they are even technically “lettuce.” I might not be “happy,” but I suppose I am at least content. It tastes good.
  • The other is called “Power Greens,” including spinach, mizuna, chard and kale. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to develop muscles and be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound after I eat them, but again it tastes good.

Garden salad

When I mix these two together, do I have Happy Power … or am I Power Happy? It’s a conundrum. At least I am not power hungry.

Now, I have to tell you that I love salads … but I much prefer them when someone else makes them! I realize that Applebee’s is trying to bring that “wedge salad” back with something called the “Green Goddess Wedge.” Although it is topped with bacon, pecans, and bleu cheese, even the bacon won’t entice me to buy it at $4.99!

When I get a salad, I want it to have everything but the kitchen sink tossed with the lettuce. Here in Denton, I prefer to have a salad at Rooster’s Roadhouse, The Bowllery, or J & J’s Pizza Parlor. Any other suggestions for a good place for salad?

The wedge salad might be considered an “iconic American salad,” and it might be making a comeback among some restaurants … but it doesn’t please my palate. Give me fancy greens and lots of vegetables, and I’m more than happy to eat rabbit food!

Chiming In

I’ve heard so many varying stories about the superstitions surrounding wind chimes that nothing rings true. Those “old wives” in the South tell tales that wind chimes will protect you by “frightening away evil spirits,” which sound good to me, because I don’t want them anywhere near me. However, according to the Chinese art of Feng Shui (correctly pronounced “fung shway,” but often coming out of my mouth in a Texas twangle that sounds like “fang shooey“), a wind chime near the front door “brings in good energy every time the wind blows.” According to the Chinese, wind chimes are believed to bless your home with happiness and prosperity.

I’m not sure the Chinese or the old wives envisioned wind chimes like these suckers:

wind chimes at Robertsons

Hang a set of wind chimes of that size by your front door, and they are liable to fall on you when the wind blows. That would “ring your bell” wouldn’t it? It surely wouldn’t do much for your happiness or your prosperity. However, if they rang while someone was trying to break in your house, it might scare the living daylights out of them … or maybe they would fall and pin down the intruder until the police arrived. That would drive away evil spirits and bring good luck.

I found those enormous wind chimes hanging in the gift shop at Robertson’s Hams on I35 in Salado. I don’t know what their chimes sound like, because I was afraid to step near them on that windless day to ring them. The shortest tube on these is six feet long, and the tree limb didn’t look nearly sturdy enough to hold them. I didn’t want to get squashed all flat.

Although wind chimes have been around since prehistoric times, I was not tempted to buy these chimes, or any of the smaller sets they had in the gift shop. I am not fond of wind chimes at all. In fact, the one time I had any, I hung them from a tree limb above my garden. The chimes were supposed to keep birds away … and a pair of doves nested right above them. Perhaps they were Chinese Doves?

Other people say that wind chimes can tell you when the wind blows. Well, duh. I don’t need clanging chimes to tell me when the wind blows … I have an app for that.

I figure that you can believe any superstition you like, and you can probably justify it. I’m just chiming in to say I don’t see wind chimes in my future, but I don’t begrudge you if you want them at your house. Hang them on every tree and branch, if you want, and more power to you (as long as you aren’t my next door neighbor).