Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Might Make a Really Good Cobb Salad - It's a Recipe-Ish People

Shortly after I had Stella, my friend Jessica set up a Care Calendar for friends to bring me meals.  It was heavenly to not have to worry about what to fix for dinner, or having to fix it.  One of my friends, Tricia, brought over a Cobb salad. 

There was also a bit of an incident where I had to take my pants off while she was here and things went a little haywire, but the salad was awesome.  Oh, and she brought french bread.  Yum.

Now, I had eaten a Cobb salad many times in my life but I had honestly just forgotten about it.  How did that happen?  Didn't even enter my mind as an option.  Stella is now almost 11 months old and I have been making this approximately every other week since Tricia brought it back into my life.  What a good friend.

Speaking of good friends, I met my best friend Alissa in the first grade on the swings at recess...where most wonderful things happen during elementary school.  She's been on my mind lately because all sorts of life is happening to her right now.

When I think about Alissa now, I think about Cobb salad. It sounds really weird unless you know that her last name was Cobb until she got married. But, she's still Alissa Cobb to me. I love the Cobbs.  I love Steve and Cindy Cobb, Mark Cobb, Katy Cobb, all the little Cobb offspring. 

Mostly I love Cobb Salad.

Dear Alissa:

I know you have a lot on your mind lately so I thought it would be important for me to teach you how to make a Cobb salad.  That way you at least won't have to be worried about how you don't know how to do that.  Has this been worrying you?  Life's like that sometimes.

You might already know how to make a Cobb salad, because if you have ever eaten one you basically know how to make it, but it would be rude to ruin the entire point of my message so just pretend if you must that I'm changing your life here.
If you remember, your last name used to be Cobb.  Did you know there's a salad named after your Dad?  Or your Grandpa?  Or his Grandpa?  Probably not your brother because I think the Cobb salad has been around longer than Mark.  I think.

Anyway, there's a salad named after your family.  You are all basically famous like Waldorfs and Caesar and Chefs.  Congratulations.  The Cobb salad was started in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with your ancestors, so you should pretend to care about this recipe-ish.*

The best thing about this salad is that it has avocados, bacon, blue cheese and ranch dressing.  The worst thing about this salad is that there is a bunch of stuff you have to do before you actually put it together. 

Try not to be annoyed.  It was your family's idea, not mine. 

Here's what you are going to need to actually make your ancestral salad.

2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped
Half-ish a head of iceberg lettuce chopped (Lettuce is actually optional. I like it, but if I don't have it, I don't let it keep me from the rest of the Cobb.)
2 tomatoes diced
1 large avocado diced
1/4 cup blue cheese (Totally making up the 1/4 cup thing. Just guess. Remember it's strong. Like all the Cobb woman of yester-year.)
6 strips bacon (You should cook this first, then chop it. I like it on the crispier side, but that's just me. I'm no Cobb. Also, a lot of recipes call for 4 strips, but who can resist eating one or two while cooking?)
1 green onion, chopped
Ranch dressing (Don't get the fat free, it's insulting to the Cobb.)

First, get some eggs and hard boil them.  You only need two for the salad, but I think you'd agree that a hard boiled egg is a pretty damn good thing to have around so go ahead and hard boil 6 to have some extra.

Here are some ideas for what to do with the extra ones.
  • peel them and eat them when you need a filling snack or quick meal like Valerie Bertinelli told me she does on Oprah one time.  Seriously, she's fit now so this must be a good idea.
  • purchase leftover Easter egg dyeing kits and color the leftover four eggs, but this sounds sort of pathetic.
  • Give them to Cindy, she will do something magical with them like serve them with those sticky buns she used to make.  Those are really good.  Why don't you make those for me?
If you don't know how to hard boil eggs, here's the short version. 

Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, put on the lid, put it on the stove, turn the stove to high and then sing camp songs from our days at church camp for 15 minutes straight, then remove from heat and run under cold water until they feel comfortable to touch and peel. 

Suggested camp songs include:  Boom Chicka Boom, Bear Song, Green Grass, Dem Bones, and Little Bunny Foo Foo. 

Seriously, I just spent 15 minutes searching the Internet for camp songs and singing them, pretending I had a haircut like a young boy and huge buck teeth.  I need more to do more with my life.
After they cool down, chop them up.  Wait, peel them and then chop them up.

Take the head of lettuce and chop it in half.  Then wash it. 

To be honest, I have no idea how to clean lettuce.  Do you have a Salad Spinner?  I think they were all the rage for a while.  Basically it's a big ass bowl with a colander inside with a large push thing that spins your wet lettuce. All the water flies off the lettuce into the big bowl and you then have clean, dry-ish lettuce.

Unfortunately you also have a big ass bowl with a colander inside it and a large awkward top thing to clean.  It really sucks.  If you want one, you can have mine.  You can't tell my Mom though because I think she bought it for me and she really digs these things.  Ironically, any mention of iceberg lettuce also will earn you a large dose of information about how nutritionally worthless iceberg lettuce is. Your choice whether to discuss with her or not. 

I usually just run lettuce under the facet for a while and then dry it in paper towels since it's not worth anything anyway, it's certainly not worth time in the coveted Salad Spinner.  Sometimes I use a kitchen towel to dry it so I can be environmentally conscious, like after I watched Julia Roberts on Oprah or have seen a picture of Alicia Silverstone.  I want to do a better job of conserving, I just need a celebrity visual to remind me. 

Do you feel like I base too many of my decisions on what I hear on Oprah?  Do you feel like there is any chance that anything I hear from her is a bad idea?  I don't either. 

Do you think we could take a road trip like Oprah and Gayle did and argue over Paul Simon lyrics?  I want to do that.

Do you find it insulting that I'm instructing you on things like washing lettuce and the components of a Salad Spinner? 

What the hell was I saying?

Ok, chop up the lettuce.  Not into bits, but strips sort of.  Actually, do it however you like.  I think you could just let the Cobb in you be the guide. 

Then dice up two tomatoes.  Please get these from the massive garden/farm in your parents back yard.  It will only improve the authenticity of the Cobb and possibly your Mom would think it was so sweet you were making a big salad that she would just do it for you and that would be even better than having to read my half assed recipe to try to figure out how to do it yourself.  Just a thought.

Do not let the tomatoes drop in your parents' coy pond though because we all know Cole tried to pee in there and only didn't because we saw him.  Who knows what he has done in there when we weren't watching more carefully. 

Have I told you what to do with all this stuff?  I usually get a big bowl or large platter and line everything up like it's a restaurant here.  I am always professional with my food prep because I think it improves my marriage.  Just a tip.  If you need any other marriage tips just call me.

Dice up an avocado.  (Essentially a foreign food to me until I moved to TX so I hope you can access this up North.)

Get the blue cheese.  Amish blue cheese is the best because we're from Indiana and there are lots of Amish people up there.  I don't know why, but they are there.  There are some good TV movies about them and I believe an Amish Fair at the Indiana State Fairgrounds if you need more information on them.

Side note:  Remember when we went to your Grandparents house when we were like 12 and ran around a cemetery and danced to Monster Mash in their basement?  What the hell were we doing?  I'm a little scared thinking about it.

Additional side note:  Remember when we went to my Grandparents house and we walked all over town to some large monument on a river then went to the movie theatre alone at night?  Was my Grandparent's house in 1950?   Were my parents just really irresponsible?

Why did we have so many weird trips to Grandparents' houses? 

Moving on.  Fry up some bacon.  Feel free to sing that song about frying bacon up in a pan while doing this, it might make the process more interesting.  I'm not going to tell you how to fry bacon.  I refuse.

Chop up 4 strips of your fried bacon.

Wash and then dice a green onion. 

Then stir it together and pour on the ranch. Do not get fat free or it will just suck all the life out of your bacon and blue cheese.  I've tried it, it's like drinking and's just not worth it.  See how informative this message has turned out to be.  Changing lives I tell you!

You can also put diced chicken on this, which I do when I am feeling a little fancy.  Feeling fancy is also a good tip for the marriage.  Seriously, I'm like an expert, call me.

I love you!

*This entire paragraph is 100% bullshit.  I know nothing about the origin of the Cobb salad, I did not even take the 5 minutes to Google Cobb salad to try to find out the truth, and feel that claiming it is something created by my best friend's family makes my post more appropriate and fun so suck it if you disagree.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should write a cook book! I love reading stuff like this about food.

Thanks for sharing.