How Not To Make A Salad
I was probably eight when my culinary lack of genius kicked in. I was constantly in the kitchen, making simple things like scrambled eggs or grilled cheese. My mom was often the recipient of my broken attempts, and though I didn’t make anything complicated or special, she never complained.
These were good times for me. Looking back, I’m just happy no one died of food poisoning…even when I washed the dishes with bar soap and both my mother and grandmother belched bubbles for an afternoon.
On one occasion, I remember my mom asked me to make a salad for her lunch. I jumped at the chance because, to an 8-year-old boy, mother is one of the two very special people you wish to please the most.
She gave me a list of ingredients, and I went downstairs to prepare what I supposed would be the greatest salad in the world. I assembled with great care the greenest leaves, perfect slices of cucumbers, round cherry tomatoes, and grated cheese. I added ham and a lot of ranch just like I was sure she would want, and then, along with a beverage, I carted the load up the stairs for her to enjoy.
I remember how pleased she looked when I presented it to her and then the moment of truth when she took a large forkful and began to eat…
With her first bite a strange look crossed her face, and then she chewed and chewed and chewed. She stirred the salad for a moment and chuckled, then continued to eat. I knew something was wrong and after a second bite I had to ask.
She laughed and said “It’s good!” And then she added very kindly, “Bryan, this isn’t lettuce, this is cabbage….”
I had no clue what that meant. I didn’t eat anything that green if I could help it, and to an 8-year-old they really did seem the same. I was disappointed, and I thought for sure that she would be to. Instead she ate a good bit of it and went far in complimenting my efforts.
Looking back, I learned something very special from this misbegotten moment, aside from how to make a proper salad.
In this one way more than any other, my mom exemplified the heart of God to me as a child. In my efforts—in my learning, in my ignorance, in my various and creative failures—God looks at my heart and knows I am trying to please Him. He accepts my salad made of cabbage or my dishes washed with bar soap with every kindness. He accepts them in the spirit of love with which they are offered, and rejoices in my attempt to honor and glorify Him.
Thank you, Mom, for your kindness and patience. They mean more than you will ever know.
Easy French Blue Cheese Dressing
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup balsamic or white vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Mix the first five ingredients very well, and then stir in the crumbled blue cheese.
Best served over a Strawberry Spinach or a Waldorf Salad.