I didn’t really start enjoying salads until I got older. As a kid, we ate a lot of corn, peas, and mixed veggies, but I didn’t really grow up on tons of fresh produce. My momma, to this day, isn’t a huge salad person. You either love them or hate them, and that’s OK.
I do remember her putting mandarin oranges on a little lettuce leaf on our plates at dinner time. Isn’t that dear? I don’t think we ate the lettuce, but it always looked so fancy with the brightness of the oranges on a beautiful bed of green lettuce. She always made dinner time special.
Being we are talking produce, even though it’s the veggie side of it and we are talking about ‘special,’ I have to share this. Another highlight, especially Sunday lunch, which consisted of tacos, Mom always had grapes on the table too. We may not have always had veggies, but we ALWAYS had fruits. My mom and brother would take those grapes and shove them in their upper and lower lips to look like something off of “Planet of the Apes.” This literally became a part of taco lunches so much that my dad and I started to get annoyed. They would be sitting there cracking up at each other, and those grapes would come popping out of their mouths. My dad would be sitting there saying, “Andrea, don’t laugh at them.” There they sat, some two hundred and fifty times they shoved those oversized grapes up in their lips months after months and still thought it was absolutely hilarious. I’d stay strong for Dad, but once in a while had a little snicker. You couldn’t help but laugh at these two ‘special’ characters. To this day, if my mom has grapes on the table, you better believe she and Luke still do it for old time’s sake. The grandkids even do it now. It’s become a family affair!
I started to enjoy salad more when I got older, and ranch was my favorite dressing. It used to be Italian, but that was over as soon as I tried the ranch. Then, when I started my weight loss, I learned I had to start picking smarter dressing choices for my waistline. As nice as it was pouring on as much ranch as I wanted, I had learned that two tablespoons of ranch dressing were one hundred and twenty calories. It’s OK if you measure! But I was topping out at probably four times that amount. I’ve learned to measure out my dressings and know what a serving is. I also like to dip my salad into the dressing on the side. It helps not to eat as much.
This weekend we had a surprise retirement for our momma and had her favorite pizza, snacks, fresh fruit, along with a salad bar. Yes, I know. Above I stated she isn’t a salad person, but we couldn’t just serve pizza and chips. I think a salad bar is perfect with pizza. When my group gets together and comes to the house for pizza, we all pitch in two to three salad bar items and end up with a wonderful spread. This way, we are not getting full off of just pizza and chips.
Another thing I’ve learned is to order a side salad when I go out to eat. It helps fill you up, so you don’t eat the entire burger or meal. Salad pairs well with pretty much everything except breakfast in my option. So for the salad bar at the party, I picked a variety of dressings. You never know what people will like. I believe we had honey mustard, balsamic, Italian, and ranch that we bought, then I made a homemade French and a homemade thousand island. The thousand island was a huge hit, and I made it because it’s Mom’s favorite dressing. Guests were telling me how good it was, and a few said, “Andrea, this recipe needs to go in the Webb Weekly!!”
I am here to fulfill special requests, so here is the recipe for my guests and all my readers. This dressing was absolutely delicious and so full of flavor. This is a dressing I definitely could get carried away with! It would even be delicious on top of a burger like a big mac.
The ingredients are so simple. Enjoy!
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
• 1 cup mayo
• 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
• 2 Tbsp. ketchup
• 2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
• 1 tsp. lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a pint-sized ball jar, top with lid and shake vigorously until well combined. Put in the refrigerator to chill for at least a few hours, then serve when ready.