Tuesday, May 15, 2007

If there’s no mayo or Cool Whip, how do you know it’s a salad?

Salads sure have changed over the past 20 years. As a kid growing up in Texas, I recognized anything called a ‘salad’ served at family gatherings, school picnics or church cover-dish dinners largely by the white stuff that held it all together: either mayonnaise or Cool Whip. Depended on whether it was a sweet or savory salad, of course.

Mayonnaise was the key ingredient in potato salad, tuna salad, egg salad, and most coleslaws. At the time, I didn’t see mayonnaise simply as a key ingredient, but really as the only reason to slog through the potatoes, tuna, eggs, or cabbage that it was mixed up with.

Cool Whip was essential for the successful presentation of any fruit or Jello Salad. Some salads didn’t have anything in them at all except Jello and Cool Whip. Those were my favorites.

Wouldn’t Jenny Craig just about DIE?!

The difference between the salads of my youth and the green, crunchy, leafy salads I eat today is vast. My childhood self would need a tour guide for today's salads, or else a large sign: THIS IS A SALAD. Without the white stuff, it would just be a wild guess.


Jeana said...

My Grandma makes great fruit salad--no Cool Whip, but she does put Tang in it--and the first time my husband came to a family gathering I told him he should get some. He said, "Don't you want to wait and eat it after dinner, like dessert?"

I just stared at him, and then showed him the dessert table (yes, an entire table full of desserts) and then informed him that in MY family, we make real desserts with nothing healthy about them. We don't try to shove off fruit salad as a dessert.

Stacey said...

Try this: cottage cheese, powdered Jello, and cool whip. Yeah, it passes for "salad" in some parts. Crazy, eh?

LaLa said...

Now you're talking! Tang and Jello - prime salad ingredients. Jeana, to quote my friend Mike, fruit just gets in the way of dessert. REAL dessert is goopy and very bad for you!

Daisyface said...

What's cool whip ? And while we're on the subject, what's this creme fresh stuff chef's are banging on about on TV all the time ? What's going on ? I'm confused !

Holymama! said...

ou know, we went to a salad place for lunch. between all 5 of us, mike was the onl one who ate lettuce.

i had soup and noodle salads with ma o. um.

read that as if i actually have a Y key