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I am not a big fan of buffet style restaurants.

Visions of gravy, next to marinara, next to potato salad, next to green jello, next to ribs, next to macaroni and cheese, next to sliced peaches next to pizza, next to imitation crab salad, next to scalloped potatoes, next to a giant vat of chocolate pudding makes me want to heave into a paper bag.

So on a recent family outing (involving a three minivan caravan to Topeka to see the CD’s brother play at the Topeka Expo Center) no one asked my opinion when it came time to pick the restaurant.

And the lead minivan chose a buffet…

Filled with righteous indignation, I opted to fast and pray for the souls of my family.

As they chowed down in heathen iniquity.

And I guess they failed to notice that HELLO there was RED JELLO in the CHOCOLATE PUDDING!

And bright yellow fluffy stuff next to the pears next to cottage cheese next to the green jello, next to the oh… ugh… I am not feeling so well.




Seeking a cure, I sought out the Oracle Known as the Concession Stand when we arrived at the Expo Center.
And behold, I did cease fasting as my family is certainly doomed anyway.

And lo, I ordered a corn dog and a diet coke.

And God placed a rainbow….





As the Country Doctor held a baby named NOAH!!!!

The sun and my hunger faded with the corn dog.

And a holy and unquenchable fire did enter my belly.
So that I did look unto The CD’s brother in great discomfort…
And a burning question was born.
Can you guess which picker is the Country Doctor’s brother???

Picker #1

Picker #2

Picker #3

Picker #4
I will choose three winners from the right guesses to receive one of my cd’s. A compact disc, not a country doctor.

Contest ends Monday at 8 PM CST.
Now go forth and multiply and fill the earth.
And for all this is holy and right, Stay Away from The Buffet and The Corn Dogs!

On Sunday,  I grilled some steaks for lunch and made a salad to go with it consisting of grape tomatoes from a plastic box, red leaf lettuce, and half a bag of ready to eat spinach.

I don’t normally buy ready to eat salad fixins’

There is something appalling to me about ready to eat salad fixins’.

Which really makes no sense at all.

I mean, I am not exactly a food purist.  

My family has been known to subsist on microwave popcorn, cold cereal, and Ramen noodles for weeks at a time.  It is just that making a salad… tearing up some lettuce… slicing up a cucumber… tossing in a few grape tomatoes… this is not hard.. this is not rocket science.  Must it be made simpler with bagged salad greens?

So I don’t buy bagged lettuce.  I buy lettuce and spinach that requires a few tears… a few weak and shaky slices with a knife… before they can be added to a bowl and slathered in salad dressing.

I also don’t eat store bought salad dressing.  I am not sure that there exists another product in the aisles of the grocery store that can be so uniformly bad tasting as store bought salad dressing.  All of them.  Every last one.  I usually have a few bottles of ancient store bought salad dressing in my fridge that I haul out for company.  But for myself, I make my own. 

I use those little Hidden Valley packets.

Yes, I know…   

Not very impressive.

Did you really think it would be?



Because if you have ever witnessed a single feat of impressive cooking on THIS BLOG, I think you were actually reading a different blog.


I went to the store to pick up a few items for our lunch and I was hoping to find some spinach.  Alas, our small town grocery store didn’t have any fresh spinach.  The store only had bagged spinach.  So I bought it.  

For the first time EVER I bought bagged salad.  

I brought it home, opened the bag, poured it onto the other salad parts that I sliced and diced myself.

It was delicious.

Tonight for dinner I had big plans for a nice family dinner.  When I got home from work, I made a chicken and rice casserole that my boys love.  I then sped off to teach an aerobics class and when I came back home, the Country Doctor was loading up all my children in his truck to take them all to various baseball practices.  No one is here to eat my chicken and rice casserole.    I don’t really feel like eating a chicken and rice casserole by myself.  Instead,  I am eating the rest of the bagged spinach and the rest of the grape tomatoes and the rest of the salad dressing that I made myself.  


I am also watching The Office on Hulu!  We have not ever been able to watch television shows on the internet because our connection has always been far too slow.  Well guess what!  It isn’t slow any more!  The Country Doctor signed us up for a faster internet service.  I can watch The Office on the internet now.


I can watch The Office on my computer and eat bagged spinach and grape tomatoes from a plastic box and salad dressing from a Hidden Valley packet.  

My life is pure bliss!

And yet it also seems to be tanking at the same time!

Someone send help please!


To make Joe and Rita’s Springtime salad, first you have to plant a garden…






Next, you have to carry a bowl and a knife out to the lettuce patch…







And then you cut enough tender lettuce to fill up the bowl…






You will also want to pick a fist full of green onions and tiny, red radishes.






Further clean up your freshly picked veggies at the kitchen sink…







If you are a man, you may sharpen your knife.

If you are a woman, this step might not be an absolute necessity.








Slice up those onions and radishes into mouth watering bite sized pieces.






Try not to eat all the radishes before dinner time.








Rita dresses up this Springtime Salad with her own salad dressing.






She mixes mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and cream until it comes out right.  







For maximum pleasure, a radish must anchor each forkful.

There is sunshine in every single bite.