Friday, February 13, 2009

The Positive Power of Prepackaged Produce

I’m not one that gets along well with lettuce. It wilts when it sees me coming. I never have the patience to sit and tear it into little pieces, which, according to Julia and Wolfgang and Paula and all those people who don’t have lettuce issues, keeps it from turning brown. But I can't get it the right size, so I chop it, and it goes brown. Turns out all those people knew what they were talking about. Probably why they have their own cooking shows and I don’t.

I also don’t have a lot of patience with washing lettuce. You can wash it while it’s still in leaf form—but if you’re not careful (this would be me) you create sort of a ski slope with the leaf. The water hits it and sends it flying off the end and down the front of the unlucky person who is holding said lettuce leaf. If you tear (or chop) it up before you rinse it, you get a lot of water hidden in between all those little pieces, and it’s nearly impossible to fully drain it out. Then you put in your croutons, which are supposed to be crunchy, and they find all the little bits of water you couldn’t find, and then you get soggy croutons in your salad. Deeeelicious (she says sarcastically).

I don’t want you to think I’m totally domestically challenged. I do have my strengths and weaknesses. And it turns out that lettuce is just one of those things that I have no talent for. I bet you didn’t know that produce was something that took talent—well, it does, and I’m living proof of that.

So, my solution? Prepackaged lettuce.

Thanks to modern technology, we can not only get our iceberg and Romaine in prewashed, precut (or torn) and pretossed baggies, but we can get spring lettuce mixes, Caesar mixes, spinach salad mixes—and, for you brave souls, coleslaw. It’s amazing the many different varieties they have available. Many people do recommend rinsing the lettuce again before use. This causes me angst, but I'm learning to deal.

Ordinarily, I stay away from prepackaged anything. It always costs more and for just the slightest bit more effort on my part, I can save a dollar or two every day. But not when it comes to lettuce. Lettuce laughs at me. It points its little curly leaves in my direction and lets out a very un-producelike guffaw. I can’t stand the mockery. I’m buying a bag.

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Karlene said...

Yes! Me, too. I like the one with a mix of iceberg, romaine, carrots, red cabbage. Would I take the time to sliver those up to make a salad? No. Too lazy. BUt the bags--it's almost like having a wife to take care of me! :)

Jeri said...

4 simple words - BUY A SALAD SPINNER!

Josi said...

I'm anti-lettuce as well, with a particular dislike for the 'bones' in romaine lettuce--you know the hard middle part. Even with a bag I end up picking out half the salad. I need a salad spinner--like Jeri said--it keeps lettuce dry so that it doesn't wilt and will last two weeks. I don't mind breaking it up, but usually don't get to it until it's a soggy mess.

Cindy Beck said...

Ah, lettuce. The universal pain in the neck of most women! :) The pre-packaged lettuce is really nice ... but if I have to wash it after it's already been pre-washed, it seems like I might as well buy the cheaper stuff ... doesn't it?

Anna Maria Junus said...

I buy spinach in those bags. So much easier than dealing with spinach bunches that still have dirt on their stems. I don't want the stems anyway. I figure a bag of spinach is cheaper in the long run, especially since I'm more likely to eat it.

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