Monday Musings #6

"...a tossed green salad, swimming in blue cheese dressing..."

I read this ^ somewhere and it got me thinking. About dressing and how much people use. I've seen people mix up a lovely salad with a little dressing, then add more dressing when it is on their plate. I've seen people in movies ask for dressing on the side. They then dip bits of salad leaves into the dressing as they eat. Or ignore it altogether, so why ask for it? I've seen people serve bowls of salad that have much more dressing than needed, so any components are completely drenched and need to be drained before putting on your plate. 

To me, having a salad "swimming" in dressing is a waste of whatever leaves and other ingredients are used. How can you taste the actual components? How do you get that satisfying crunch when the lettuce leaves have been drowned? Why even bother choosing ingredients with care when all you can taste in the end is dressing? In such a salad it would make no difference at all if you chose cos lettuce (romaine) over iceberg. Or crisp carrot sticks over the limp old carrot leftover in the fridge. 

Do any of you out there make salads this way? Swimming in dressing? 
When I make salad, it's for one person only, so it's a smallish serve, but usually enough to cover a dinner plate, yet I use barely a teaspoon of dressing. I like to taste my lettuce, my tomato, my baby spinach leaves.

Last Saturday morning, I woke up, as I always do, rolled over ready to swing my feet to the floor, and my back decided it wasn't having any of that getting up nonsense. Pitched a hissy fit and locked itself up in a nice tight spasm. Ow.
So I rolled out of bed, very gently, onto my hands and knees and crawled into the kitchen. I used the sink cabinet to haul myself as upright as I could, boiled the kettle for coffee and a hot water bottle, then spent two hours with that hot water bottle pressed against my lower back. Ever tried to lift and pour a full kettle when your back is tied in a knot? (*~*) Not fun.

After that I was able to get dressed, although that took a lot longer than usual, then I gripped my granny trolley for balance and hobbled off to the shopping centre, where I bought the strong pain tablets at the chemist, then made my way around Woolworths for eggs and milk etc. 
When I got home I spent the rest of the day lying down or sitting with a hot water bottle. Ignored the bed which usually gets made first thing; didn't do any of my planned housework at all. 

Sunday was mostly okay, just the odd spasm here and there in different places, (not just the back, hips got involved), if I was careless with moving. Like bending down a bit to scratch Angel's ears. The bending wasn't a problem, but straightening up was ouchy. 
I did get the bed made. Two days in a row of unmade bed is unthinkable!

It's been a while since I had it this bad and it's taking its own sweet time easing off, so I'm keeping the walking stick handy and not doing anything silly, like getting up on the ladder for any reason at all. Fingers crossed a light bulb doesn't burn out. 

I'm pretty sure this is my body's reaction to the amount of walking around I did on Thursday. I'd been to the dentist, then wandered around with my camera for several hours. I'll have to be more aware and sit down more often when I'm out and about.


  1. I generally eat a salad with no dressing at all, just the lovely crunch of leaves and cucumbers and tomatoes and whatever else fell in.
    And, double ouch for the back. I will put it down to too much walking, too. I plan trips of no more than a block out and back to somewhere to sit. As for bending over, I'm good for no more than three a day. Do take care. rest and inflammation meds will do the trick. Oh, and alternate heat with ice. Dr. Joanne, signing off.

  2. Snap. My back (and right hip) are talking very loudly at the moment.
    I don't like what they are saying either.
    Slow and steady. With frequent stops.

  3. Joanne; no ice. I've found that makes it worse. I just use hot water bottles and eventually the muscles relax.

    fishducky; twenty minutes zips by in no time at all, that's a lot of switching. I never use ice anyway, it doesn't work for me. I usually sit until the hot water bottle cools, then I lie down with my knees and feet up on pillows for an hour or so, repeat as needed, usually a whole day, sometimes two.

    Elephant's Child; you too? I'm so sorry to hear that. Let's commiserate together. Pass the chocolates...

  4. I empathise...I commiserate, River re your back. It's no fun at all. And don't even consider climbing a ladder....ever! I gave up climbing ladders...or anything else...long story...but the short version...I learned the hard way! Take care good care of your I know you are...but the healing process can be long and painful.

    Usually when I make a salad for myself these days...I either just have cider or balsamic vinegar with it...and sometimes a dash or two of extra-virgin olive oil. I no longer make dressings for myself.

    And don't go beating yourself up about not making the bed etc. That's the least of your worries...take care of your back. :)

  5. sorry for your back pain, I tried to fix the blog so you can see it better, it is still being experimented with after 4 years.

  6. When we have salad, and if it requires dressing, it'll only be "a drizzle". Never swimming.
    Cafe/restaurant menus - they do like to get flowery with their descriptions these days.
    I think to douse it with too much dressing defeats the purpose of the fresh taste of salad ingredients in the first place.

    I do very much feel for you and your poor back. I hope you are feeling better by degrees throughout the day and will be much, much better within a day or two.
    I've had times where I have been rendered to my knees when getting out of bed, gasping at the pain and unable to stand up straight, having to walk at a 45° angle.
    I give thanks to "the sausage". I've not had that happen for years since buying it. Touch wood that it stays that way...

  7. Re: Salads
    I've never likedm
    greens. I force myself to eat them but mostly I take the green powder in a drink. I made some curly kale chips in the dehydrator yesterday and I can pick my way through a few of them. sounds like that literally "took you to your knees." It's tough doing anything when the back is out. Hope Angel is giving you lots of cuddles. I don't think a cat's back ever goes out. lol

  8. The only time something swims in dressing here is when I cut up an avocado to eat by itself. I like plenty of balsamic with an avocado. I'll usually fish the avocado which is at the bottom out first and let the avocado on top with less dressing move down to swim a little before I eat that piece.

    My favourite salad is baby spinach, strawberries and balsamic dressing but not anywhere near as much as I would put on an avocado, it is just a drizzle.

  9. There is often a delay between what you do and a physical reaction. If you do something your back doesn't like then sleep very soundly, you may well be in trouble, Just a drizzle of dressing, usually a bought French one. Zoosh is my favourite at the moment.

  10. Growing up, the adults would dress our iceberg and half-green tomato salads... liberally. You were left with a lake of bright orange in the bottom of the salad bowl. Yuck! At home I'm a drizzler, at a restaurant I ask for it on the side. And, yes, I'm much more adventurous with my salad ingredients.

    I empathise with the back pain, although mine tends to happen in bed... muscles contort, spasm, and stiffen into place. We have bad weather coming in the next day or so, all my joints are filled with shards of glass.

  11. Lee; I've changed several light bulbs lately, so hopefully I won't be needing the big ladder for a couple of years. I'm extra careful since I fell off it while climbing down my first year here.
    I'm used to the back and its hissy fits, they're painful, but mostly I get annoyed that it's happened again.
    Dressing? store bought Italian, but non of that fat free stuff. I use so little a bottle often gets tossed out when I realise it is a couple of years past its use by date. Mostly I have the salad with no dressing.

    mohave rat; the back is mostly better now, until next time. Your latest post was much easier to read, thanks.

    Vicki; you do that bent old lady hobble/shuffle too? It confuses the heck out of Angel. "the sausage"? I very rarely eat in restaurants now, I prefer my home cooked food, at least I know what is in it and how fresh it is.

    Manzanita; we didn't grow up with salads, not green ones anyway, there was potato&bacon salad. According to my mum, salad greens were rabbit foods, she learned this because her dad raised show-champion rabbits. We never got sweetcorn either, that was chook food....
    I don't eat nearly enough salads now, more in summer, maybe one or two in winter, but I love them. Hate kale though.

    Snoskred; avocado and balsamic-two of my most disliked foods. I use fruit in my salads too, rockmelon, strawberries, watermelon, mandarin segments, sometimes pineapple, all mixed in with assorted green leaves and a tiny drizzle of Italian dressing or no dressing at all. Add chopped hard boiled egg for protein and it's a complete meal.

    Andrew; there is always a delay, which is rather annoying when I go to the doctor and he says "what have you done?" of course I often can't remember just which movement might have caused the current trouble, so now I don't go. I just stay home and treat myself with hot water bottles, rest and painkillers if it is really bad. As soon as I'm able, I do the walk-around-the-block thing, because gentle walking is the best exercise to keep the muscles looser. For me anyway.

    Jacquelineand; growing up, we didn't eat salads, we're German, we ate potatoes and lots of them.
    My muscles probably start their trouble in bed, then when I move to get up, they let me know I'm not going anywhere. I get hip pain now, when rain is on the way, but not always, so I'm not a reliable weather forecaster. Yet.

  12. Goodness your pain doesn't sound the best, I do hope it goes.
    Salad dressing, rarely eat it myself. When I make a salad of any kind I often let the guest put their own dressing on...coleslaw is a bit different as is pasta salad..

  13. I haven't been bent over for years now, ever since I bought the long foam roller.
    Best investment I ever made - for me and my boys. We all use it when we feel a back twinge, which would be a warning sign.
    No bent backs or dropping to the ground ever since.
    And, hope it stays that way for many years to come... touch wood :)

  14. Ouch River - I hope you are more comfortable soon! As for salad dressing, my son seems to like a little salad in a soup of dressing!

  15. Sorry to hear about your back River... as a fellow lower back pain sufferer, I can surely relate. I suspect that you're correct - you're body's way of telling you to lighten up after a hard day. I like a medium amount of dressing on my salad. I make my own dressing so I like to taste the fruits of my efforts! Feel better

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  17. I used to have the same problem until I learnt this technique:
    When you are standing up from a sitting position, always look straight ahead. Don't look down. That is the same as straightening up after bending forward.

  18. Ouch! Ouch! and Ouch! My back plays up most days but fortunately not in bed. I have to get out of bed carefully and move gently for a few minutes to get the kinks out. My worst position for my back is standing.....washing dishes, preparing food etc. I have found Dencorub does help quite a lot but Panadol Osteo are useless even though as show people playing 18 holes of golf after taking a couple of P.Osteo. Talk about false advertising!!! What are the strong pain tabs you buy I wonder? Nothing with codeine as I can't tolerate it.
    As far as salads go I usually only have the two of us to worry about these days so lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spring onions are chopped on each plate and then a small amount of mayo of salad dressing poured of them. I also use mushrooms but not with dressing on them. Years ago my mum (and sister-in-law) used to make up a salad in a large crystal bowl with an upturned saucer in the bottom...first chopped lettuce and this topped with sliced tomato and cucumber and sometimes sliced hard boiled egg. If I remember correctly we would have salad dressing in a jug to use as we wished. The upturned saucer was to prevent the salad becoming soggy....any excess water would accumulate under the saucer leaving a dry salad.


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