Monday, June 15, 2015


As I have confided, I love to play the game of packing lunch. You have to eat anyway, you know? You may as well have fun with it.

I have discovered packing lunches in canning jars. This is a fad that is all over the place and I have seen it before but somehow I never thought about trying it out. Perhaps it was the Bosch dischwascher that made me want to try it. The Bosch gets the jars all sparkly with minimal effort on my part.

It will only be about 1,000 lunches before the Bosch pays for itself!

But meanwhile I am having fun. There is a science to doing salads in Mason jars. You start with the dressing in the bottom of a quart jar. Then you add the hard vegetables that will not soak up the dressing. Cut-up carrots, cucumbers and celery are good at this point.

After that you may add rice or beans and chickpeas. And after that, chicken or tuna or tofu. And after that you pack in all this lettuce and then maybe one other thing on top of that -- toasted walnuts mayhap -- and then you screw on that lid after packing in as much lettuce as you can.

Then at lunch time you pour it all out into a big bowl. And the lettuce is on the bottom and everything else tossed in nicely with the dressing on top. Genius!

And it is pretty like '70s sand art. I started out with a salad of carrots, cucumber, then brown rice, red grapes, chicken, greens and toasted walnuts. I made one for Howard too and it took me about five minutes. And looked mighty fancy!

The next day was Friday and we switched to tuna. I created an, ahem, Tuscan tuna salad with radishes and white beans and strawberries. I think I topped this with crumbled blue cheese.

I am the Leonard Pennario of jar salad creators, expanding my repertoire daily and drawing from a variety of cultures. Today I created a masterpiece, a Food and Wine tuna, chickpea, and orange salad in a jar. Well, I subbed celery for fennel. You know me and fennel. That is the salad at the top of this post. I am an artist!

And the great thing is, these salads fill you up. For some reason last week I was packing too little food for myself and I was running around hungry and eating chocolate and doughnuts when they were offered me.

No more! Now I am fed.

And entertained!

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