Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mandarin Salad

What a weird day.

The hubby and I slept in – in, in, in – this morning, which is unusual. But I had an especially strong tension headache last night and I kept both of us awake with my tossing and turning. And possibly whining. I’m pretty sure there was whining involved. (Mine, not his.)

So we got up today just in time to start lunch. Which the hubby graciously made, because I was too busy eating Tylenol.

And then my dad called. T’was not a social call.

My dad is one of those Really Good People who devotes his time to helping others. Specifically, he works with kids to help them make safe and healthy lifestyle choices. He does this full-time – if 80-100 hours per week is full-time – and spends about half his time on the road. We miss him, but we know he’s doing something important and making a difference.

Which is why it’s so hard to say no when he asks a favor of us. Even though we’re not nearly as kind as he is. Today, he happened to call while I was sick and still in my jammies (with no plans to leave them), and asked if we could pick up one of his keynote speakers at the airport and drive her 90 miles to his organization’s state conference. I said yes because I love my daddy, even though I’m horrendously shy and still obey the No Talking to Strangers rule.

But it all worked out. The hubby offered to drive (rather than having his sick, pregnant, non-medicated narcoleptic wife doing so), the speaker was friendly and gracious, and no one minded that I slept most of the trip.

So we left Fargo – where we’re in a flood warning – and drove through heavy rains and dense fog to Jamestown (which couldn’t receive any flights due to high winds), and discovered that there is a blizzard watch in the western portion of the state, so my dad was stressing about getting his kids home safely before then. North Dakota weather certainly keeps us on our toes.

We didn’t get home until a few hours after supper, and the hubby immediately went to his sister’s to help with the water she’s getting in her basement. So his long day is not yet over. (I’m snuggled on the couch, back in my jammies.)

This busy day did have its high points:
  • I helped make my dad’s day a little less stressed, and I got to unexpectedly see him, my brother, and my cousin Ethan.
  • Our brand-spankin’-new sump pump works like a charm. Every two or three minutes, in fact.
  • I ate fudge truffle cheesecake (it cures what ails you) and mandarin salad, the latter of which is a lightly dressed, healthy Asian salad that reminds me that summer is just around the corner.

Mandarin Salad
Serves 6-8

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute (such as Splenda or Equal)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

10 oz. chopped romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, thinly sliced (and peeled, if desired)
1 carrot, peeled, then thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Combined vegetables and oranges in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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