Thursday, September 2, 2010

Anything Helps Salad

It was pitch black, yet the alarm had gone off several times already. I rolled out of bed and stared out into the dark blue abyss. A heavy cold rain was pouring down. I hurried to get dressed and stumbled down to my car. My eyes were puffy, and refusing to participate in the day as a rebellious gesture against a deceptive sky.

I was already later than intended, so I stopped at a gas station for throat lozenges and something to drink. Behind me stood a woman in her mid thirties with fluffy short haircut. She had on khaki pants and a tan, rain jacket.
"Is that all you want?" I heard her say.
"Mhhhhm" A man answered, in a gruff voice. I turned slightly sideways so i could spy over my other shoulder. The man she was talking to was tall, with deeply creased, leathered skin. He had long, coarse, gray and white hair, and shaggy eyebrows. His eyes were set far apart. They were somewhat cat like. He had a beard and a moustache, and his rosy cheeks were perched high on his face. He reminded me of a greasy, dirt-caked version of the coca cola Santa clause.

I stepped off to the side and got ready to head out the door. A giant backpack with a rolled up sleeping bag was blocking the exit. I assumed it belonged to the man, as the amount of dirt on the man matched with the amount of dirt caked on the sleeping bag. I pushed the door open, stepped over the bag, and left. When I got back into my car, I looked up for the man leaving the gas station. Clearly he was homeless, and this woman had offered to buy him something to eat. I thought about the times when I have offered to buy food to a homeless person looking for money. Usually my request is met with hostility. 'I don't need your food.' Their eyes would unmistakably say, 'What I need is what I asked you for. Your money. Give it to me, or I will make you feel like a worthless horrible guilty monster.'

I relaxed in my car for a minute, watching for the door. I half expected the man to walk out and then walk back in and return whatever it was she bought for him. I started up my windshield wipers, to get a better view. The radio clicked on, and a man's calming voice was reading something aloud on air. I continued my stakeout.

In a few moments, the door burst open and the man emerged. His face had risen to a bright zenith of sheer elation. He looked both giddy and nervous, as though he were a little boy keeping a newly opened present away from his siblings' greedy hands. He walked in full strides, holding a gigantic sub under his armpit as though it were a football. I had been wrong about him, he really did want food. Had he tried to panhandle me, I probably would've ignored him and he would've continued to be hungry until somebody decided to trust in his story. I looked for the woman, but she had already exited out a different door. I made a mental note to suspend my prejudices the next time I see someone on the street with a sign that says "homeless, hungry, anything helps."

Anything Helps Salad

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 1 split chicken breast (2 halves) bone in skin on for 20-30 min (you can keep the heat high if you leave the skin on, because the skin will keep the chicken from getting dry).

Mix together 1/4 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 carrots, sliced (peeled or not..your choice!)
1 red-green pepper, diced
1/2 avocado cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 head broccoli (about 1 cup) broken into pieces
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (this is a huge part of the flavor of the salad, so use one that you really like the taste of!)
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper liberally.

Christina's vote: "This is what I would call a salad meal"

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