Laziness and Lettuce 3


Is it so hard to spit out watermelon, grape or orange seeds? 

Is it really that difficult to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for your child or, better yet, teach them how to make one themselves?

What’s so tough about rinsing and tearing lettuce to make your own salad?

And ice tea…ice tea is one of the simplest, most straight-forward things to make.  (Tea (loose or bagged), water, sugar (or not), lemon (or not), ice.)  What’s so hard about that?  You don’t have to watch the water boil, in fact, if you watch it, it’ll seem to take forever to boil. Put the water in a kettle, step away and do something else.  The kettle’s whistle will tell you when the water’s done.

Think about it.  We can purchase:

  • Salad mixes.
  • Pre-packaged, frozen, pb&j sandwiches (Crustables)
  • Hard-Boiled peeled eggs (BornFree)
  • Seedless watermelon.
  • Seedless grapes, oranges, etc.  (I guess no one’s figured out seedless apples although you can buy apple slices already cut at the supermar,)
  • Prepared ice tea.
  • Instant oatmeal or grits – blech. 

Called convenience.  Touted in commercials which scream – “too busy to cook” over and over as a mantra.  Laziness and lettuce.  Triflingness (is that a word) – who’s really too busy to make a PB&J sandwich?  How about teaching the child or children how to make one for themselves?

Several years ago, I saw an interview with then-hot fitness guru Susan Powter,  She talked about how many fat people were lazy;  too lazy to peel an orange which she said took more effort than tearing opening a bag of chips or something.  Her phrase stuck in my mind because at the time, I realized that I had become that lazy. It was easier to snack on crackers than to peel anything and chop, well, no. That got me on the road to eating more fruit.  I also gradually stopped buying crackers.  Goodbye Ritz.  So long Town House and Waverly wafers.  Much, much easier to resist when they’re not in the cupboard. 

One night last summer, after a day on the computer, I had the urge to quickly fix a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after my husband called and said he wouldn’t want dinner because he’d had a long lunch.  (Cooking dinner and eating with him is one of our shared pleasures except when it’s not.) 

“You’d cook for him, why not make something nice for yourself,” my internal voice said.

Then I heard Susan Powter’s voice in my head.  “Lazy, girl,” she bellowed.  So, instead, I made a salad with lettuce, red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado and 5 shrimp that I sautéed with a little olive oil and herbs.  (I would have had all 5 shrimp on my salad except that hubby came home and, despite having said an hour before that he wouldn’t want dinner, smelled the shrimp, saw the salad, so I ended up sharing with him.)

I’d already cleaned and torn up half a head of red leaf lettuce so the salad assembly was easy.  I do this every few days in the summer.

Best way I’ve found to clean lettuce:

Submerge the lettuce in a big bowl of water, changing the water twice.* Then I give the greens a spin in the salad spinner a few times.  Then I lay then on a flat-weave cotton dish towel  – patting them dry of any small bits of moisture that are left.  I put the cleaned lettuce into a container with a tight-fitting lid and it keeps nicely for 2-3 days.

Anyway, no laziness and lettuce here.  No food saintliness either.  Sometimes, especially for breakfast, I will succumb to the lure of a PB&J but, as often, a big bowl of oatmeal with brown-sugar prepared with old-fashioned oats is what I do.  (I haven’t yet tried steel-cut oats.)

Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!

*(Can I save this water to water plants with?)

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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3 thoughts on “Laziness and Lettuce

  • LeeAnn

    Yes, you can save the water and give it to your plants. You MUST try steel cut oat – yum yum! And, put a paper towel in with your stored lettuce and buy yourself just a bit more time in the frige.

    That was a fun post! Thanks! I just really, plain, old LIKED reading that.

  • Lilly

    What a great post. I need this reminder as I have been slack lately on the eating front. I am such an emotional eater but at the same time I have a vegetable garden and love my vegetables and fruit too. Its the carbs I do not control so well. Ah well, I wonder if most kids know that food does not come in plastic or packets. That worries me more than anything. Still, the world is focused on it and that can only be a good thing. And your salad sounded devine – right up my alley, even though the P&J sandwich sounded good too….all it takes is a bit of effort and a respect for food and ourselves. I am constantly working on it.

  • Candelaria

    A good PB&J never hurt anyone – just make it “from scratch.”
    And carbs – who doesn’t love them?  I think you hit it the nail on the head
    when you said – “respect for food and ourselves.”  Thanks for commenting.