Monday, July 27, 2009


This weekend D and I went up to Wyoming to visit my parents. Yeehaw! The town where they live is pretty small, but has more than 1 horse, 2 stoplights and of course, a WalMart, so it's considered somewhat of a metropolis in the state.

It's a place where there is still a drive through (drive through peeps!) liquor store, kids get an actual hunting holiday from school in September and people pepper their sentences with phrases like " ainnit?," " sumbitch" and liberal doses of the f-bomb. A typical sentence might get strung together like so," Mornin' ya f*%$%n' sumbitch. Beautiful f*%$%n' day, ainnit?"

It's also a place where my Dad likes to cook everything in bacon grease and butter and my mom considers lunch a piece of chocolate and a Diet Coke. I kid, I kid--they're not that bad and they've gotten better with age. My parents were actually excellent role models in the culinary department. I owe some of my experimentarianism to them for always introducing us to new foods (hello feta, perogies, sauerkraut and a million different ways to use an electric skillet!) It's because of my dad that I love to cook and thanks to my mom that I love to bake. We always had a salad with dinner, but we always had dessert too :)

Anyway, I like to help them out on the health food front, so when I come up, I come packin' the veg. I made this beauteous pasta salad with toasted Israeli couscous and a plethora of produce cut in about as liberally as the swear words in Wyo.
Here's what I put in:
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • carrots
  • purple cabbage
  • onion
  • cucumber
  • red, yellow and orange peppers (gotta keep the theme going here)
I whisked together my own dressing using 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp. minced garlic, basil, oregano and S&P.

So we had that fancy feast at the chuckwagon, along with an entire farmer's market of fruit salad every day, which left me totally guilt free about the pancakes,waffles, bacon and birthday cake!

Now, for all the trash I talk about my little wild west, it's also the place where I was raised with lovely parents, decent manners and a good home. Everyone knows their neighbors and knows your name--which is a lot more endearing NOW as opposed to when I was cutting class in high school. The same cashier has worked at the grocery store since I was a toddler. Those same good ole boys that call you a sumbitch will shake your hand, open the door for you and not think twice about what brand of jeans your wearing or the car you drive. Although they might look at you a little off center if you're missing the Wranglers and the mudflaps. And while people may cuss at you just for waking up in the morning, it's all out of a mutual love and companionship bred from sharing our home on the range. Yeehaw!


  1. mmmm your veggie creation sounds great! love the dressing ingredients :D glad you had a great time in wyoming.. i only go there when i need a keg ;)

  2. That salad looks UNBELIEVABLE and it's can be fun to go back "home" when you're at a different point than you were when you left.
    Plus, you know you're not staying there...:)

  3. Okay. I obviously didn't proofread--"IT" can be fun. Not it's...oy.

  4. Beautiful f*%$%n' salad girl!

  5. Hey man I ate it and it was GOOD..... Keep up the great work on the blog!

  6. That salad looks so good and healthy!!

    And I'm so glad you found kabocha! It's great isn't it?? How have you made it so far?

  7. Erin--Your commetn made me laugh so hard!
    April--How HAVEN'T I tried it?? JK, I'm sure there are a million ways to eat this stuff. I have had it dunked in ketchup, sprinkled with cinnamon, and my personal fave so far: mixed with black beans, cumin and pineapple salsa. Mmm-mm! I do love it more than butternut or acorn squash and think it has a great flavor. I especially like how it gets all carmelized where it touches the pan and marshmallow crispy when it starts to broil. Gosh, I'm getting hungry now :)