Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My toxic relationship with ranch dressing.

My friend Lucas refers to celery as "Ranch Spoons."

Which is clever, but ranch sucks.

It's time I've come clean. I have a bitter rivalry with ranch dressing.

Ranch was invented by Satan himself to help carry out his Obesity Agenda.

Do you remember salad shakers? They were this cool thing McDonald's had for a while, where you got a salad in a cup with a bubble lid. After dumping your ranch dressing in and shaking it up, you'd have yourself a nice lil' cup'o'salad covered in the worst thing that ever happened to salad: incredibly
unhealthy dressing.

I got a salad shaker when they were around, and, like many times as a little kid, I immediately ran around outside and upset my stomach and puked it up.

The next time I ate ranch was in the seventh grade. I was an obnoxious little thing. I stormed into the cafeteria one day and threw my friend Kerry's binder onto the table in some dramatic rampage of attention-seeking, only to have it land onto a puddle of ranch that had spilled on the table. It splashed onto my face and got all over Kerry's binder. She played it cool. She shoved the ranch-covered binder about six inches from my nose and said, "lick it!" Obviously, she was kidding. But obviously, I was a ridiculous human being. I licked it all up. When I realized the ranch had been left from the eighth grader's lunch the period before, I immediately ran to the bathroom and threw it all up.

I still can't eat ranch.

When people I'm with choose ranch as their salad dressing, I cringe.

I find the way that ranch sits on a salad to be one of the grossest things.

It just sits there, a goopy glob staring at you.

Trying to eat vegetables is a good thing. Some people don't like vegetables. I get it. But it isn't even breaking even. It's breaking under. And I understand that it's okay to eat unhealthy things in moderation, but if you're going to let yourself splurge on the calories, why would you splurge with your salad? Donuts, fries and a Coke every now and then is splurging. Putting ranch dressing on your salad is not splurging.

Americans' obsession with ranch dressing has got to stop.

Hidden Valley should not be allowed to sell their product as "kids are finally eating vegetables!" Frankly, I'm glad this valley they speak of is hidden, because all of the children there are probably chubby. Ranch is giving veggies a bad rep. Vegetables are good. Broccoli is little trees and there is nothing more appealing to children then eating little trees.

The minute we started smothering vegetables in milk fat was the minute we gave kids the idea vegetables were only good if they were smothered in milk fat.

The culinary world is finally pioneering some incredibly creative and delicious salad dressings. The world of vinaigrettes is a beautiful world that blows Hidden Valley and all of its chubby kids out of the water. You can make them at home. They practically mix themselves. They make even the bitterest of romaines an absolute marvel.

And when it comes to dips, ranch has got to be the lamest. There are so many different kinds of brilliant dips for anything you think you currently "enjoy" with ranch. Hummus was the best thing that has ever happened to carrots. If you're going unhealthy, eat spinach and artichoke dip or buffalo chicken dip.

It's time we stopped this culinary inadequacy and stood together to defeat the ranch agenda. We can join as one and collectively choose to teach our children that vegetables can be eaten without being smothered in milk fat. We can come together and make it known that the nutrient-packed salads that make our bodies so happy deserve a better dressing!

Ranch sucks.

Your chicken nuggets deserve better. Your cheesy bread deserves better. Your salad deserves better. YOU deserve better.

The good kind of ranch. 
The bad kind of ranch. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

No more of that: Phones at the dinner table

There doesn't need to be a discussion for this. I'm sick of sitting at the dinner table having a conversation with people while they sit on their phones.

We don't need some stupid "everybody put your phones in the middle and the first one to grab their phone pays" thing either. Just don't use your phone at the dinner table. It isn't that hard. Keep it in your pocket or your purse and enjoy your real life.

The iPad parenting that is sweeping restaurant tables across the country has got to stop. It is lazy parenting and it is absolutely ridiculous. Your child needs to know how to sit and have a conversation with older people. The family dinners I had growing up are a memory I cherish. In fact, I could argue most of my people skills have been acquired during family dinners. Parents who allow their children to sit in the corner of an Applebee's booth with their headphones in and their iPad on are robbing their kids of an incredible experience.