So, we’re going on this cruise to Alaska next week for our vacation. I’m really looking forward to it, both because it’s a vacation and because it’s a cruise. I love cruises and I’m glad that our Mexico cruise two years ago went so well (aside from an engine breaking and us missing Puerto Vallarta) because that means T won’t say no on future cruises. I’m a big fan of unpacking my bags once, not worrying about where to eat, and definitely not being in charge of what time we’ll get to whatever place we’re headed. My only responsibility is making sure we get back to the ship on time so it doesn’t leave us stranded. And when we go on shore excursions booked through the cruise ship, they are responsible for returning us on time! Yes, you pay more to book through them, but it’s worth my peace of mind.
Anyway, everyone knows that when you go on a cruise you are faced with multiple multi-course meals every day. Plus a midnight snack and round-the-clock room service. In preparation for this gluttony, I started taking salads to work. Not only does this save money (I figure I spend $6 every time I go to the deli next door), but salads are good for you. I actually don’t mind eating salads, as long as there’s a tasty dressing to drizzle over. For a while, I would make salads with other tasty things: carrots, beets, cheese, hard-boiled egg, etc. I would put dressing on the bottom of the container, put in the non-lettuce foods, add lettuce and then take it to work. At lunchtime, I’d turn the whole thing upside down and shake. Dressing and non-soggy lettuce, ta da! But then I ran out of other things for my salads and I just never got around to buying more. So I started relying on communal dressings in the work fridge. But I got tired of them and then I started thinking of all the preservatives and then the expiration date and at one point I just ate my lettuce plain. I remembered seeing salad bowls with built-in containers for dressing, so I actually bought one:
The idea is that you pour dressing into the container on top (which doesn’t unscrew from the lid, as far as I could tell) and pop the cover on. Then you press down on the top, which pushes on a stick inside and pops the cover off (on the bottom, towards the salad inside). The problem is that the cover doesn’t really stay on, so chances are that your salad will get doused with dressing before you’re ready. Doesn’t really solve the soggy-lettuce problem, huh? But, if you’re willing to overlook this minor design flaw, let me tell you that it is ridiculously hard to clean the little dressing container. It doesn’t come off, it’s really hard to get inside, and… well, it’s lame. Don’t buy it. If you see it at Target or The Container Store, step away. It’s not a good product. I hear the one by Fit ‘n Fresh isn’t much better, either.
I kept thinking that someone should just make a salad bowl with a tiny dressing container that snaps into place. Even my smallest plastic containers are just a bit too big for salad dressing, and who wants to keep track of a tiny container anyway? I was actually at the point of wondering if perhaps I should invent such a container when I went shopping at Target. And if I could find my salad bowl on Target’s website, I would totally show you a picture because it is a genius product.
If your Target is like mine, there is a seasonal aisle that gets filled with Christmas decorations, chocolate hearts, Easter candy, and Halloween costumes. Apparently, my mom’s Target Greatland is not like this because we couldn’t find such an aisle. But! My Target had their aisle decked out in summer goodies, picnic totes, and lots of other cool stuff. Next to picnic tablecloths, summery plastic cups, and horseshoe sets, I found this awesome shelf with lunchboxes, small divided plastic lunch containers, and my salad bowl. So, because I don’t have a picture, I’m going to describe it to you: It is a transparent, oval container with either a blue or pink lid. There is a green plastic fork that snaps onto the lid, as well as a small, round, green “sauce” container that also snaps into place on the lid. It is just perfect and exactly what I was looking for. I bought two.
I also bought this pretty flatware caddy. There are woven ones in bright colors, but I also found this stainless steel one for the same price. When we have parties, I stick the plastic utensils in plastic cups and one (or all) of them inevitably gets knocked over. Now I have a pretty container to hold the utensils AND napkins! I love Target. So, go check out your summer aisle before it’s all picked over! you should have seen the tablecloth weights I managed not to buy (so cute!) and the floral placemats.