Today we watched my co-workers at the Fire Department perform a "Burn to Learn", an exercise where a donated house is burned to the ground so new firefighters can gain experience working an actual fire and seasoned firefighters can refresh their skills.
It was exciting and awe inspiring to see, first of all, the seriousness these folks take performing their jobs and secondly, to see the intensity and fierceness of an actual out of control house fire. It has given me a totally new perspective on the skills and knowledge my coworkers must have.
Once home the thought of cooking my usual full blown Sunday dinner was out of the question. A fall back meal was in order and what better thing to serve on a warm (finally -it's only June 15th!) evening than our favorite "Big Salad".
No need to turn on the oven, no need to stand over the stove stirring, just pulled out the grill pan to make Big Croutons to compliment the salad. We first had Big Croutons at some fancy-schmancy restaurant in Seattle once when we ordered a dinner salad for some outrageous price of $7.00 and it came with this big piece of grilled french bread. What a wonderful idea, I thought to myself. So much better than those hard as rock little tasteless nuggets that come out of the box. My Big Croutons consisted of grilling some wonderful, chewy sesame bread slices that had been dabbed with olive oil then rubbing them with half of a garlic clove and a sprinkling of kosher salt to complete.
The Big Salad can be just about any combination that suits one's fancy. For ours yesterday, the ingredients were as follows:
The Big Salad
Big Croutons (as noted above)
Chopped iceberg lettuce
Chopped spinach leaves
Tomato wedges (FDA approved non-salmonella carrying only)
Cheddar Cheese-finely grated
Hard boiled egg
Dressing of your choice
Assemble in large bowls in an appetizing fashion and enjoy the cool, filling meal.