PTO dinner: round 2

October 7, 2012


Greetings, readers! I am still grinding away at my humor writing class and boy, is there a steep learning curve! I am thoroughly enjoying it (except for one teeeny pesky fly). I miss you though. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

This week was rather interesting. One dead car battery, a be-headed bunny in the yard, another trip to the dentist, a lost retainer (at 350$ a pop), parent/teacher conferences, 4 meals made for not my family, a birthday, a birthday party, and Holy Mother of God, puberty. It has hit Chez T. with a vengeance.


Since it was parent/teacher conference week, it was time again to provide meals for the teachers. Do you remember last year’s debacle?

Alas, the same perky, freakshow lady is still in charge of the PTO, and true to form, she got her creative on again this year.

(via e-mail):

Hello, PTO parent volunteers!

The theme for Tuesday’s teacher dinner is School Cafeteria Night! Remember and re-create your favorite cafeteria special and bring it in for our staff to enjoy. Have fun with this!

Your friendly PTO



As I recall, school cafeteria repasts were absolutely vile. I wouldn’t feed that stuff to the voles in the backyard, let alone the teachers of my children. But I had to pony up and play nice.

As per usual, I was seriously behind in checking my email–when will I learn?–and so the obvious choices, sloppy joes and frito pie and beanie weenie were all taken.

I thought about bringing chipped beef on toast (which my father refers to as “shit on a shingle”), but I sort of want my kids to pass to the next grade level this year.

Then I thought: jello mold. Dangit, already taken. As Miss M. says: the early bird catches…the fish. I ain’t early.

I got stuck with salad. Un-jello salad. I could have just torn up some iceberg lettuce, added carrot shreds and slathered the whole business in Dorothy Lynch salad dressing, but I was supposed to be creative and have fun!

I was seriously screwed. It’s hard to have fun and be creative with salad.

So I did what I always do when I am screwed. I called my mother.

Mama reminded me about this salad–this genius salad–that is probably circa 1973. Mama used to serve it at dinner parties, right alongside some casserole with Campbell’s soup in it. Hey, it was a sign of the times.

As soon as she mentioned this salad, I remembered it vividly, because I thought it was elegant and very, very fancy. I think it was the bacon factor that blissed me out. An entire pound of bacon in a salad? Fancy, indeed.

So I made it. And then remembered that this salad is Hella high maintenance. Frying bacon and making hard boiled eggs? That takes time. As does all the chopping. An hour (+) later, I had salad in hand and plopped it onto the table in the teacher’s lounge. I have no idea if anyone ate the darn thing, but I hope they did. And I hope they forgive me.


Layered Salad (aka: White Trash Salad)

serves 10


1 small head iceberg lettuce

1 (10 0z.) bag fresh spinach, washed and dried

4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1/2 cup chopped scallions or sliced red onion

1/2 cup chopped tomato or red bell pepper

1 pound bacon, crisply fried and crumbled

1 (10 1/2 oz.) bag frozen peas, thawed

2 teaspoons sugar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup grated cheese of your choice (I did a colby/jack blend)


1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (use Miracle Whip to amp up the White Trash factor)


Tear the washed and drained lettuce/spinach into pieces. In a large glass bowl or 10×13-inch glass baking dish, layer half of the ingredients–lettuce, spinach, chopped egg, onion, tomato/red bell pepper, bacon and peas. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt and pepper.

*kinda looks better this way, dont’cha think? 

“Frost” the salad with half of the dressing. Repeat the rest of the salad layers. “Frost” the top of the salad with remaining dressing and top with cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cut the salad into squares (if using a baking dish) and serve.


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