In these trying times where political correctness has pervaded a large portion of the western world, not only must we choose our words with care, but the human male is no longer sure of his position in the food chain nor of how far he dare isolate himself from the constraints of society.
As a collective conformist body of metaphorical-penis-laden homo sapiens, the questions which now keep us all awake at night is no longer how shall I eat, why do I eat or even where shall we go for dinner, but what should I put in my salad? Indeed, if such a salad should really be a Man's salad, well, how do we identify it as such, how do we avoid offending the easily offended and, most importantly, how do we make it? Never fear! For your convenience and at the cost of many sleepness nights, I have studied the conundrum and come up with the answer.
The stereotypical almost non-offensive multi-faith Man's Salad
(Now also for lesbian monkeys and God-like beings)
I shall not go into long elaborations on what Man is (in the current scientific and social context) or how the salad attributed to him is determined within the bounds of this definition. Just trust me. I've thought long and hard on this.
The common error of people seeking instant gratification through the form of recipes is to think that they actually need to be followed. In fact, an even more common error is to want a recipe in the first place. Man does not use recipes. What Man does is inform himself (or herself for your progressive type of Man) and then becomes a zen master. Here is a collection of all necessary information for you to become a Zen master salad-making Man.
Let's set things straight. Man does not walk around the supermarket with a list of ingredients in his hand. In fact, he never buys food with the intention of making some specific meal with it. What he does is keep a full stock of good ingredients: a few essentials and an unlimited number of optionals. That is the secret for good food. When realising that he is hungry, he then chooses the type of meal he wishes to enjoy; he has many types at his disposal, including pie, sandwich, meat and two veg, stew and salad. Man's task is then to combine his choice ingredients in a way that is pleasing to the eye and to the palate. This choice is naturally dependant on the current state of his stock.
The two main parts of the salad are the body and the dressing. Man makes his own dressing to suit his taste and adapts it to the composition of the salad. It should be noted that some foodstuffs are essentials but not specifically to salad making, which is why they are not marked as such. Here are a few of the very large number of ingredients Man might consider using:
- lettuce (essential, preferably iceberg as the purpose of the lettuce is to provide crisp wateryness - depending on other ingredients, other types of lettuce may be preferable)
- eggs (for dressing or boiled or poached)
- cheese (for those of you who don't live in Switzerland, Italy or France, you might want to scrap this - gruyère is best, goat's cheese is nice too)
- apples (all fruit which is crispy and not too sweet will do)
- nuts (almonds, wallnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.)
- oil (for dressing as are all subsequent ingredients - good quality oil - essential)
- vinegar (most kinds - essential, unless mustard is very acid)
- plain yoghurt
- herbs (ask Simon and Garfunkel about these - oh and please prounounce the h like Man does!)
- salt and pepper essential
- Anything else which is good and part of your Manly stock of goodness. This list could be 5 times as long and still not complete.
Some people, at this point will go on to explain about how less is more and how you don't need all the above. They'd be right. On the other hand, if you feel like eating an ingredient and have it in stock, by all means, put it in. Don't think of healthyness; don't think of saladness; just think good food and Manliness. Concerned that two foods might clash? Well hell, you'll never know until you've tried. Just remember that you're setting out to become a zen master of salad here, not some weasily timid recipe follower.
This is the point where Man lets his creative juices rip. He does not conform to any norm. Some days he makes cubes so that all the bits look the same but taste different; other days, he attacks the pile of ingredients with a carving knife. In fact, each day is a new adventure. It's as exhilarating as sitting down to the piano and just improvising - except that it's easier to do.
When seeking to impress, this phase is magical. You can make a multi-layered ecology. You can make a cholesterol bomb. In fact, Man is totally in his element here and will never fail to impress upon Woman (or any other form of lesser-guest-type-being) that he is the bees knees with regard to salad-making.
The primitive twentieth century Man had trouble with this concept. I like my salad like my women! he would say. Of course, the New Man of which I speak says exactly the same thing. He knows that the simpleness of the attire is all important in revealing and promoting the goodness below. This is why you must always have plenty of salad dressing making ingredients to hand. When before, you were improvising on the piano, now, you are a fashion designer. A Real Man.
The skill of making salad dressing is one that Man takes many years to acquire. Depending on the ingredients it might want to be runny or creamy, tangy or bland, acid or sour. The Man in training is best advised to follow these steps:
- Take one a empty and washed jam jar
- Put in some vinegar
- Add twice as much oil
- Add some yoghurt
- Small amount of mustard
- Maybe some salt
- Screw lid on tight and shake
- Remove lid and taste
- Add any of above or other ingredients to improve taste
- Return to step seven and repeat until satisfied
Man is concerned with combining the necessity and the pleasure of eating. He then enjoys his salad, possibly in concert with enjoying good company and good music. Therefore, he eats his salad in the way that appeals to him at that moment as a reward for a well-done job of salad-making.
If you seek to emulate Man, remember that you concern yourself with good ingredients, a lack of recipes and other forms of conformity along with the ability to impress your peers (in a modern non-passive-agressive way of course). Now go forth and make a Man's salad!