When I was growing up, salad bars were the shit.
One would think a salad bar wouldn’t be a hit with the kiddos but it wasn’t the healthy stuff in the salad bar that attracted us.
It was the bacon, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and pudding.
Salad bar pudding is completely underrated.
Salad bar pudding needs its own Instagram or Twitter account.
I remember when Wendy’s used to have a salad bar. Does anyone else remember this? They also had salad bar pudding.
Want to know a little secret? Thank You brand pudding was what those restaurants used. Don’t ask me how I know this. It’s in the vault with things that if you knew I knew them, you’d wonder why I am allowed to roam freely with the general public.
You can also order Thank You brand pudding from wholesalers in seven-pound containers.
It has a shelf life of approximately 456 days.
Okay, maybe we now know why salad bar pudding isn’t a thing anymore.
Also, maybe I should have named this post I Love Me Some Salad Bar Pudding?
Over the years, however, salad bars have become kind of a thing of the past. Remember Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar? Their brown bread croutons? Sweet Jesus biscuits, those were so good. I remember getting SO excited at the prospect of sitting down at my local Ruby Tuesday and ordering broccoli cheese soup and salad bar. It brought me so much damned joy.
We need joy like that again.
And grocery store salad bars don’t bring that joy, honestly.
Maybe because there isn’t any 456-day pudding in them.
I have written about my love of salads before; the seven-layer salad is one of my favorite ever salads because it reminds me of my salad bar concoctions of the past.
Lotso bad shit but fullo taste.
Sadly no pudding although if I could somehow make that jive in there, you know I’d be working on that.
Back when I had lots of energy (pre-menopause), I created a Summer board on Pinterest.
Lots and lots of pins full of summery things like:
I mean, isn’t this what a bathtub is for?
That looks like a lot of work for something that faces the neighbor who blares his Foreigner and Hootie and the Blowfish at 2 in the morning.
Who, ironically, is an HVAC repair guy.
I still want to do this one.
But amid all of my summer ideas that will never see the light of day sat a pin that I didn’t even realize was in there to begin with.
A DIY Salad Bar.
This pin just leads to a website and not the actual salad bar so I am not even linking it here but it’s a cool idea, isn’t it?
If I was going to do it for a party, I would take a page from this picture but for a random mid-summer dinner at home, it doesn’t have to be this fancy.
Since the closest Ruby Tuesday is 40 miles away and it costs 50 bucks to ship the armageddon pudding to my home, this will have to do.
I just got out all of my cereal and soup bowls and put all the ingredients we liked for salads into them.
If you don’t like the idea of all the dishes you will have to do afterward, get disposable paper bowls.
The great news is that most of this stuff, we already had in the pantry and refrigerator but if you don’t, you can totally do this on the cheap.
I really want to love homemade salad dressings but I have never found a recipe I like. I know you all have recipes that are easy and don’t taste like a urine sample. Not that I would know what that tastes like.
The night we had our DIY Salad Bar for dinner, my parents were over and I happened to mention to my mom that this wasn’t my idea but rather inspired by Pinterest. To which my mom said something about Ina Garten and how she always says that it doesn’t matter where you got the inspiration, take the credit.
You know what? I am going to take more credit for things I don’t necessarily come up with.
It could happen.