Yesterday I woke up CRAVING a salad.
And not any old salad. A specific salad. A Claudia’s Chop Chop salad from Wood Ranch BBQ with lettuce Italian dry salami or pulled roasted chicken breast, mozzarella, chickpeas, roasted red peppers, champagne-mustard vinaigrette, hold the peppers and add avocado please.
Those of you who know me know why this is unusual. I HATE SALAD. I abhor lettuce of any kind (with the lone exception of arugula) and usually wouldn’t be caught dead eating it, let alone voluntarily ordering it in a restaurant. But there I was, talking about my craving all morning until the point where I picked up the phone, called Wood Ranch at the Grove and made the trek out there from Koreatown to pick up my delicious chopped salad. And it was fucking delicious. It hit the spot, yall. I already want to go and get it for lunch tomorrow, too!
I am not entirely unfamiliar with this phenomenon. Several times in the past few years, I have quite literally woken up with an insatiable craving for something that I had previously HATED. Like I went to bed detesting X, and woke up with the sudden need to consume X in massive quantities. I know. I’m so weird. I can’t help it.
So what else has it happened to, besides this salad?
Well, one morning my junior year of college I woke up, sat straight up in bed, and thought to myself, “I need some lemonade. And something with mustard on it.” This was alarming for two reasons. First of all, I usually don’t even like eating the first hour or two that I’m up - it makes me nauseous. And second of all, I HATED both of those things! Up until age 20 I wouldn’t touch mustard with a ten foot pole, and I couldn’t stand anything sour or citrusy - which left lemonade totally out of the picture. I literally headed straight downstairs to the AEPhi kitchen, where our chef Juin was undoubtedly serving up something fried and greasy, smothered it in mustard, knocked a freshman out of the way in my haste to get to the lemonade dispenser, and had myself a field day.
It was the WEIRDEST thing. My friends were like “WTF is going on with you?” To this day I have no explanation. But mustard has become my condiment of choice (besides my beloved soy sauce), and I keep packets of Crystal Light lemonade powder in my desk at work. I can’t explain it.
A similar thing happened to me with horseradish and wasabi. I couldn’t stand the taste - too strong, too intense, too spicy... I hate spicy! I requested all my sushi be prepared without wasabi even on the plate, and refused to partake in the “maror” part of the Passover Seder every year (I’m such a bad Jew!). And then one day I woke up and was totally fine with both of them. Now when I go out for sushi, I spend quality time mixing my wasabi up with my soy sauce, making the perfect paste ratio, and I have no problem mixing some horseradish in with my charoset on my matzah during Passover. Again, I can’t explain it.
Basically the entire point of this post was to FURTHER illustrate for you how truly weird I am, in case there was even a shadow of a doubt in your mind. And before you ask - no, I am not pregnant.