26 March, 2012

Regional Differences and Spring Salads

It has been a blur of a year since we packed up our bags and moved from San Francisco, California to Mobile, Alabama. I am not surprising anyone including myself when I say these two places are different. I have thought about this post for awhile and I could write a book on the differences but I have decided on a short list for now.

1. Rain (or more specifically thunderstorms)
In Mobile we find ourselves under a tornado or thunderstorm watch on an average of twice a month. In 4+ years we witnessed thunder and lightening one time while living in San Francisco. And then there was the occasional misty drizzle that would result in delays at SFO.
2. Formality
In Mobile, when scheduling a service such as gutter installation, furniture delivery, etc., you will speak with a friendly voice on the phone who gives you their "word". If you scheduled the same service in San Francisco you likely would receive an email confirmation immediately, a text confirmation the day before and probably a phone call on the day of service.

3. Weekend Activities
In California we spent our weekends like those "visit California" commericals. Hiking, biking, running, skiing, etc. In Alabama we own a spacious home with a yard and grass. So we spend our weekends mowing, planting, cleaning, grilling, building things, and tooling around at our local Lowe Depot (a combination of Home Depot and Lowe's because to me there is no difference).
4. Space
Our previous home in California was a very cozy 599 square feet. Every single item we owned had a place where it belonged. There have been times in our new home in Mobile that I have lost my coffee and my husband and it has taken me over five minutes to find either of them. I am not joking.

5. Pace
I get it. It's hot in the South. It slows people down. Alot. Restaurants, grocery store check out lines, walkers at the park, email responses, phone call responses all come in at a much slower pace than "the city". When I was in San Francisco I didn't particularly notice that it was a faster way of life. I suppose I just fell into it and adapted. If you sent me an email it would have been returned within the hour; now you are lucky if I respond in  24 hours. Hey, it is hot here. And I am probably hanging out at a hardware store.
Spring Salads
I know I have not posted for awhile and that is partly due to home projects (see above) and partly due to technical difficulties. Below are a couple ideas for salads as I know everyone is welcoming spring which means turning off the oven, stepping outside and most importantly wearing less clothes.
Italian Salad
Iceberg lettuce mix
Green peppers
Black Olives
Artichoke hearts
Parmesan Cheese
Dried Parsley, Dried Oregano, salt and pepper
Olive oil and Red Wine Vinegar
Combine all vegetables, add cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and oregano. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss.
MG Salad w/ Chicken & Wedges
Mixed Greens
Almond slices
Dijon Mustard 1 tbsp
Red Wine Vinegar 1 tbsp
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Whisk mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Combine mixed greens, almonds, and dressing. Top with potatoes and chicken.