Can’t a Girl Get Some French Dressing?


french.jpgWhen Josh and I first moved to the Bay Area, we noticed several changes from our life in Minnesota. Some of the changes were big obvious things. But others were small, confusing things. Like the time we were eating at a restaurant and I ordered a salad with French dressing. The waitress looked at me very confused. She asked if I meant thousand island dressing. (The last time I ate thousand island dressing it made me sick and I threw up, I shudder to think of the stuff even now). I replied that no, I wanted French dressing. She didn’t even know what it was; the restaurant didn’t have any. This same scenario played out at several different resaurants.
(NOTE: I couldn’t even find a picture of regular French dressing. The pic to the side is of creamy French dressing. You can find that at certain stores in California. But I’m talking about real, bright red-orange, tangy French dressing. Not low-fat. The real stuff. The good stuff.)
I grew up with French dressing and bleu cheese dressing (only we called it “Roquefort”). My favorite garden salad has both dressings drizzled on it. But here in California, time after time, I was told that I could only have one of my favorite dressings because no one had heard of the other one. One time a waitress told me that they had French dressing; I was totally stoked. Then, she brought me my salad with ranch dressing… and said she thought French and ranch were the same thing.
Can’t a girl just get some French dressing around here?
OrganicFrench.jpgWe were eating at El Caminito (one of my favorite Mexican restaurants), and they had French dressing on the tiny salad they gave me. I was so excited, it was so sharp and tangy! That set me off with hope that perhaps I could acquire some French dressing somewhere. I went to all of the major supermarkets: Safeway, Albertson’s, PW Market – all to no avail. Then, I was at Whole Foods, where I saw French dressing! It was a brand I hadn’t heard of, but was willing to take the risk.
So, I got it home with some lettuce and was so excited to finally, after five years, indulge fully in the delight that is a good French dressing. But, alas, the Annie’s French Dressing unfortunately did not taste like French dressing. It tasted like a sad, organic attempt at French dressing. It surely did not taste like the French dressing of my youth. It had a sour, vinegar-like taste to it with only a subtle hint of real French dressing, which only haunted my memory with thoughts of better days.
I’m thinking of just breaking down and having it shipped in. My only fear is that it will have the same result as Hog on a Log has had. Hog on a Log is a pork chop spice that our folks send us from the MN State Fair. There is no way to get it in California except to have people wait in line at the MN State Fair for you and ship it out. The only problem is, I brought some leftovers to eat at work and every single person was asking what smelled so good. They started eyeing my pork chops and even got so bold as to ask for a taste. The intoxicating smell and satisfying taste is simply too much to keep people in a civil, polite manner. Before I knew it, they were asking if I would sell them some (I sometimes wonder if Hog on a Log is laced with some addictive cocaine or something), or if they could come over for dinner. What if, like Hog on a Log, French dressing just turns the native Californians into gluttonous beasts, circling my plate while wiping the drool from their lips?
I will get me some French dressing, oh yes, I will get it. And I will not share. And I will keep it in a secret compartment that even the most cunning of detectives could not locate. Then, late at night, with all the lights turned out, I will enjoy my feast of Hog on a Log pork chops and a simple garden salad with French dressing. I will need to be super stealth about it, but it’s all worth the risk.