Slummin’ It

Last week was a pretty lousy week at Chez Parr. Lilli was very sick – she’s doing much better now, but no parent wants to end up at Children’s Hospital at midnight on a Sunday. Rich spilled coffee on his Mac which meant he had to use my Dell all week – a miserable experience for both of us. And the cherry on top was the candidate for mayor I was supporting – canvassing, making phone calls, baking cookies and lasagnas – lost.

Bed head Lilli

Everyone has a comfort food. I’ll admit to being pretty happy Saturday morning after discovering the pound of mini-chocolate peanut butter cups I’d stuck in the freezer’s side door who knows how long ago. I stopped myself before it got too ugly; chances are another bad week is bound to happen again. But sometimes you need something you can eat with a fork and sit at a table like a lady.

This salad comes from a former roommate of Sylvie’s. I hesitate to use its real name here for fear of offending someone, but it’s really a pretty perfect description. The last time I made it was probably close to six years ago, but this is what we had for lunch today, along with half a bag of mini-Tater Tots that were magically on sale at Star Market. I found the iceberg lettuce on the super sale rack at Russo’s (two heads of lettuce for 98 cents? I couldn’t walk away from that one). I knew I had a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry, so after Russo’s I zipped over to Target for kidney beans, Catalina dressing (on clearance, another sign of destiny), orange shredded cheese (yes, it has to be orange) and a bag of Fritos. I would have preferred to have bought a one-serving size bag of the corn chips, but sometimes you have play the hand you’re dealt. I think a can of sliced black olives would work well with this, if you’re feeling all fancy.

white trash salad

So, as my celery, walnut, date and pecorino salad rested on the counter, and my tofu marinated in miso and red curry paste, and the delicata squash roasted in the oven, I crunched a cup and a half of Frito’s on top of this salad. It was just what I needed.

White Trash Salad


One head of iceberg lettuce, shredded

One can of diced tomatoes, drained in a colander

One can of kidney beans drained and rinsed and dried

Two scallions, chopped

1 cup of orange shredded cheese

¼ cup Catalina dressing

1 ½ cups broken Fritos


On a large platter, layer all ingredients as ordered. Serve with a side of Tater Tots.