I find myself down in the Bay Area again for Mother’s Day. The car drives here on autopilot these days. From our house to my parents front door takes about three and a half hours including a pit stop. I’ve driven back and forth so many times that the scenery has somewhat lost its glow at this point, but it’s worth it to spend time with my family. With gas prices being what they are, and apparently we should be thankful they are where they are because they’re probably going to go up 10% by the time we get up tomorrow morning, it’s getting expensive to travel. By the time we return home in the smaller of our two vehicles, a mid-size sedan which we brought with us, it will have cost $150.00 for the pleasure of pressing our foot on the accelerator. Whew.
On our way down I was reading trivia questions to my other half. This is an old habit that comes from many road trips with small children, no offense, Rick, and I find it passes the time in sort of a fun way. There is a turn off that is easy to miss along the way so I always mark it with the truck scales that appear about a mile prior to the exit. Yesterday, it got me to thinking of a truck scale story from some years back.
As usual, I had just moved to a new area, this city being Martinez, California which actually one of the oldest cities in California and is the County Seat for Contra Costa County. Being unfamiliar with the freeway system at that end of the Bay except for an occasional pass through, I ventured out of the house in search of a craft store. I had my trusty map, no GPS’s back then, and a general idea of where I was going.
Seeing the freeway sign for the off ramp I was looking for I pulled into the right lane. It appeared that on this same off ramp there was an exit for truck scales that forked off of it. Who knew?
Confidently I pulled off the freeway and suddenly found myself sitting in the middle of the truck scale with the only cars visible being black and white and having colorful bands of lights strapped to their roofs. Whoops. Sounding like it came from heaven a loud booming voice came through the PA system and stated, “will the blond in the red Honda please remain in her vehicle”. Oh-oh. That would be me.
Two officers crossed over to my car and indicated for me to roll down the window. I would have saluted if asked. It seemed after some explanation on their part, that driving onto a truck scale in a Honda Civic is not a desirable activity in their minds, but after offering my defense being that I was new to the area and made an honest mistake they were good enough to issue me a warning. Thankfully it seemed, because it seemed this was an expensive ticket.
Before they pointed me in the direction I needed to go to exit the yard they were laughing. One officer piped up and said that the funniest thing about the whole incident was what was behind me. I turned around to find six other cars lined up beyond mine, their red-faced drivers waiting for me to move so they could explain to these fine men in uniform why they’d blindly followed me into the truck scales. See, some people think I know what I’m doing, even if it is total illusion on their part.
As usual my mother and I will share time in the kitchen during my visit. We’re going out to dinner one night but she and I enjoy cooking together so Mother’s Day or not, we’ll find our aprons on and food on the counter waiting to be prepped. We call her Dr. Mary, because she trims her food until it’s so neat you could put a suit on her asparagus spears and take them to church on Sunday.
It’s going to be nearing the ninety degree point here today so we’re going for something cool and refreshing. This dish is pretty in a deep glass bowl (like a Tiramisu bowl) to set off the layers and delicious. Have a great Mother’s Day!
Layered Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
6 cups romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
3/4 lb. of grape tomatoes, halved
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and cooked
6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup of Bleu Cheese Dressing (below)
In bottom of 14 cup glass salad bowl put lettuce and slightly pack down. Layer all the other ingredients except dressing and bacon in order listed. Spread with dressing and sprinkle bacon bits on top.
Refrigerate 1 hr. before serving. Serves 8.
Bleu Cheese Dressing
1 cup bleu cheese crumbled
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to medium mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy. Chill for at least 2 hours.