Broccoli and Ramen Salad

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Yesterday was a good day.  Two of my best friends, Carla and Kim, came to visit for the day.  We laughed and talked and overshared the way only really close friends can.  Michael stayed home with the kids so the three of us could go to lunch.  And what a lunch it was!  We were there for three hours.  Long after the last Diet Coke had been refilled and the bills had been paid, we lingered and talked.  They were able to be a little more “unfiltered” since my kids weren’t there.  We came back to the house and visited with each other and with my kids – who bring out all of their stories and stupid human tricks whenever we have company.  Thankfully, Carla and Kim love my kids – or at least tolerate them because they love me. One of us may have fallen asleep on the couch, but that’s the thing about really good friends.  The comfort level is just there.  The only thing that could have made the day any better is if my longest best friend, Kathy, had been there, too.  Next time, we’ll have to make that happen!

At the end of the day, we had to have a picture.  We’re all picture people.  I’m usually not too thrilled at being on the picture side of a camera, but being with people you love helps with that.

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After they left, I found myself saddened.  Kim still lives in our hometown and Kathy and Carla live nearby.  I’m the only one who moved “away.”  Even if it’s only 100 miles, sometimes the distance from them and my family seems unbearable.  I was in a dirty blue funk the rest of the evening.

Today, I was good for nothing.  I sat around and watched t.v. with the kids and made a few trips down the hall to the office to interrupt Michael while he worked.  I didn’t really need anything from him. Sometimes I just need to see his face and hear him say something sweet or funny.  This was one of those days.  A thunderstorm rumbled through during the late afternoon.

And I missed them.

Kathy, who has been my friend for 42 years, since the first day of kindergarten.  Carla, who has been my friend since we were in second grade.  Kim, who has been my friend since we were 16.  Who has friends like that?  Not many people.

And I’ve been blessed with three of them.

As the day grew old, I realized that I had to snap out of my funk and make dinner!  I had bought the ingredients for this dish this weekend and since it’s a non-thinking kind of dish, it seemed perfect.

Cold and crisp.  Sweet and savory.  Chewy and crunchy.  This is one of my favorite salads!

Broccoli Slaw

  • 2 12-ounce bags of broccoli slaw
  • 5-6 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 3 packages of chicken-flavored ramen noodles
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cups of cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of salted sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 cup of any other salted nut

Pour broccoli slaw and onions into a large bowl.  Remove the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles.  Crumble dry noodles over the slaw.  Toss to combine.

In a quart jar, combine seasoning packets, sugar, oil, and vinegar.  Screw on the lid and shake until combined.  Pour over the salad, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Before serving, toss in the  sunflower kernels and nuts.

Well Duh #1:  For the second nut, I used half chopped pecans and half smoked almonds.  I roughly chopped the almonds.  You can use whatever nut you like or happen to have on hand.  Slivered almonds are good, too!

Well Duh #2:  You can also mix the dressing in a blender or whisk it in a bowl.

Well Duh #3:  You can refrigerate the dressed salad for several hours.  I don’t like to go much longer than that because I don’t like the noodles to get too squishy.  If you’re making this ahead, you can toss the salad and make the dressing, but refrigerate them separately.  Just add the dressing a few hours before serving.

We had a rather eclectic meal.  I served this salad with crab cakes and egg rolls!  It didn’t really matter. The salad was the star of the show!

I love my friends.  I’m so glad that even after all of these years, whenever we get together, it’s like no time has passed at all.

Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.

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