Uncle Sam’s Asian Pork Salad

So here we are again, stumbling towards yet another Presidential election. I must confess I do not follow politics closely, and in fact, for the longest time whenever I heard the name Rick Perry, I kept thinking he was an ex-wrestler. I finally realized I was getting him confused with Ric Flair. This is what I saw in my Bobby’s World mind…

Rick “The Flair” Perry

I should add that I’m not really proud of my lack of involvement in political matters and that it’s just a sort of self-preservation method. I see what it does to people, especially on Facebook but also on the worried brows of friends and family. They have this look that says, “I’m scared of what the world is becoming.” I would agree, but I just watched an episode of Mad Men, set in the chauvinistic ’60s, which makes me slightly less pessimistic of the world while also giving me a hankering to drink bourbon on the rocks and take up smoking.

It’s a Mad Men world!

Speaking of women or girls or just a lot of estrogen, I first realized I was not cutout for politics during a little high school summer experience known as Girls State. My memory of this is rather vague, but I will do my best to explain. I was one of the two selected to attend, so of course I went, unsure of what exactly I was getting myself into. I had assumed Girls State was some kind of camp that involved staying up all night eating candy and gossiping, messy relay races, and participating in team-building exercises. I was slightly misguided in my thinking (hence, the Rick Perry/Ric Flair mix-up). I suppose you could say that I only hear/think what I want to hear/think, which is perhaps the ultimate problem with politics, or simply the human race.

Not Girls State

The camp was a week-long and was held on a college campus. Upon arriving, everyone was assigned a room in a dorm. Each dorm floor was considered a city with the entire camp itself being the considered the state, hence Girls State. You would think I would have initially figured out what the camp was all about, but it wasn’t until the second day that I finally realized what was really going on—we were simulating a microcosm of local government. When we weren’t learning cheers and songs or listening to speeches made by important state officials, we were holding our own mock elections for state legislature and municipal offices. Since we all had to run for something, I ran for the lesser of the offices…something like one of the city council members. For my speech I reworded the rap opening of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Yes, I was that girl. While I can’t remember if I got the position (I think I did), I do remember that afterwards I immediately regretted my impromptu rap. I’m rather notorious for doing things of this nature—spur-of-the-moment creative outbursts—only to second-guess myself moments later. Come to think of it, I suppose I could be a politician.

The only other thing I recall, aside from my rap performance, was that the senior counselor of my “city” telling us a story about how she discovered a guy she dated was in the mafia. If only it had been called Girls Mafia, then I may have been a little more gungho about the whole experience. Each floor could be a family, and positions (i.e. Boss, Underboss, Caporegime, Soldier and Associate) randomly assigned upon arrival. As it were, at the end of the week as well as my so-called political career, the girls in my city all cried and talked about how we were the best city ever. I remember thinking: Did I miss something? Needless to say, Girls State was not my cup of tea, and I’m still confused by the inner workings of legislature.

I know it’s good that there are people who give a darn about politics because if people like me ran the world, nothing would get done. Well, besides September 28th being a national holiday, singing being required in the workplace, and ponies for all children who eat their vegetables. Speaking of vegetables, I’ve got a delicious salad recipe to share. In honor of irony, the recipe has been dubbed Uncle Sam’s Asian Pork Salad. This recipe was, in fact, prepared for me by Uncle Sam when I was visiting our nation’s capital in the fall. However, he is not “the” or even “my” Uncle Sam (he’s actually Lindsay’s uncle Sam), and he sure can cook! In case you are wondering my train of thought for this blob, I’ve broken it down for you: Presidential Election—Politics/Confusion—Girls State—D.C.—Uncle Sam—Asian Pork Salad. Somewhere in there, I also thought of ponies but with no direct connection to any of those things.

SIDENOTE: Could you even imagine a state of all girls? This thought makes me shudder because all I can think about is NOT pillow fights in pajamas or an never-ending manicure party, but rather an endless stream of catty [insert word that rhymes with witches] who appear on reality shows, such as The Real Housewives, The Bachelor, and dare I say it…The Bad Girls Club (I was forced into watching a marathon of this show and afterwards I found myself in a manic depressive state). No, sir or ma’am, I shall not wish for a state occupied solely by girls, unless I can hand select those who are there. Kristin Wiig? Yes! Nigella Lawson? Yes! Dolly Parton? Heck Yes! Kim Kardashian? Probably Not. Casey Anthony? Uh, No. Justin Bieber? Sure.

This blog brought to you by—Leslie Knope and this amazing clip from Parks and Rec…http://youtu.be/40Nqzx4Z1FA

Uncle Sam’s Asian Pork Salad

Salad Dressing:

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

½ teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon minced gingerroot


1 pound ground pork

1 cup shredded carrots

½ sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced ginger root

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha*, optional

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced

4 Roma tomatoes, halved and sliced

  1. To prepare dressing, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, whisking vigorously. Set aside.
  2. To prepare pork, cook meat, carrots and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in next 6 ingredients (ginger through lime juice) and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. To prepare salad, arrange 2 cups lettuce on each of 4 individual plates; top lettuce with cucumber, tomato slices, and pork mixture. Spoon 2 tablespoons dressing over each serving. Reserve the remaining dressing for another use. Yield: 4 servings

*Sriracha, pronounced sir-ra-cha, is a spicy chili sauce that can be found in the Asian section of supermarkets. Be careful when using, because a little goes a long way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: