Moments ago, a friendly police officer and I had one of those awkward hellos. I’m sure you know the kind:
“Hi! How are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m just fine, thanks. How are you?”
“I’m great! How about yourself?”
Now, I estimate that I’m on the receiving end of no more than 15% of the akwardness I typically encounter. The other 85% is all me. So normally, I’d be disproportionately proud to report that I wasn’t responsible for this particular social glitch, except that despite constantly putting other people in the same position (“Thanks, waiter! I hope you enjoy your meal, too!”), I had no idea how to handle it. I responded by continuing to walk past him, then attempting a noncommittal smile and ambiguous nod over my shoulder, which turned out to be more of a manic, confused circular head motion cut short by the need to look where I was going.
I’m calling it a draw.
Know what else is awkward? Well, yes, this segue, but you know what else? Google web search history. Few things make you question your own sense of self like sorting through a month’s worth of ancient searches (ironically, Google doesn’t do a very thorough job of searching your search history) and seeing evidence of your quest for keywords like “chunky chubless” and “hanson.”
Oh, sorry, back up a sec—I was scouring my Google search history recently because I wanted to make Asian slaw. You see, last year, for my birthday party, I found a recipe that I loved. It was a sweet, crunchy Asian slaw with only a few ingredients, and it tasted just like a dish I’d tried once at a potluck. Had I realized how lucky I was to find it, I would’ve burned it to a DVD and rented a safe deposit box under an untraceable code name. But it seemed as though there were tons of similar recipes online, so I was sure I’d have no trouble finding it again.
I was wrong. Before one of this year’s cookouts, I selected about half a dozen of the most likely suspects, made and tasted each dressing, and discovered that there are a lot of hideous Asian slaw recipes standing between me and the good ones. I needed the very recipe I had made last year. Hence, Google history.
I found the right recipe in a jiffy. Thanks, Google! In the process, though, I was faced with 41,788 other searches I’d made in the past six years, many of which I can no longer recall in context. Here are some of the more puzzling ones, for which I claim innocent intentions, but make no other excuses:
- cartoon cucumber slice
- “flat-headed stripper”
- first person handshake
- stomp the yard 2
- scientology god
- chicken scissors
- cheese streaker
- turtle gloves
Hey, quick PSA: Although I personally wouldn’t consider such a thing, those of you that are new to this feature may be interested to know that it is indeed possible to evacuate the history beast at the touch of a large, easy-to-find button, purging your account of all your past searches and selections. (I’m sure Google doesn’t actually delete anything, but pressing this button will at least eliminate your ability to access and be humbled by the data.) I imagine this is especially tempting if you’ve googled any particularly personal interests or alarming medical symptoms during this or any previous lifetime, but don’t be hasty—sometimes a “flat-headed stripper” is just a “flat-headed stripper.”
Anyway, last year, I made the Asian slaw as a BBQ side dish (it’s perfect because there’s no mayo to spoil in the heat) and discovered it’s also a wonderful topping for hot dogs. Because I fear losing the recipe again, I’m posting it here to guarantee its safety, and so that we all may enjoy it. I’m also including a recipe for spicy Asian-inspired chicken tenders, because they pair nicely with the slaw, and this summer we’ve been enjoying the two together in a delightful wrap.
Wow, look at that fancy-ass sentence. Do I sound like the kind of deviant who searches for “bourse testicles” and “baby driving car” in her free time? I guess you never can tell.
Asian Coleslaw, from the Hanigan Taste of Home Family Cookbook
Notes: I love a recipe with only a few simple ingredients, although I’ve increased the list on this one by adding a jalapeno pepper, because we like the spicy-sweet balance it creates. Some people balk at the idea of raw ramen noodles in a cold salad, but I have yet to meet the person who isn’t converted at first taste. As a matter of fact, I double the ramen when I make this, increasing my overall investment by seventeen cents. Worth it.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 6 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (3 oz) packages crushed raw instant Ramen noodles, sans seasoning packets
- 1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix
- One jalapeno pepper, sliced very, very thin
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- One bunch of scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- Combine ingredients for dressing in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- In medium sized serving bowl combine the green onions, coleslaw mix, and Ramen noodles. Add sesame seeds and almonds.
- Pour dressing over coleslaw mixture and toss. Serve immediately for crunchiest noodles, or cover and chill for best flavor integration.
Spicy Glazed Chicken Tenders, adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 small (about 1/2″) piece of ginger, grated
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- About 12 oz. chicken tenders
- Cooking spray
- In a large bowl, stir together ginger, garlic, hoisin, oil, honey, and soy sauce. Add the chicken to the bowl, stir to coat, cover, and allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.
- Spray your grill (or a grill pan) with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add tenders to hot grill/pan and heat for a few minutes on each side until cooked through.